Wednesday, October 18, 2017

LEON RUSSELL-ON A DISTANT SHORE



I have a fascination with the final albums of great artists-for example, Warren Zevon’s The Wind, Johnny Cash’s Ain’t No Grave, Bowie’s Blackstar and Leonard Cohen’s You Want it Darker. Something about the strength of the songwriting (if not the performance) when the artist knows time is short is compelling to me.

On the growing list of farewell albums by dying rockers, Leon Russell's contribution – recorded months before his November 2016 passing – may be the most unflinching yet.

Russell seemed to know he was on borrowed time when writing the album that would prove to be his last ("Sounds like a funeral for some person here/And I might be the one").

Paradoxically, though, the soul-rock icon hasn't sounded so alive in years as he poignantly circles his musical bases one last time.

Thankfully, Russell’s career had recently been resurrected by his 2010 collaboration with Elton John, which gave him exposure in his final years.

Most fans should find this disc to be a necessary addition to their collection.