Leon Redbone – On The Track
This album is a straight-up Americana clinic. Every single song is flawlessly executed, flawlessly performed, flawlessly produced. This album is an homage to greatness, and an act of greatness that requires we pay it homage.
That this album is a DEBUT … is astonishing.
Is it true that Leon Redbone is also a man named Dickran Gobalian? I don’t know, and I don’t care.
It IS true that Bob Dylan’s namecheck got him a Rolling Stone feature and a record contract. But none of this explains how fully formed Leon Redbone was upon arrival.
Jazz, Blues, Ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, The Great American Songbook, Standards, Dance Tunes, Novelty Pieces, Reels, Stomps, Ballads, Laments … what ISN’T in this man’s repertoire?
Jimmy Rogers, Irving Berlin, Lonnie Johnson, Fats Waller … it’s all here. As is the fingerpicking, the crooning, the humming, the buzzing, the yodeling … as are the tubas, the violins, the banjos, the castanets …
The album is an American roots music tour de force. It’s indescribable. It’s an 11-song walk through the history of everything that’s great about songs. Period.
Recommended track to start with: My Walking Stick.
Because it’s style incarnate. Listen, and be transported. Both literally, and figuratively.