Many of you have asked how young Ray Goren and Leon met. In a recent interview in Guitar World, Ray talks about Leon: Guitar World: How did that relationship (with Leon Russell) happen? Ray: Leon played a lot at the Coach House [in San Juan Capistrano, California] which is right around where I live. The owner of the Coach House knows me, and so when Leon was in town he brought me down and I played a song. I was, like, 10 or 11 at the time. And it was funny—after I played, Leon didn’t even say anything to me . He kinda just left. And I remember I called my dad and I said, “He hated me!” And then my dad got a call the next day from the owner and he said, “Man, Leon cannot stop talking about your son!” Leon actually sent me a guitar. And then I got his contact information and we just kind of spoke a lot and developed a relationship. We did a bunch of songs together that haven’t been released, but that whole process really taught me a lot. Not a lot—it taught me all I know. Leon taught me how to write music. Guitar World: What was the primary thing he taught you about songwriting? Ray: Lyrics. He’s one of the best lyricists of all time. I mean, look at his songs. “A Song for You.” “Hummingbird.” “Delta Lady.” He’s got classic songs. And he told me that when he writes, he tries to write classics. He said, “I was writing with the intent of my songs lasting 80 years.” And he did that. His songs are some of the most covered songs in the history of music. Guitar World: Leon co-wrote your new album Me’s closing track, “Fallen Angel.” Ray: Yeah. Leon wrote most of the words, so I can’t really give you an in-depth comment on the lyrics. But I came up with the chords and the melody and Leon wrote some words to that, and then I tweaked it. We recorded it in Nashville and it was really a great experience. Here is that song:
Many of you have asked, so here's that song that Ray Goren wrote remembering Leon. He said "This song means a lot to me because lyrically, melodically and emotionally, I wrote it while coping with the death of my mentor, Leon Russell" It is from Ray's latest album. Stream on Spotify >> http://bit.ly/wigsptfy Apple Music >> http://bit.ly/rgmeam
Here's Leon and Ray Goren working on some of the songs they co-wrote. Leon started teaching Ray the fundamentals of songwriting when Ray was only 11 years old. You all know that Leon loved to promote young talent -- as he did with Freddie King. Leon taught Ray so much about songwriting that when Ray got stuck, he would just call Leon for help with a word or a phrase. This shot was taken while Ray was visiting Leon in Nashville over the 2015 Christmas holidays. While you can hear Ray playing guitar on Leon's album (Black & Blue track), they were also working on songs which they recorded together where Ray carried the vocals. One of those songs is on Ray's first full length album "Me" - released just one week after Leon's On A Distant Shore.
Nice review here on Leon's latest album. Worth reading the whole thing I thought! Plus a link to a song from the album. Leon Russell is gone, but his music lives on. His last release, On a Distant Shore, is a love letter from beyond the grave, a final fond farewell to loyal fans ......http://nodepression.com/album-review/leon-russells-glorious-farewell?mc_cid=1d62a0d65a&mc_eid=896645e9b1
It might surprise you to know that Leon's album is being promoted on Jazz radio, a genre not usually associated with Leon. It's doing very well. In fact Leon's album hit the Billboard charts this week: #12 on Americana/Folk; #38 on the Rock chart; #23 on the Independent chart. Sending out a big thanks to everyone who has supported this by buying Leon's album - YOU made it happen! So far the favorites seem to be a couple of Leon's previously recorded songs, This Masquerade and A Song For You - but also Love This Way and the reworked song, Black and Blue. I'm sure Leon is happy to know the young man he mentored, Ray Goren, is getting an introduction into a new group of listeners thanks to his searing guitar solo on this track of Leon's. Take a listen!
While you are enjoying your On A Distant Shore album, we thought you might like to see a few of the people involved in helping Leon create his beautiful music. Folks in this photo are just a few of those listed in the album credits and when this photo was taken the album had not yet officially been started. However, one of the tracks that came out of this session - Black & Blue - did make it to the final cut. Left to right: Mark Lambert, Guitar, background vocals and co-producer of the album; Mike Brignardello, Bass; Leon -- well besides writing, producing,and vocals he did the keyboards and some bass; Gregg Morrow, Drums and percussion; Ray Goren, featured on guitar on Black & Blue; and Chris Leuzinger, Guitar. There are many other people who were part of the production - read all about them on the backside of the album.
10 New Albums to Stream Now: Rolling Stone Editors' Picks Leon Russell's farewell, Kevin Gates' latest dispatch from the edge, the Killers' champagne dreams and more albums to stream this week http://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/best-albums-to-stream-now-leon-russell-midland-and-more-w504843
Releasing Friday - Sept 22. http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2017/09/19/550721227/10-months-gone-leon-russell-is-still-easy-to-love
https://apnews.com/896bd67fbdea43d5bc4a768def1cd254 Great review from AP today . . . small snippet here but you will want to read the whole thing! . . .According to his wife, Russell considered his last set of recordings his favorite. “On a Distant Shore” has similar feelings of finality as last year’s Leonard Cohen farewell, “You Want It Darker.” “Sounds like a funeral for some person here,” Russell sings on the title track in his trademark trill. “And I might be the one.” Meanwhile, his daughters, Sugaree Noel Bridges and Coco Bridges, add some “dip do waddy waddy” backing vocals and the instrumental track validates the lyrics — “I hear the sound of violins /Is this how the story ends?/And I’m lost on a distant shore.”
Leon re-recorded A Song For You for his final album - On A Distant Shore which comes out Sept 22nd. This version is beautifully orchestrated - At the same time Leon was writing songs for this album he was asked to play at his friend Tommy LiPuma’s birthday celebration. Ruff recordings of This Masquerade, A Song for You, and Hummingbird were initially made for the band to learn Leon’s current version. As the arrangements came together, it was decided they fit well with the new songs so they finished production on them and included them on the album.
The LIMITED Deluxe edition of On a Distant Shore arrives 10 months after Leon’s passing. His final album offers up a stunning batch of original material — including updated versions of three hits from his older catalog — all influenced by the timeless sounds of the Great American Songbook. These aren't cover songs. Instead, they're Leon's own version of pop and jazz standards, filled with sweeping strings, grand piano, pedal steel, horns, and a voice that retained its powerful, poignant punch until the very end. 16 songs and a beautifully illustrated lyric booklet. It releases on Sept 22. Pre-order yours at Leon's website now.
Did you see this article about the On A Distant Shore album which is being released on Sept 22. Here's a note about the 3 previously recorded songs on the album: At the same time Leon was writing songs for this album (On A Distant Shore) he was asked to play at his friend Tommy LiPuma’s birthday celebration. Ruff recordings of This Masquerade, A Song for You, and Hummingbird were initially made for the band to learn Leon’s version. As the arrangements came together, it was decided they fit well with the new songs so they finished production on them and included them on the album. Don't forget to go out to the website and pre-order your copy of the Deluxe which has 4 extra songs and the lyric booklet. Aug 10: Paste (A Song For You) https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2017/08/leon-russell-final-studio-album.html
Here are some notes from the On A Distant Shore Deluxe Limited Edition - you can pre-order at Leon's website - and a video where he talks about songwriting. It explains a little bit about why he took this album in the direction that it goes . . . .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVlmPEtNyMg
Here are the lyrics from the title song on Leon's last album: On A Distant Shore - remember the Deluxe version is a limited edition so make sure you go to Leon Russell Records and get your Deluxe on order now for Sept 22 delivery. On a Distant Shore My poor heart sounds like a drum On a mountain far away I’m waiting here for my time to come Can I keep the wolves at bay These feelings are so dangerous Like the fires of hell and more No answers can be found Bad news is at the door I’m reaching out and nothing’s there Just an empty bag of air I feel a sadness everywhere Such a sad affair Life doesn’t matter anymore Bad news is knocking on my door And I’m lost on a distant shore Dip do waddy waddy… The tears are falling faster now I’m feeling so undone Sounds like a funeral for some person here And I might be the one And bad news is knocking at my door Life doesn’t matter anymore I know you’ve heard it all before I hear the sound of violins Is this how the story ends And I’m lost on a distant shore Leon Russell - Young Carney Music ASCAP ©2016
In case you missed it - a song from Leon's last album - coming out Sept 22 in two versions 12 song standard and 16 song Deluxe (with lyrics booklet): http://www.rollingstone.com/country/premieres/leon-russells-love-this-way-hear-song-from-final-album-w496986
You can now PRE-ORDER your Deluxe Edition of Leon's last album, On A Distant Shore. This is a limited edition so if you want to purchase one, you probably want to order it now - www.leonrussellrecords.com It's Leon's final album, offering up a stunning batch of original material — including updated versions of three hits from his older catalog — all influenced by the timeless sounds of the Great American Songbook. These aren't cover songs. Instead, they're Leon's own version of pop and jazz standards, filled with sweeping strings, grand piano, pedal steel, horns, and a voice that retained its powerful, poignant punch until the very end. 16 songs and a beautifully illustrated lyric booklet. Here's what Jan Bridges had to say about this album . . . "All of his dreams happened – they came true. And this record was his last dream. He just loved it. He felt like everything clicked into place. He said it was his favorite album he ever made.”
On Sept 22nd On A Distant Shore will be released in two versions: a 12 song Standard and a 16 song Deluxe edition which includes a beautifully illustrated lyric booklet. The standard version is available to pre-order on Amazon & iTunes, but to preorder the Deluxe Edition you will want to go to Leon Russell Records. The Deluxe version is a LIMITED EDITION and pre-orders have been flowing in from all over the world. We recommend not waiting to order if this is the version you want to own. FYI - the gorgeous portrait of Leon on the cover was painted by Leon's daughter, Coco Bridges. Leon Russell turned 74 years old in 2016. At the time, he'd already logged more than half a century onstage, weaving a legendary path through the worlds of rock & roll, soul, country, blues and classic pop music. He was still active in the recording studio, too, where he spent much of the year working on a new album, On a Distant Shore, during breaks in his busy touring schedule. Scheduled to be released in September 2017, On a Distant Shore arrives 10 months after Russell's passing. It's his final album, offering up a stunning batch of original material — including updated versions of three hits from his older catalog — all influenced by the timeless sounds of the Great American Songbook. These aren't cover songs. Instead, they're Russell's own version of pop and jazz standards, filled with sweeping strings, upright piano, pedal steel, horns, and a voice that retained its powerful, poignant punch until the very end. "He said it was his favorite album he ever made," says Leon's wife, Jan Bridges. "He just loved it. He felt like everything clicked into place." Russell passed away not long after wrapping up the album's creation. In his wake, he left behind a catalog of music that defined multiple genres throughout multiple decades. It's hard to avoid the bittersweet reality that On a Distant Shore — the sound of a rock & roll legend maintaining his punchy poise during his twilight years — is Russell's swan song. At the same time, it's a wonderful close to a wonderful career. He's rarely sounded better. He's rarely created stronger music. And for a man who wanted to create legacy, he's rarely written songs so memorable and timeless. "All of his dreams happened," says Jan. "They came true. And this record was his last dream."