The week in music was bookended by the deaths of two uniquely talented and somewhat underrated artists, with Leonard Cohen, 82, passing on Monday, and Leon Russell, 74, leaving us on Sunday. Plenty of eloquent words have been written about Cohen during the week, and we won’t add to that here.
Born Claude Russell Bridges, Leon Russell sang, wrote and produced some of rock ‘n’ roll’s top records and is known for his performance at George Harrison’s Concert for Bangladesh as well as a stunning resume highlighted by work with Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, Joe Cocker and Elton John.
Leon’s wife, Jan Bridges, released the following statement:
“We thank everyone for their thoughts and prayers during this very, very difficult time. My husband passed in his sleep in our Nashville home. He was recovering from heart surgery in July and looked forward to getting back on the road in January. We appreciate everyone’s love and support.”
He and Elton John released “The Union,” a critically received duo album in 2010.
Alexis P. Suter Ministers of Sound debut released
Alexis P. Suter Ministers of Sound’s first album became available Friday, Nov. 11th. AMOS recorded their “Gos-Blues” show for a crowd of passionate Briggs Farm fans at the 2016 Briggs Farm Blues Festival. This is the second album from Briggs Farm Blues Records, following the recording of Jimmy “Duck” Holmes at the 2015 Briggs Farm. Blues Festival. Go to briggsfarm.com for more information.
Bob Dylan mini documentary
To promote “Bob Dylan: The 1966 Live Recordings,” a mini-documentary video has been released, with behind-the-scenes footage from the divisive tour, which included a wildly booed electric set each night. Insightful new interviews with the tour’s sound man, Richard Alderson, are featured. The sprawling 36-CD set was released Nov. 11, but for now, you can still listen to it at NPR First Listen. (h/t Jambase)
GBV album Tobin Sprout shares new single
Stereogum premiered Tobin Sprout’s “Future Boy/Man Of Tomorrow,” the first single from his upcoming album “The Universe & Me” out Feb. 3. on Burger Records. Check out our interview with Sprout in 2014, when he was still with Guided By Voices, here.
Leon Russell photo courtesy Webster PR