Leon Russell and the Shelter People during their whirlwind European tour of 1971. This stopover was in Stockholm and recorded by the venerable Sveriges Radio on November 26th of that year.
Even before his milestone solo career and the Mad Dogs & Englishmen phase, Leon Russell was a very much in demand musician, whose work was heard on hundreds of sessions throughout the 1960s. This was a new phase; the singer-songwriter with his own vision, putting together one of the tightest bands of the late 60s and releasing hit record after hit record and going from an anonymous keyboard player to household name.
And 1971 was proving no different – a lot of familiar tunes in this concert; songs which became a staple in the diet of just about every Rock station in the country, if not the world, at the time.
This concert comes before his mega multi-country tour of 1972 and is most likely a warmup. This one features the band which also played on his Leon Russell And The Shelter People release of earlier that year featuring Carl Radle on bass, Don Preston on guitar.
There was a lot going on in Russell’s career in 1971. Working with Bob Dylan and producing Watching The River Flow, which also featured Russell on piano – sitting in on Badfinger’s Straight Up album, participating in the Concert For Bangladesh.
So there’s a lot of energy coming into this concert and it moves quickly. For those of you not familiar with this watershed period in Leon Russell’s career, check this one out. Much of what he recorded in concert wound up being issued officially via his label Shelter, but this one has escaped. Possibly because other concerts from around this period were issued, this additional one would have been overkill. Still, it’s a great concert with one of America’s greatest musicians during a particularly busy and fruitful time.