Leon Bridges' first strides as a retro-soul artist prompted comparisons to R&B legends like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. A singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Bridges performed in and around Fort Worth, Texas and stirred up music industry interest with analog recordings, produced by Justin Block and Austin Jenkins of White Denim, which were uploaded to his SoundCloud page. Signed to major-label Columbia, his first singles – including a rich ballad written about his mother – appeared in February 2015 with a sound that evoked mid- to late-'60s soul. The following month, Bridges caught more attention with a performance at the South by Southwest Festival, roughly 200 miles south of his home base. His debut album, Coming Home, was released in June 2015.
The Apple Music Festival is the new name for iTunes Festival and will take place over ten nights from 19-28 September. It’s a chance for fans to see big names in a smaller venue than they would normally play. While The Weeknd, The Chemical Brothers, and Take That will perform their own headlining sets, Leon Bridges will perform with Pharrell, while James Bay will open for Florence + The Machine.
The ultimate rock & roll session man, Leon Russell's long and storied career includes collaborations with a virtual who's who of music icons spanning from Jerry Lee Lewis to Phil Spector to the Rolling Stones. A similar eclecticism and scope also surfaced in his solo work, which couched his charmingly gravelly voice in a rustic yet rich swamp pop fusion of country, blues, and gospel. Born Claude Russell Bridges on April 2, 1942, in Lawton, OK, he began studying classical piano at age three, a decade later adopting the trumpet and forming his first band. At 14, Russell lied about his age to land a gig at a Tulsa nightclub, playing behind Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks before touring in support of Jerry Lee Lewis.
Retrospective is an 18-track collection that features the bulk of Leon Russell's greatest hits ("Tight Rope," "Roll in My Sweet Baby's Arms," "Lady Blue," "Back to the Island"), plus many key album tracks. Since Russell was primarily an album artist, this approach doesn't necessarily do him justice, but for listeners who only want the hits, this will do.
Leon Russell never quite hit all the right notes the way he did on his eponymous debut. He never again seemed as convincing in his grasp of Americana music and themes, never again seemed as individual, and never again did his limited, slurred bluesy voice seem as ingratiating…