Waiting for Leon Russell

It’s been a while since my last post so…Happy New Year! Hope you had a great holiday season. Much happen in the past few months?

Glad to report that the Hoboken Music Festival was great! Really enjoyed sharing the stage with Swingadelic and Spyro Gyra ! The sun was shining and we were all in great spirits. Of course we were all thinking of Leon Russell who had to cancel for health reasons.

After the high of the performance we were so sad to learn of the passing of Leon Russell on November 13, 2016. For the AIs, most of last year had been filled with the thoughts that we were going to get perform on the same stage, and hopefully get a few words with Mr. Russell. As last year would be marked with the loss of so many great artists, sadly, Leon Russell would join that significant group.

Surprisingly, at Christmas, I got to meet Leon Russell’s long time friend and collaborator Don Nix. Don had originally played with The Mar-Keys who back in the 50s had recorded the instrumental hit, “Last Night.” Don also worked with many luminaries including George Harrison, Joe Cocker, Duck Dunn and Steve Cropper. I sat with Don at a dinner table in Memphis and he shared stories of those he know and who now are gone. Leon. George. Joe. Duck. It was personal and wonderful and to me it seemed a bit of a closing for all the anticipation we had for most of 2016 – waiting for Leon Russell.

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