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Leon Russell @ Boulder Roots & Blues Summit

Leon Russell is a music legend and perhaps the most accomplished and versatile musician in the history of rock 'n roll. In his distinguished and unique 50 year career, he has played on, arranged, written and/or produced some of the best records in popular music.

Leon has played on pop, rock, blues, country, bluegrass, standards, gospel, and surf records. As a session musician, arranger, producer, singer, songwriter, pianist, guitarist, record company owner, bandleader, and touring musician, he has collaborated with hundreds of artists, including Glen Campbell, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson, Edgar Winter, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, J.J. Cale, David Gates, Bruce Hornsby, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Bobby "Boris" Pickett, B.B. King, Freddie King, Bill Wyman, Steve Cropper, Carl Radle, Chuck Blackwell, Don Preston, Jesse Ed Davis, Rita Coolidge, Gram Parsons, Barbra Streisand, Ike & Tina Turner, Ricky Nelson, Herb Alpert, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Ann-Margret, Dean Martin, Marvin Gaye, Dave Mason, Steve Winwood, and groups such as Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, The Monkees, The Astronauts, The Accents, The Fencemen, The Ventures, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Jan & Dean, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, Paul Revere & The Raiders, The Rolling Stones, The Ronettes, The Crystals, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Everly Brothers, The Righteous Brothers, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Tractors and on and on and on.

Born in southwest Oklahoma in 1942, Leon began piano lessons at age 4. He was playing in Tulsa nightclubs at the age of 14. After graduating from high school, Leon's band, The Starlighters, went on the road with Jerry Lee Lewis. Leon left Tulsa at the age of 17 for Los Angeles where he began playing in the L.A. clubs and eventually became one of the best session musicians in Hollywood. He worked with the best Hollywood producers and top musicians in the business. Leon became part of an elite group of studio musicians called the Wrecking Crew and played on hundreds of hit records in the 1960's. He was part of studio groups such as The Routers and The Super Stocks. The Routers recorded the huge hit "Let's Go" and The Super Stocks recorded surf and hot rod tunes. In 1964, Leon was a member of the the house band on the Shindig! show on ABC television which showcased the top pop acts. Leon built a recording studio in his home in 1967 where he and Marc Benno recorded songs which were released on two critically acclaimed records as the 'Asylum Choir'.

Leon co-produced, arranged, and played piano, organ, and guitar on Joe Cocker's second album, 'Joe Cocker!' in 1969. He also recorded and toured with 'Delaney & Bonnie & Friends'.

Leon founded Shelter Records with partner Denny Cordell and released Leon's first solo album, "Leon Russell" in May, 1970. It included Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr, Rolling Stones Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts, Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and Klaus Voorman. The album contained classic Leon songs, 'A Song For You', along with 'Hummingbird', and 'Delta Lady'.

Shelter Records was home for not only Leon but many other artists such as Freddie King, Don Nix, J.J. Cale, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, The Gap Band, Dwight Twilley and Phoebe Snow. Leon played on and produced three Shelter albums for blues guitarist Freddie King.

As a songwriter, Leon's songs have hit the charts across all genres and have been covered by a diverse range of artists. Ray Charles recorded 'A Song For You', B.B. King had a hit with 'Hummingbird', The Carpenters with 'Superstar' and Joe Cocker with 'Delta Lady'. The Carpenter's cover of "Superstar", written by Leon and Bonnie Bramlett, went to #2 on the pop music charts. George Benson won the "Record of the Year" Grammy in 1976 for his cover of Leon's song, "This Masquerade", and it became the first song in music history to hit #1 on the jazz, pop and R&B charts.

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Legendary Soul Singer Bonnie Bramlett Joins Lubriphonic On Stage

A cosmic meet up of musical powers joined forces in Macon, Georgia Wednesday night. Legendary soul singer Bonnie Bramlett (of Delaney & Bonnie, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills), in town to record with Little Richard, stopped by the Cox Capitol Theatre joining the Chicago funk and soul outfit Lubriphonic on stage for a scorching version of “Whatever You Do Don’t Stop.” Bonnie offered her trademark vocal howls and scat singing while encouraging the Lube horn and rhythm section to take it higher.

Lubriphonic’s weekend of sit-ins continues with two shows at the Bear Creek Music Festival in Northern Florida where confirmed guests for their Friday night set include JB Horn alums Fred Wesley and Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis along with funk sax master Sam Kininger.  The band continues its Fall Tour throughout the Southeast in support of their new CD “The Gig Is On”; additionally, to give folks a taster spoon of the new disc, Lubriphonic is currently offering a free download from the new disc: the scorching Curtis Mayfield track “If There’s A Hell Below (We’re All Gonna Go)” here.

Complete Lubriphonic information can be found at www.lubriphonic.com.

Check out some previous Lubriphonic coverage on The Grateful Web.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's BEWARE Streets 3/17/09

Bonnie

Breaking through the dirt and shooting upward into our atmosphere is a new variety of exotic Bonnie 'Prince' Billy plant. Stronger. Stinkier. It blooms in low light and cold but thrives in the sun as well, showing enticing spots and eating small creatures as they wander into its jaws. They had it coming, they were weak…and you're next! Beware.   
 
Though Beware shares spit with its immediate predecessor released this past summer, Lie Down in the Light, it's reach is longer and stronger, more grandiose. Where fiddle and steel contribute their rustic timbre alongside guitars and voices, a thickening thud of low tone rolls beneath, giving the record a bottom that's fun to watch bounce in new clothes. This indensifies the air and heralds Beware as Bonny's biggest, most ambitious record to date – yea, bigger and more ambitious than even The Letting Go! A listen or two through and you too may conclude that this could also be the great Bonnie 'Prince' Billy contempo-country record – though, as always, the 'Prince' goes his own special way, even when climbing the charts with brawny arms and classic titles like "I Don't Belong to Anyone," "You Can't Hurt Me Now," and "I Am Goodbye."
 
Though the title (and catalog number - DC666!) portends horror, Beware is a much more measured exploration of the soul's frailty and the sorry state of human relationships than your typical, everyday, bleaked-out, all-and-nothing roots rock platter. Song titles suggest half of a heated dialogue, perhaps just one side of a super-apocalypto phone call. Yet, there's humor here as well, some of it too cute to call black. Lyrically, domestic ripostes are mixed with I-thou asides, statements of lusty selfhood and subtlety in between the lines, examining culpability and the need for release and rebellion, if you must know. Basically, if you haven't learned already, love goes down mazy, anfractuous paths, on some days giving rise to irritations (both spiritual and physical) and the difficult consideration of an alternative fate. Sometimes all you want to do is f**k. Then there's the times of fun, laughter and learning, and the sudden appreciation of your partner, your only friend. And with all these things in hand, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy says Beware.

Joining Bonny deep in the mix of Beware, the roll-call of top players include the band (Josh Abrams, Jennifer Hutt, Emmett Kelly and Michael Zerang) and special guests (Dee Alexander, Leroy Bach, Jim Becker, Robert Cruz, DV DeVincentis, Jon Langford, Greg Leisez, Rob Mazurek, Nicole Mitchell and Azita Youseffi)!

Beware will be released on Drag City on March 17, 2009. Bonny does not tour in support of records, however he will tour simultaneous with the record release, even in major markets. Beware!
 
Beware Tracklisting:
 1. Beware Your Only Friend
 2. You Can't Hurt Me Now
 3. My Life's Work
 4. Death Final
 5. Heart's Arms
 6. You Don't Love Me
 7. You Are Lost
 8. I Won't Ask Again
 9. I Don't Belong to Anyone
10. There Is Something I Have To Say
11. I Am Goodbye
12. Without Work, You Have Nothing
13. Untitled