Sunday, November 10, 2013
Leon Russell @ The Deerfoot Inn 11 09 13
Calgary Alberta Canada
11 09 13
The Saturday Morning
"Nobody-Asked-Me-To, But-Here-I-Go-Anyway" Concert Review:
Leon Russell was there when classic rock was taking its enduring place in music history - and his piano and songs are so much a part of that era a listener now could be forgiven for thinking Russell was just covering some of those songs last night. When you realize (Google him if you aren't familiar) he played on so many of those records, and wrote many of the songs - well, for me I just get the chills.
Hearing his unmistakeable vocal and piano styles on monster hits like Ray Charles "Georgia", The Rolling Stones "Wild Horses", and his own "Delta Lady" (made famous by Joe Cocker) was like being transported back in time to the era. He sounds and plays as great as he did over 40 years ago - just another perk of the evening!
Never mind the other rock classics he ground out - songs that have never gone out of favour from The Beatles, Little Richard, and the percolating "Roll Over Beethoven" that he came back for in his encore - a work-out-and-a-half for him and his crackerjack band...
Of course, there were his own amazing songs as well, and only so many that a guy can perform in 90 minutes - including a fantastic solo set that included "A Song For You"".
Russell is also a compelling storyteller between songs, getting a little misty-eyed looking back on his career - one song he wrote for a female friend who passed unexpectedly recently, and a story about blues great BB King wanting to record on of his songs - hard to imagine when you look back over the list of artists he has been associated with for over 45 years...
Who knows? Maybe Justin Bieber or Miley Cyrus will also have adoring fans misting up hearing their "hits" 50 years from now.
Not having achieved a fraction of what Mr. Russell has contributed to popular music for decades, I wouldn't hold my breath on that...
There's certainly some songs I wished would have been included last night, but when he kicked into "Tight Rope" - just to single out one highlight, who can really complain? The audience got their money's worth and more.
We had opted to stay overnight for this show. Going up to our room after we checked in, who should enter the elevator along with us? Mr. Russell and a couple of his band members. Man...
I have to say, we have seen some great acts here in The Inn's Chrome Showroom. As a matter of fact, I got my freelance reviewer gig at The Calgary Herald thanks to one of these unofficial blog reviews going viral several years back.
When Billy Bob Thornton went a little angry during an appearance on CBC some time ago, my review of his show here became the number one Google search result for about a week.
That's why I keep doing them...
You can learn a lot about Leon Russell from the Wikipedia page that comes up, but visit his own
music site for the official goods!