Friday, September 17, 2010 • 8pm
LOCATION: Boulder Theater - 2032 14th St
The ultimate rock & roll session man, Leon Russell's long and storied career includes collaborations with a virtual who's who of music icons spanning from Jerry Lee Lewis to Phil Spector to the Rolling Stones. A similar eclecticism and scope also surfaced in his solo work, which couched his charmingly gravelly voice in a rustic yet rich swamp pop fusion of country, blues and gospel. Born Claude Russell Bridges on April 2, 1942, in Lawton, OK, he began studying classical piano at age three, a decade later adopting the trumpet and forming his first band. At 14, Russell lied about his age to land a gig at a Tulsa nightclub, playing behind Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks before touring in support of Jerry Lee Lewis. Two years later, he settled in Los Angeles, studying guitar under the legendary James Burton and appearing on sessions with Dorsey Burnette and Glen Campbell. As a member of Spector's renowned studio group, Russell played on many of the finest pop singles of the 1960s, also arranging classics like Ike & Tina Turner's monumental "River Deep, Mountain High"; other hits bearing his input include the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," Gary Lewis & the Playboys' "This Diamond Ring," and Herb Alpert's "A Taste of Honey."
Leon continues to write songs, record, and thrill audiences on his non-stop tour across the U.S. Leon's son Teddy Jack and daughters Sugaree and Tina Rose have all been in his band and toured with him. His bass player, Jack Wessel, has been in his band for 28 years. Leon's musical style is still resonating with his lifelong fans and is inspiring younger listeners who are discovering his music from either the 'Mad Dogs & Englishmen' or 'Concert For Bangladesh' DVDs.
Current members of Leon's band include: Jackie Wessel, Bass; Chris Simmons, Guitar; Beau Charron, Keyboards,Lap Steel Guitar, and Mandolin; and Brandon Holder, Drums.