Quickie Leon Review

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Quickie Leon Review

Postby papatex » Sat Jul 02, 2005 1:49 pm

Leon Russell is ~not~ by any stretch, a Blues piano player, so I'll
keep this short, as this is a Blues forum. I did however, attend the
best rock show of my old age last night deep in the Texas boonies.
Leon was dead on, I haven't seen much of him in the last couple of
decades, so I don't know much about his reported decline, but I
can tell you with all sincerity the boy played his Okie ass off
last night. Was it way too loud?...absolutely!! The saloon is in
one of those turn-of-the-century red brick commercial buildings
you see in little towns, there was a rowdy though non-violent
crowd of about 250-300, and at 40.00 per ticket I'd say Leon
did o.k. The bar did extremely well also. It was actually a
bit surreal. You have to picture this little downtown district
in a town of 200 or 300 souls, with houses literally within
a stones throw of the club. The owner must have a great relation-
ship with the neighbors, cause a 747 landing could not possibly
have competed with the volume. Ridiculous overkill. His daughter
sang backup and was great (a highlight was "Night & Day"), bass,
guitar, and drums rounded out the band, (all kids in their twenties,
I don't know their kinship with Leon). The little guitarist was
hot as a firecracker. To sum this up, (I promised "short" didn't I?)
Leon forced me to put my rock & roll shoes back on for one night,
and by golly, it was fun! The band got down for a short solo
set (a medley) from Leon, and I could actually hear what he was
doing. The sound from his "Starship Enterprise" rig was not
anything a Bluesman could love, but his chops were....crisply
executed, real soulful even churchy. "Lucky Old Sun", "Hummingbird",
"I'm Singin This Song for You" or (whatever that title is)..then
the band returns for another medley, starting with Jumping Jack
Flash and I don't remember what all. And yes......I hung out at
the bus and got him to sign an lp cover. You know Clapton's
self-titled solo album? The one where there's a big group picture
on the back? Leon put his mark right there at his feet. His
stage presence strikes me as very cool...look's like Cousin "It"
from the Adam's Family, from the front you can't see his hand's
and it's just all this sound and energy emitting from this
weird motionless head (with cheap sunglasses) I can hear all
your thoughts..."What were you smoking?" ;-).....nadda!
I just got bushwhacked by Leon Russell in Malone, TX. now...
Am I banished from this forum? May I return if I repent??
Mike
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RE: Quickie Leon Review

Postby jeffl » Sat Jul 02, 2005 2:14 pm

Good review,PT! And don't worry about genre crossing- I think this forum has matured into a group that often discusses our musical roots, and for many of us older guys, Leon was an episode in our development. I heard Leon 3 years ago, with a small band, and my only negative reaction was to the horn loops triggered from his keyboards. His supporting musicians (at least one son, the drummer I think) were airtight and impressive. Thanks for the report.
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RE: Quickie Leon Review

Postby papatex » Sat Jul 02, 2005 3:00 pm

Thank's, Bubba, I really had a good time. I didn't hear any horn parts so maybe he deleted that. All I really heard coming from
his rig was a cheesy sounding piano and some wierd synthy organ.
If ~I~ were Leon, for the set he presented last night I'd have
a stage piano with a decent organ. But Leon Russell I ain't.
He is a major musical force in spite of his rig...I'm still
buzzin! Good rock is in my humble opinion a genre worth
preserving, and Leon is certainly carrying his load at
present...God Bless em'!!! M.K. One last tidbit- I ran into
the guitar player coming out of the can and tapped his shoulder..
"Do you guys do any high energy stuff?"... got a chuckle out of him.
-guess you had to be there...
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RE: Quickie Leon Review

Postby doc williamson » Sat Jul 02, 2005 6:14 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Jul-02-05 AT 02:17 PM (EST)]Wow Mike, great review! I wish I had been at that show. I am glad he was in fine form. It makes me want to see him again. His voice and the chops were back? What good news plus a paired down band, this is a lot different than when I saw him in past shows. Leon has something like 11 children from 8 women. Both of his daughters sang backing vocals when I last saw him and I had nice talk with one of the daughters (named Sunshine or something like that).

He had a whole bank of modules under his keyboard the last two times I saw him. Glad his sound has cleared up some. I wonder what it would take to get him to use just one good piano module?

Thanks for the review.

http://www.DocWilliamson.com

"I chose to sing the blues." Ray Charles
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