Remembering Leon Russell

Pianist, singer and songwriter Leon Russell has passed away, according to a message posted on his Facebook page. He was 74 and died in his sleep at his home in Nashville.

Russell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011, and came up in the Tulsa, Oklahoma music scene. He moved to Los Angeles in the late Fifties where he became a much in demand session musician, and started Shelter Records with Denny Cordell. In addition to his own solo work, he’s best known for performing and working with Delaney & Bonnie, and with Joe Cocker, notably on the Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, album and documentary. He was a master songwriter; among his most well known songs are “This Masquerade,” covered by George Benson, and “A Song For You” that covered dozens of times over the years. He also co-wrote one of The Carpenters’ biggest hits, “Superstar,” with Bonnie Bramlett, and played keyboards and arranged “This Diamond Ring” by Gary Lewis & The Playboys.

Rest in peace to “the master of space and time.”

Below, listen to a selection of some of his best songs.


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Neon Indian at Union Transfer, Leon Russell at World Cafe Live at the Queen and Amanda X at Johnny Brenda’s

Neon Indian | Photo by Ben Rayner
Neon Indian | Photo by Ben Rayner

Alan Palomo, better known as Neon Indian, broke out back in 2011 with his 2nd LP, Era Extraña but has now fully solidified himself as one of the premiere chillwave/synthpop artists going with this years critically-acclaimed VEGA INTL. Night School. Paloma will bring these danceable new tracks to Union Transfer tonight with doors opening at 7:30 p.m. For more details on the show or to score tickets head to the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Picks: Honeyblood at MilkBoy, The Philadelphia Jazz Project at World Cafe Live, and Leon Russell at Sellersville Theater

Photo via

British ambient surf-pop babes Honeyblood take the stage at MilkBoy tonight.  Their self-titled album was released a little over a week ago and have been compared to acts like Best Coast, Speedy Ortiz and Savages.  A few days ago, they came out with a music video for their track “Super Rat,” off Honeyblood.  Watch the video below and pick up tickets for their show tonight here. Continue reading →


Tonight’s Concert Pick: Bob Dylan And His Band at the Mann Center

It seems almost redundant to detail the highlights of Bob Dylan’s career. The icon’s legacy has seeped into nearly every corner of popular music, influencing folk, rock, blues, and beyond. In the 47 years between his debut 1962 record Bob Dylan and his latest proper full-length album, 2009’s Together Through Life, he has won 11 Grammys, an Academy Award, and been inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. Awards aside, Dylan has long remained a symbol for multiple generations during times of unrest and change. Opening the show tonight will be Leon Russell, another Rock And Roll Hall of Fame inductee who recently collaborated with Elton John on the Grammy-nominated album The Union and a subsequent tour. Bob Dylan And His band perform with Leon Russell at the Mann Center at 7:30 p.m.; tickets to the all-ages show are $29.50–$82.10.

Also playing: Dntel + The One AM Radio, Geotic at Johnny Brenda’s (9 p.m., 21+, $12); WXPN Welcomes the Philly Weekly Concert Series At The Piazza featuring Simple Minded Budz + Mr. Charlie, Jah Works (6 p.m., all ages, free)


This Saturday: the Southern Shore Music Festival with Leon Russell and Deer Tick

This Saturday June 18th, WXPN Welcomes the Southern Shore Music Festival with Leon Russell, Deer Tick, Justin Townes Earle along with Sharon Little and others. The festival is being held at Carmel Green at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds. Below, check out a video of classic Leon Russell video of him singing “A Song For You,” and download a song from Justin Townes Earle.

The Southern Shore Music Festival is this Saturday, June 18th, with Leon Russell, Deer Tick, Justin Townes Earle, Sharon Little, Joel Plaskett, Jaimoe’s Jasssz Band, and Patty Blee at the Cumberland County Fairgrounds at Noon. Tickets to the all-ages event are $30–$49.50.