Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Leon Returns To His Roots.
Anthony Accordino | Massapequa Park, New York United States | 02/09/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The year was 1978, and Leon Russell was no longer a top classic rock draw, as the era of "Delta Lady", "Roll Away The Stone", "A Song For You", "Tightrope", etc, was coming to an end. Leon's first love was always country, and foot stomping country rock gospel. "Americana is a collection of 10 songs that give the listener that home grown feel, as if Leon and the band just went into his home recording studio in Oklahoma, and jammed for the fun of it. One song that comes to mind is the catchy tune "Elvis and Marilyn", as Leon pays homage to the two pop icons, wailing that "They never fell in love". The song actually received a fair amount of airplay upon its release. Another fine tune, is Leon's reworking of "When A Man Loves A Women", as the song is laced with country flavor complete with some awesome saxophone by Marty Grebb. This is certainly not the best album by Leon Russell, but is is well crafted and it is a fun listen. Leon Russell is a rock n roll icon, who's contribution to thr world of pop music has been shamefully overlooked by the RRHOF. Leon still tours the small club circuit, and as evident by his latest release 'Angel In Disguise", is still a talent who has withstood the test of time."
May Leon Live On Forever
Todd O. Daugherty | Salinas to NYC to El Paso | 11/30/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If I were being objective, this would probably earn four stars; but I can't help being a Russell-junkie, and thus, the man can do no wrong. It never ceases to amaze me that so many music fans go berserk when one of their favorites seems to changes style. It's like wanting your kid to be 3 years old forever. Ask an artist, rather than a fan, and they will attest to the need to grow as a musician; the best changing styles and motiffs like changing clothes. Russell would epitomize this wandering from one musical form to another.
Claude Russell Bridges, a.k.a. Leon Russell, was musically raised with Country, Gospel, Rockabilly, and Honky Tonk in his earliest days in Oklahoma and finally left home at an early age touring with the likes of Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks and Jerry Lee Lewis. He settled in L.A. during the sixties becoming a very much in-demand session player on a plethera of sixties pop singles.
On his own, he released the two Asylum Choir albums which were hard to classify: kind of psychadelic/country/pop. Soon thereafter began his initial "Master of Space and Time" rock stage; associating with the likes of Joe Cocker, Delaney and Bonnie, George Harrison, and on and on. There was some experimenting with jazz on Carney and Stop All That Jazz, interrupted with a full album of classic Country favorites: Hank Wilson's Back. Next came a pair of albums with new wife, the former Mary McCready.
Americana became Russel's newest swich in style. This album is a mix of Country, "Popish" Bluegrass, and just plain fun. This album would mark a major shift in Russell's musical style. He would tour for the next two years with his new band the New Grass Revival, and he would follow with several follow-up volumes of Hank Wilson. Leon has remained very active over the years, playing in smaller clubs and putting forth at least one and often several albums each year.
A fan's story: Leon came to El Paso back in the mid-80's to play in a small club. During the day, he and the band went over to Juarez, Mexico (this was in the long ago days before there were 2-3000 murder per year there) and the boys parties a bit hard and somehow Leon broke his leg. He was brought back to the U.S., taken to a hospital where they set and casted the leg and damn if at concert time, the band carried him out and placed him on the piano bench. There's dedication for you and I sure hope Leon knows how much we appreciated him."