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
Runtime: 58 minRecorded 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
70th Birthday Concert
Runtime: 2 hr 3 minLiverpools Kings Dock on July 19 2003 was the venue for a long awaited and much anticipated reunion between Eric Clapton and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. The occasion was both a celebration of John Mayalls 70th year and a fundraiser for Unicef. Also invited to the party were former Bluesbreaker and Rolling Stone Mick Taylor and veteran trombonist Chris Barber. If youre a lover of the blues it doesnt get much better than this. The show ran for around two and a half hours and the film is now presented here in its entirety for the first time.
Live in London
Runtime: 1 hr 20 minWhile touring in support of his 2008 album Harps and Angels, Randy Newman performed a special concert at London's intimate LSO St. Luke's, an 18th-century Anglican church that has been restored by the London Symphony Orchestra for use in its community and music education programs. He was accompanied by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Robert Ziegler, and the program was televised by the BBC. Nonesuch Records now releases this concert as Randy Newman: Live in London.
On the Rock Trail
The Rolling Stones
Runtime: 54 minFrom their beginnings in the 60s, The Rolling Stones were rebels, the very antithesis of their rivals, The Beatles. Track the Stones from their middle-class roots, through their international recognition as the bad boys of Rock. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards met in Dartford Station, London where they formed a musical union to last a lifetime. Brian Jones was not so lucky and he died tragically young. Bill Wyman no longer rolls with the Stones but Charlie Watts has remained a steady constant throughout, and not-quite-so-new boy Ronnie Wood has held on for the ride. Follow these legendary musicians and find the spaces and places where they made their mark. There were colossal highs and desperate lows, addresses ranging from country mansions to spells of detention at Her Majesty's Pleasure. Yet The Rolling Stones have survived and still strut their stuff and fill arenas. Presented by former artist manager from London's famous Tin Pan Alley, Liam Dale, "On the Rock Trail" takes you on an informative (and at times humorous) journey behind the scenes of these icons of the music industry. This documentary contains no music from The Rolling Stones and is not authorized by The Rolling Stones or any of their affiliate entities.
Let The Music Play
The Doobie Brothers
Runtime: 1 hr 40 min"Let The Music Play" is the authorized story of The Doobie Brothers from their beginnings as a biker band in California in 1970, through their breakthrough with "Listen To The Music" in 1972, sustained success and line-up changes in the mid-seventies and their change of musical direction and further success following the arrival of Michael McDonald in 1976. Worn out by non-stop touring and internal disagreements the band broke up after a "farewell" concert in 1982. There were sporadic reunions in the eighties before the band reformed permanently in the early nineties and have continued touring and recording ever since. This new film features contributions from all the surviving key band members, their manager Bruce Cohn and long term producer Ted Templeman to tell the full story of the band's highs and lows through four decades of musical evolution.
Skin it Back
Runtime: 1 hr 12 minFilmed at the Grugahalle in Essen in 1977, just a few days before the recording of their legendary live album "Waiting For Columbus", this concert captures the classic seventies Little Feat line-up led by the late Lowell George at the very peak of their powers.
In Concert: Live at the BBC Radio Theatre
Runtime: 1 hr 16 minSir Van Morrison takes to the stage at The BBC Radio Theatre for an intimate In Concert performance. Belfast born ‘Van the man’ is among popular music's true innovators and arguably one of the most influential vocalists in the history of rock and roll. The Grammy winning Celtic soul troubadour has been fusing R&B, jazz, blues, and Celtic folk throughout his musical career and in this special, he performs a selection of tracks, old and new from his revered back catalogue of work to his new album ‘Keep Me Singing’.
Live at Great Woods
The Allman Brothers Band
Runtime: 1 hr 31 minRecorded in September of 1991, originally for Japanese TV, The Allman Brothers Band’s beloved Live At Great Woods showcases the classic American rock band reaching a new generation of audiences. Original band members Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe were joined by new guitarist Warren Haynes, bassist Allen Woody and percussionist Marc Quiñones in one of the most powerful lineups in the group’s history. This set – recorded before a crowd of nearly 20,000 adoring fans at the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts in Massachusetts – features a top-notch set of fan favorites, with a fiery acoustic mini-set included for good measure. This release of Live At Great Woods fills a crucial gap in The Allman Brothers Band’s videography: after years of demand, fans can experience the original longform video version of this concert (previously only available on VHS and LaserDisc), with no interruption of the main feature. Finally, fans have nothing standing between them and the top-notch performances of this set.
Beneath this Gruff Exterior
Runtime: 54 minInventive performer and poignant songwriter John Hiatt captures the attention of fans and critics alike. In this Soundstage performance, which features Dar Williams and Robinella and the CCstringband, Hiatt performs "My Baby Blue" from his most recent album Beneath This Gruff Exterior. He also showcases timeless pieces like "The Thing Called Love" and "Memphis in the Meantime." Folk-rocker Dar Williams takes the stage to perform "I Saw a Bird Fly Away," a piece which encapsulates Williams' ability to combine sensitivity with not only pathos, but also a sharp wit. East Tennessee natives Robinella and the CCstringband close out the show with new songs including "Honey Honey Bee" and "Man Over." Both songs are a testament to the acclaim that this jazz-bluegrass-swing band has earned from not just critics, but fans and peers alike.
I’ll Do Anything: Live in Concert
Runtime: 1 hr 45 minJackson Browne's I'll do Anything Live In Concert features over 90 minutes of music from Jackson's entire body of work. Recorded during his 2012 Tour at the Paramount Theatre in Denver, CO, the release also features Sara Watkins, Sean Watkins, Tyler Chester, Fritz Lewak, and Val McCallum.
Runtime: 1 hr 19 minThis film is the most intimate look at JJ Cale ever. Recorded in 1979 at the Paradise Studios in Los Angeles this rare and unique session with Leon Russell on keyboards, has never been seen before and gives fans the chance to see this unique talent at work in the studio.
Planes, Trains & Eric
Runtime: 2 hr 25 minPlanes, Trains and Eric follows Eric Clapton and his band on the Far and Middle Eastern leg of his 2014 World Tour. The film features 13 full-length performances blended with interviews with Eric Clapton and the band members, rehearsal and soundcheck footage, travel by trains and planes, presentations and “fly on the wall” filming of all the many aspects of being on the road with Eric Clapton.
The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: A Celebration of Mac & His Music
Runtime: 1 hr 41 minOn Saturday, May 3, 2014, esteemed musicians and friends joined together for “The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: A Celebration of Mac & His Music”, a special concert event taping honoring this musical icon in his hometown of New Orleans. Taking place at the historic Saenger Theatre in the French Quarter, the concert paid homage to Dr. John’s illustrious songbook and featured once-in-a-lifetime collaborations from a lineup of prestigious and award-winning artists. Produced by Blackbird Presents blackbirdpresents.com
Classic Albums: The Band
Runtime: 59 minComprised of Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson, The Band's self-titled sophomore effort spent 24 weeks in the Billboard Top 40. The album was released at a time when the US album charts were taken over by the psychedelic rock movement, and despite this, the album had the aforementioned chart success and would go on to sell over one million copies. This edition of the "Classic Albums" series focuses on The Band's follow-up to "MUSIC FROM BIG PINK". Featuring classics such as "Up On Cripple Creek", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and "Rag Mama Rag", the story of the album is told through interviews with surviving members of The Band, fellow musicians Eric Clapton, Don Was, and George Harrison, and vintage footage. The Band is a classic album!
I'm No Angel: Live On Stage
Runtime: 52 minGregg Allman came to prominence with his brother Duane as The Allman Brothers Band in the early 1970s. As lead singer and keyboard player, Gregg was a vital part of the band's huge success. "I'm No Angel" features a full length concert from Gregg Allman and his solo band in Nashville in November 1988. Among the songs featured are Billboard chart hit single "I'm No Angel" and a version of Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues." Gregg Allman continues to record and play live, both solo and as part of The ABB, who were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1995 and were given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Runtime: 2 hr 33 minCrosby, Stills, & Nash join forces for their first live performance video in over 2 decades! Filmed during their 2012 tour, CSN 2012 includes many of the trio's classic hits, some new and unreleased songs, and a rare performance of "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes."