The singular Leon Russell, who died today at age 74, impacted musicians from various generations and genres. The Oklahoma native was a famed session musician, bandleader, and hit songwriter before becoming a solo star in the 1970s. Russell enjoyed a late career comeback when he collaborated with Elton John on the 2010 album “The Union.” The following year, Russell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.” Damon Fowler, while living in a historic cottage in Bradenton Beach, released his 2011 album “Devil Got His Way,” which features mostly originals as well as a cover of Russell’s classic hit “Tight Rope.”
“Devil Got His Way” reached No. 13 on Billboard’s Blues Albums chart and while Fowler is best known as a blues musician, like Russell, he enjoys working in various styles; dividing his time between leading a namesake power trio, playing in blues supergroup Southern Hospitality and serving as co-lead guitarist and singer in co-founding Allman Brother Butch Trucks’ Freight Train Band. “I love Leon Russell,” Fowler says from his home in Lakeland, just a few days before returning to the road with Trucks. “There was just something about his mix between country and gospel and honky tonk, he had a really good recipe for all that stuff, soul and blues, he really put it together seamlessly.” Fowler, a Brandon native, became a fan of Russell at a young age. “My mom was a big Leon Russell fan so that was how I got into him,” the 37-year-old Fowler says. “She was very happy when I got to open for him about 10 years ago at club in Ybor City.”
“His band was good, he sang good, he had both his daughters in his band, it was a great show,” Fowler recalls. Read Entire Article!