Leon Russell's Final Studio Album Due Out in September

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Leon Russell's Final Studio Album Due Out in September

Southern-rock legend Leon Russell took his final bow last fall, but not before turning his storied talents to one last studio album. On a Distant Shore, which Russell spent his 74th and final year writing and recording, arrives Sept. 22 via Palmetto Records. The release will mark 10 months since Russell’s passing.

Russell, an inveterate performer, was still averaging 150 shows a year at the time of his death, after having spent more than half a century onstage and making an indelible impression on the music world. According to Russell himself, On a Distant Shore will make for a worthy career capper. “He said it was his favorite album he ever made,” said Leon’s wife, Jan Bridges. “He just loved it. He felt like everything clicked into place.”

The album is, per a press release, “a collection of new songs influenced by the timeless sounds of the Great American Songbook, with updated, road-tested arrangements of ‘Hummingbird,’ ‘A Song for You’ and ‘This Masquerade.’” “He was so prolific,” says co-producer Mark Lambert, a longtime friend and collaborator of Russell’s. “He was on a roll. There were days when he’d come into the studio and play something he’d written the night before, and he’d have the whole thing mapped out in his head already.”

On a Distant Shore will capture Russell not just as an artist at the height of his powers, but as a human being. “To me, he always remained a mystery to people outside his circle, but this album gave him a chance to show his emotions,” Jan revealed. “In the song ‘Just Leaves and Grass,’ you can hear him let out a real cry. That’s not faked. He was emotional, and he’d get that way at his show, too. On a Distant Shore is a great portrait of him. An accurate portrait.”

Find the On a Distant Shore tracklist and album art below—the album is available for preorder via Leon Russell Records here. You can also revisit our remembrance of Russell here and listen to a 1970 performance of “A Song For You” via the Paste Cloud.

On a Distant Shore Tracklist:
01. On a Distant Shore
02. Love This Way
03. Here without You
04. This Masquerade
05. Black and Blue
06. Just Leaves and Grass
07. On the Waterfront
08. Easy to Love
09. Hummingbird
10. The One I Love Is Wrong
11. Where Do We Go from Here
12. A Song for You

On a Distant Shore Album Art:

Leon Russell On a Distant Shore Art.jpg