Piano Men, Again
When part-time Peachtree Road resident Elton John was planning The Union, his new duets album with singer-songwriter Leon Russell, he told us: “I’ve always loved Leon, and it is terrible that he’s been almost ignored now. ”
The finished project, going to be out October 19 via Decca Records, is John’s most Southern-rooted album since 2004’s Peachtree Road. Recorded in La with producer T Bone Burnett, the album percolates with blues pianos, gospel choirs, pedal steel, and Hammond B3 organ thanks to legendary Stax player Booker T. Johnson. Old pals Neil Youthful and John Wilson also lend vocals.
Once the piano men first convened within the studio this season, Russell, 60-eight, was around the mend from nuclear physics and John, 60-three, was battling a forty-year-old situation of nerves round his idol. (Russell memorably grown themself right in front row at John’s inaugural U.S. concert tour in 1970 in the Troubadour in L.A.) Within the liner notes, John describes The Union as “one of the very most personal and beautiful tales you’re ever likely to hear in music. Someone returning . . . and claiming his rightful devote American music.”