An all-star tribute to the iconic musician, songwriter and producer Leon Russell, ‘A Song For Leon‘ will be released on 8th September 2023 on Primary Wave Music via Secretly Distribution. You can watch the video for the first track to be released from it below, Margo Price’s spirited take on ‘Strangers In A Strange Land.’
Elsewhere on the project, Orville Peck croons a mischievous rendition of ‘This Masquerade’, Nathaniel Rateliff brings his expansive voice to a raucous version of ‘Tight Rope’, Leon’s daughter, Tina Rose, alongside Jason Hill and Amy Nelson (daughter of Willie) add family bonds and ties of blood with ‘Laying Right Here in Heaven’, Pixies rip through ‘Crystal Closet Queen’ and U.S. Girls and Bootsy Collins combine formidable forces for their cover of ‘Superstar’.
Margo Price says: “I’ve always loved Leon Russell’s vibe and approach to music and life in general. I completely fell in love with him after watching the documentary by Les Blank called ‘A Poem Is A Naked Person’. I had the pleasure of briefly meeting him at a show many years ago in the hallway. I always remember what he said during the live interview that day, which was that ‘It was his job to misinform the press.’ He was an old man at the time, but I’ll never forget how mischievous he seemed.
“This song is so prolific. After my band and I cut it, we decided to perform it live at many shows. The monologue in the middle is my favorite. It still seems absolutely pertinent, and its subject still matters today. He’s talking about the afterlife and equality and goes off about starting a new race where we all just learn to love each other. We can all learn a thing of two from Leon Russell.”
Known as “The Master of Space and Time,” Leon Russell, born Claude Russell Bridges, is widely credited with transcending both. Across his storied 50-year career, Leon appeared on over 400 recordings including as a solo artist, prolific songwriter, producer, and key member of the legendary “Wrecking Crew” players, lending his production and musical talents to albums by everyone from the Beach Boys to Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan, Elton John to Bob Marley. ‘A Song For You’ alone has since been covered by over 40 artists, among them Ray Charles, Donny Hathaway, Willie Nelson, and The Temptations and now, on ‘A Song For Leon’, by the young singer-songwriter Monica Martin. Inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame in 2011, Leon’s impact looms large beyond his passing in 2016. In March of this year, a definitive biography by Bill Janovitz was released entitled Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History. You can read AUK’s review of that here.
A Song For Leon Tracklist:
Margo Price – “Strangers in a Strange Land”
Durand Jones & The Indications – “Out in the Woods”
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats – “Tight Rope”
Orville Peck – “This Masquerade”
U.S. Girls with Bootsy Collins – “Superstar”
Pixies -” Crystal Closet Queen”
Monica Martin – “A Song for You”
Bret McKenzie with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band – “Back to the Island”
Tina Rose, Amy Nelson, Jason Hill – “Laying Right Here in Heaven”
Hiss Golden Messenger – “Prince of Peace”