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Leon Russell

Leon Russell is one of the most gifted songwriters of his generation. Though he was wont to cover songs, particularly by Bob Dylan (on Leon Russell & the Shelter People) and Hank Williams (on Hank Wilson's Back), he also handed out many a cover song himself. Joe Cocker trademarks "The Ballad of Mad Dogs and Englishmen" and "Delta Lady" were Russell songs, and so was Helen Reddy's "Bluebird." Born in Oklahoma, Russell served a tour of duty at the famous Muscle Shoals Studio in Alabama, where he soaked in the flavors of R&B, Swamp Pop, and southern Soul. As a result, Russell seems to evoke a dream South where races harmonize and the longhaired stranger is welcome at every table. Though there's more gravel in his voice than you'll find on a mile stretch of railroad, there is a plain sweetness here, too, especially on songs such as "Delta Lady" and "Lady Blue." It's a four-hour drive from Beale St. to Bourbon St., but pick up a Russell record and you can cut your travel time to a few minutes.

Leon Russell Concert Films

  • Live And Pickling Fast

    Leon Russell & The New Grass Revival

    Year: 1980

    Runtime: 58 min

    Recorded at the Perkins Palace, California, this concert captures the enormous talent of New Grass Revival. The band revolutionized Bluegrass music, incorporating gospel, reggae, rock and modern jazz into their traditional sound. Leon Russell, the ultimate session musician, collaborated with the New Grass Revival and took the sound to another level, combining his keyboard skills and unique husky voice with the fantastic sounds of the band.

Leon Russell Top Tracks

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