Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Leon Russell - 1978 - Americana

Leon Russell 

01. Let's Get Started 4:15
02. Elvis And Marilyn 3:07
03. From Maine To Mexico 3:12
04. When A Man Loves A Woman 3:22
05. It's Only Me 2:22
06. Midnight Lover 4:13
07. Housewife 2:57
08. Ladies Of The Night 3:02
09. Shadow And Me 3:06
10. Jesus On My Side 3:04

Joe Chemay Bass, Vocals
Marty Grebb Guitar, Saxophone, Trumpet
Wornell Jones Vocals
Lee Loughnane Horn Arrangements, Trumpet
Mike Meros Keyboards, Organ, Synthesizer
Brent Nelson Drums
James Pankow Trombone
Walter Parazaider Saxophone, Vocals
Leon Russell Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Vocals
John Woodhead Guitar

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.

1 comment:

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