I grew up in a bubble. I didn’t listen to a lot of what was called “secular” music in my church. Their version of “secular” meant anything that wasn’t in the Christian/Gospel genre. Therefore, until 2 years ago, I hadn’t heard of Leon Russell. (I haven’t heard of a lot of people. 5 years ago, I didn’t know who Quincy Jones was, to the horror of the person I was talking to.) My music culture knowledge is pretty low, but I’ve spent time learning and listening for the past few years out of necessity. I am, after all, in the music industry. 🙂
Anyway, two years ago, I was watching Mad Dogs & Englishmen on Youtube. And I noticed this piano player. I was thoroughly impressed by his incredible piano playing and style. Looking at the comments, I learned that he was Leon Russell. I watched every single one of the videos from Mad Dogs & Englishmen, more intrigued by him than Joe Cocker, (whom I also admire.) Then I found the Homewood Sessions and watched those probably 6 times each. I found his version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” for the Concert for Bangladesh and love it. I show it to all of my music friends, some of whom share my enthusiasm and some who politely listen. All of this should pretty much tell you that I LOVE his music. I don’t have a lot of time to listen as much as I would like, since I have 5 children that I home school, as well as my own music and a house to take care of.
But I’ve been looking for a concert of his close to home ever since I saw that video. Anytime that he has been within 100 miles of me, I find that I can’t go. But in August… In August the family and I were walking in downtown Franklin, TN, and I noticed advertisement on the Franklin Theatre that he was going to be playing there. I went to check on ticket prices and realized that it was almost sold out already, so I grabbed the last two tickets that were seated next to each other. I don’t think it was long after my purchase that the entire show sold out.
So today is the day. I can’t begin to express how thrilled I am to be going. I don’t get that way about most people’s music. I can think of two people that I would get this freaked out about. Ray LaMontagne is one and Leon Russell is the other. I am taking one of my daughters with me. She is equally excited. I’ll take some pictures and post about it. If I have a big goofy grin in all of them, you’ll know why.
Most people know Leon for this song, “A Song For You”:
And leave it to me to have one of his less popular songs to be my favorite. This is “Shootout On the Plantation”: