May have been born Dickran Gobalian, somewhere in Canada, date unknown. Addresses: Home--Bucks County, PA. Record company--Private Music, 9014 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90069.

When Leon Redbone burst on the scene in the early 1970s, he did so under a shroud of mystery. No one, not even those considered his friends, knew where he was from, how old he was, or his real name. A walking caricature, Redbone shuffled through folk festivals in his rumpled three-piece suits from the Twenties, a wide-brim hat, sunglasses, and thick mustache. The only thing widely known about him was that he was a gifted singer and guitarist with a thorough knowledge of blues, urban folk, jazz, and ragtime. "Mr. Redbone doesn't just dig up the past, he embodies it," wrote New York Times reviewer Stephen Holden in 1981, "by dressing himself in the clothes of an old-time traveling minstrel and singing in a voice that is a stylistic composite of early Southern blues and vaudeville performers." Although today his voice is familiar to many, due to countless television jingles hawking everything from beer to laundry detergent, he remains an enigmatic figure whose musical tastes and presentations have gone unchanged for more than twenty years.

"Sixteen seventy was the year as I recall. July the tenth," Redbone responded when asked by Rolling Stone's Steve Weitzman when he was born. As Weitzman put forth the question in 1974, it seemed obvious he was interviewing a man approaching his 304th birthday. "Of course I don't know," Redbone added. "It's just something I vaguely recall. I can't say for sure." In the same interview, Redbone went on to mention that his father was the Italian violinist/composer Paganini, who died in 1840, and his mother was Swedish soprano Jenny Lind, who died in 1887. Two years earlier when asked to submit biographical information for the 1972 Mariposa Folk Festival magazine, Redbone sent in a crumpled up, old photo of Bob Dylan and a sheet of paper saying, "My name is Blind James Hocum. I come from New Orleans and the reason I wear dark glasses all the time is because I use to lead Blind Blake around the South." Blind Blake, in addition to being a profound influence on Redbone, was a blues and ragtime guitarist who died in the early 30s.

With all the sidestepping about his past, one thing about Redbone is certain; very few people know anything about his life before 1970, and those who do don't talk about it. When asked about Redbone's real name and age, his manager, Beryl Handler, told Weitzman, "You'd have to ask Leon Redbone. To him it's irrelevant." What is known about Redbone is that he suddenly appeared as part of the Toronto folk scene in 1970. Even then he was determined to be a mystery. Tam Kearny, manager of a Toronto club Redbone used to play at, reminisced to Weitzman about Redbone's efforts to retain his enigmatic stature. "We used to give him lifts home after the gigs and he'd have us drop him off in a different part of the city every night," Kearny said. "After we'd drive away we could see him come back out of the apartment building he'd just entered and start walking down the street. And if he took the subway home and people would follow him to try and find out where he lived, he would have to lose them in the subway. But he always did."

While performing at the 1971 Mariposa Folk Festival outside of Toronto, Redbone so impressed musicians David Bromberg and Ramblin' Jack Elliot, that when they returned to New York they began to tell everyone they knew about Redbone's musical breadth and mysterious eccentricities. The next year Bonnie Raitt, John Prine, Maria Muldaur, and Bob Dylan went to the festival to hear Redbone. "He's just amazing," Raitt told Weitzman of Rolling Stone. "He's probably the best combination singer guitarist I've heard in years." Raitt went on to tell her tale of being unable to get past the Redbone persona. "I spent an afternoon with him in a hotel room," Raitt said, "and I was wondering when he was going to become normal. He never did."

Dylan was so taken with Redbone's musical prowess and archival sensibilities he declared that if he had a record label, Redbone would be the first musician he'd sign. True to his word, when Dylan was about to start his own label, Ashes & Sand, in the mid- 70s, Redbone was going to be the initial artist to sign on. Neither event occurred, however. Instead, with the support and championing of so many influential musicians, Redbone eventually signed with Warner Bros. and released his first album, On the Track, in 1975.

On the Track, however, did not make much of an impact on the charts. Amidst the era of Led Zeppelin arena-rock and the infancies of punk and disco, not many people were likely to tune into a gruff voiced crooner slur his way through "Polly Wolly Doodle" and Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'." After almost a year the album only sold 15,000 copies. Then, in February of 1976, Redbone performed on Saturday Night Live--back in the days when it was called NBC's Saturday Night--and appeared again the following May. After performing before an estimated 18-22 million viewers, Redbone's album began to sell at the rate of 8,000 copies a week. By the end of that year, he sold almost 200,000 albums without any publicity from Warner Bros.

More concerts and albums followed, all consisting of old standards and period pieces. Although the albums sold enough to make the charts--1977's Double Time went gold--and concerts were well attended, critics began to wonder if Redbone was little more than a novelty act. "By treating everything as a joke," wrote the Village Voice's Geoffrey Stokes in 1978, "he avoids the risks involved in making a `sophisticated' audience feel the awkward pain which originally lay behind some of his songs." Stokes went as far as to compare Redbone to a magician who performs the same trick over and over. His faithful interpretations, however, of long forgotten music eased the sting of some critical barbs. Robert Palmer, reviewing a 1977 show for the New York Times accused Redbone of placing the mannerisms of his droll character over the content of the songs. "But ultimately," Palmer conceded, "one forgave him because the music was so much fun."

In 1978 Redbone was asked by Dan Forte of Guitar Player if the image of being a nostalgic novelty bothered him. "Everything bothers me," Redbone responded. "At the same time, nothing bothers me....If something isn't right it's annoying to me--I don't care what it is.... If someone's going to write about something and make a comment on it, it should be right." He added, "I'm basically a very serious fellow, but at the same time I'm very indifferent to a lot of things, and I think a little humor is necessary. Consequently, people tend to pick up and focus on that humor."

In a 1990 interview with Pete Feenstra of England's Folk Roots magazine, Redbone claimed it was the media, not him, who perpetuated his mythic persona. "Well the media painted me as something of a recluse," he said, "somebody who was mysterious. Back in the 70s I was regarded as someone who wouldn't talk much about myself. But the problem was the media always ended up asking me the obvious non-musical questions...about what I wear, and what I like to eat, etc. When it came down to the music itself they weren't particularly interested in music from the 1920s. And so when I wouldn't talk much about things non-musical they put together their own image of me."

Ultimately, Leon said, it's this style of music that should be in the foreground. "I don't regard them as old standard tunes or a nostalgia-type thing," he told Rolling Stone's Weitzman in 1976. "I just happen to do whatever I do simply because that's what I hear." And what Redbone hears, as someone whose musical interests lie between the period of 1830 to 1930, is the common thread of romance. "To me, Blind Lemon Jefferson was the same as Chopin," he explained to Forte. "They were both romantics. A romantic, to me, is someone with a depressed, tormented soul. I would say almost everything I do is romantic." Romantic or not, critics continued to assail Redbone's excessive use of his persona at the expense of the music, although the music itself was held in high regard.

In the early 80s Madison Avenue tapped Redbone's style and the singer found himself crooning about ALL laundry detergent and Budweiser beer, to name a few. As long as the jingle was something he could work with, Redbone said, he had no qualms with doing the commercials. "Most of what I've done so far seems to have worked without too much difficulty," he told Feenstra. "Basically as long as I get to play my music, and as long as it's got the necessary feel then there's not really a problem." The commercials may have, in fact, helped in bringing Redbone back to the public's attention after years of a break in recording. As the nineties began, Redbone was touring and recording only slightly less than during his rise to prominence almost twenty years earlier.

In 1996 ballet choreographer Elliot Feld created "Paper Tiger," a suite of dances set to 11 Leon Redbone songs for his company, Feld Ballets/NY. It was no less than Mikhail Baryshnikov who suggested to Feld that he considered Redbone's music for a dance score, although Feld had long been a fan. "I adore Leon Redbone," he told Elizabeth Zimmer of the Los Angeles Times. "The interpretation of music is very important to me. How Leon sings these songs gives them a world, a universe. He's a tragic clown." For his part, Redbone was delighted by the dance. "I was quite fascinated by the whole thing," he told Zimmer. "I have a visual sense for the music, it has to stay true to a certain sense of period. I rely on a sense of colors and mood in my approach to the arrangement.... I was surprised to see all those things I think of when I put the music together actually represented."

Whether described as a novelty act, cult hero, or, as Stokes dubbed him, "Johnny One-Trick," no description of Redbone includes the fact that he has been a singular force in bringing a style and period of music to many people who may not have heard it otherwise. While critics may argue about the emphasis placed on his persona, his reverence for the music has never been questioned. With a desire to remain true to himself--whoever he is--and Blind Blake, Jelly Roll Morton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and the rest of his idols, Redbone is more an educator than performer, a professor of one of the richest periods in American music. And although he told Rolling Stone's Weitzman, that regarding himself, "I don't want them to know anything that they don't know already," he'd like more people to know about this music.

by Brian Escamilla

Leon Redbone's Career

Began playing as part of the Toronto folk scene, c. 1970; appeared at 1971 Mariposa Folk Festival where he was seen by musicians David Bromberg and Ramblin' Jack Elliot; signed with Warner Bros. and released first album, On the Track, in 1975; appeared on Saturday Night Live in February and May of 1976; second album, 1977's Double Time, went gold; began to sing television commercial jingles, early 80s; ballet was created by Elliot Feld for Feld Ballets/NY in 1996 using 11 songs arranged and recorded by Redbone.

Famous Works

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over 2 years ago

I have been a Leon Redbone fan for years, but am finally going to get to see him in Edwardsville IL (St. Louis, MO area) next month. I can't wait. Does anyone know his song list for 2012?

over 2 years ago

I saw Mr. Redbone play last night in Marlinton, WV. Fantastic! I had no idea what I was getting into but must say one of the best musical experiences I have enjoyed in a long time. He's got me listening to Gene Austin this morning whom I did not know existed 24 hours ago. Thank you, sir, an absolute pleasure.

almost 3 years ago

As a dyed-in-the-wool redbone fan from the appearance of his first LP on, I had long wanted to attend one of his concerts. About 3 -4 years ago he gave a show just outside Chapel Hill, N.C., and I could not believe my luck. My wife and I met my son who lives in Raleigh and made attended the show. What a farce. A trumpeter and pianist opened the show and stayed on for the fits 30-40 minues, then took a break. No Leon. They came back out and tootled away for another 15-20 minutes and then Redbone ambled out. He played one number, then for about 20 minutes stumbled around the satage making what were spposed to be funny comments but all of which fell flat, The antagonism in the audience could be felt it was so palpable. We came to hear music and were getting a royal nothing of a show. Redbone finally ended up playing, unaccompanied by any other instuments, a couple of numbers, then walked off the stage without even so much as a kiss my foot and never come back on stage. It was the sorriest performance, or rather, lack of performance, of any performer I have ever heard of, including George "No Show" Jones. What it was was a pure rip-off of the audience by Redbone or whatever his real name is. As far as Redbone's performance(or lack of it)} that night, I can suggest a color and location for that performance.

about 3 years ago

I get to see Leon every year at this quaint little venue in a small village in south central PA, The village is called Mt. Gretna and it has this fabulous little otudoor theater with really good acoustics. Makes Leon sound even better. I think he usually makes Mt. Gretna the last stop on his tour. I understand he lives near here. I have a pretty good idea where, but Leon swore me to secrecy about it. Anyhow, if you keep an eye on his tour dates and you see him coming to Mt. Gretna, get a ticket and come on down. Leon loves to meet his fans after his shows here. Great chance to meet one of America's most unique and revered talents.

about 3 years ago

I saw Leon Redbone last night in Kent, Ohio - front row, center seats. It was like he was looking right at me as he sang those wonderful songs and did his usual schtick - an awesome experience. I wonder why he took a picture? His speaking voice is so familiar - must be from the commercials? Anyway, great show, packed house - Kent loves you Leon!

about 3 years ago

My friend Mike and I picked up Leon Redbone at Hopkins Airport in Cleveland for a show at the University of Akron in 1975 or '76. He walked right past us at the airport - his outfit was almost identical to the crew of the airliner that we didn't notice him. We drove him to Akron in Mike's Volkswagon squareback. I think Mr. Redbone was a bit suspicious. I tried desparately to engage him in conversation, but all I got was that he plays a 1930s Martin and considered Paganini his biggest influence. After about half an hour in the car, he looked out the window and said, "Rubber capital of the world, eh?". That evening we had back-stage passes. Leon lost a cigar (lit, of course) and about ten of us (visitors, crew, etc) went looking for it. He found it behind a curtin and it had done no damage. A couple of years later, I had a conversation with Roy Book Binder and relayed the story of my meeting with Leon Redbone. Roy Book Binder's comment was, "You know that's all an act. Yeah, it's just an act. But he lives it". I am going to see Leon Redbone tonight at the Kent Stage in Kent, Ohio with my friend Mike and a few friends. I hope we get a chance to talk with him and see if he remembers our previous encounter.

about 3 years ago

I saw Mr Redbone on my street..you see we live a few doors away.. let us keep his mystery the way his greatness is the same

over 3 years ago

I saw Leon Redbone and tom waits at the park west. i met someone from his band at the bar while tom waits was singing. i told him i didn't like tom waits and that i came to see leon. he told me he was in leon's band and i should come up to their room at the part west after the show and jam with them. i went. he was so nice and so was his band. it was a real treat. one of the guys in the band left me 2 tickets for the next night. this time if fell in love with tom waits. i am goingto see leon tonight (1/23/11 at the old town school of music. i can't wait.

almost 4 years ago

Luke the Drifter was Hank Williams and Leon Redbone is Hank Williams Jr. Listen to them sing 'Ain't Misbehavin'.

almost 4 years ago

Leon Redbone last night in Eugene, OR. Each time I see him I process the evening differently. Some words off the top. Anticipation, joy, sureal, sleep, annoying, stimulating, boring, hilarious,personal, other world, amazed at he and I both being born in 1843! Roll On, Leon Redbone circa ----.

about 4 years ago

I saw Leon Redbone on Friday night at a wonderful, small venue in Fall River, MA. I hadn't seen him perform live since 1982, and he is still great! His music makes me feel happy, and I love his quirky sense of humor. I am thankful he has brought the music of earlier years to us in such a delightful and moving way.

about 4 years ago

dear Mr.rebone, i get homesick just hearing your name to get back up in the hills to that old lazy redbone i pulled his ears to learn how to stumble adn tumble (walk) by pulling on his ears to get my bearing from the "belt" down. have been a listener and over the last 30 years pulling the stringed master in a similar direction with much less fame and fortune... terra your bud before, during, and after.

about 4 years ago

Saw him last night at City Winery in NYC, a wonderful, small venue, but with a sometimes too-hip crowd; it seemed that about half the audience didn't latch on to his rambling, dry-as-a-bone humor. (They loved the music nonetheless.) Every song is announced as being in B-flat, as though that's the first of the evening, or possibly of the new millenium; at one point, he called B-flat "... the people's key." And most are introduced as "... a little singalong number, since you did so well with that last one..."; needless to say, not a word had been sung by any audience member. Of special note: his birdlike polytonal whistling; and his outstanding accompanist, who deftly weaves piano support under and into a song that you'd have sworn started as a guitar solo. An evening full of smiles and wonderful old music.

about 4 years ago

Saw Mr. Redbone @ City Winery in New York last night. It was mine & my lady's first time. It was freaking fantastic. He performed about a hour & a half including 2 encores. I can't say enough about his performance & presence. Would go to see him again in a minute. If you haven't seen this master perform, do so as soon as you can!!!!!

about 4 years ago

Saw Leon on Saturday night. Had seen him about 18 years ago in Florida. This man appears to never change. My husband and I sat for 2 hours listening and trying to figure out this mystery of a man. He is like a ghost from the song period he sings about. This venue was a small theater in a small town in Georgia. You could tell the people there knew his music. Wish he did more around Georgia so I could see him again.

over 4 years ago

Recently, I attended the most supurb concert in recent (the last hundred years) cenrty. Mr. Leon Redbone as he put it, "hadn't been feeling well".But to the contrary. His talent to entertain surpassed even his expectations I'm certain.The venue was a small quaint theater in a smaller quaint town,Towanda,PA. I can honestly say that I couldn't get enough. Although let it be known that at nay given time,there is no time limit on my "Leon Redbone" time. You might say I've been a fan since the begining,I named one of my Golden Retreivers (whom of which is red in color)Redbone. I too live in Bucks Co.,PA. and there must be something in the air\water or age but somehow I relate to my age,where I'm from and where I'm going.You can rest assure that Leon Redbone will definately be the first of the things that I take with me, with him I know I'll get there "Double Time".

over 4 years ago

The wife and I attended the concert at Towanda,PA Sunday 11/21. We loved the songs that Leon did as well as his show. However we wish we would have known the show was going to be so short. I do not think he played more then 10 songs. Sure would have liked to hear more. What he did though was great.

over 4 years ago

Saw Leon Redbone at the Keystone theater in Towanda,PA. He is really a treat to listen to. However we felt the show should have lasted more then an hour. I think he did only about 10 songs. I could be stretching that number.Still a great act however. Just wanted more.

over 4 years ago

I love Mr Redbone and his music as much as I love that other great master of the uncategorizable, the late Clarence Brown. Did they ever play together? And if not, why not?

over 4 years ago

Back in the 80's Redbone was hired to play our club in South Dakota-At the time the third largest bar in the world. His behavior was a bit odd and he had somerather unuasal contractual requirements. He wore white kit gloves and would not touch anyone-wanted a private bathroom and brought his own silverware-we roped off and cleaned a bathroom on our upper floor which required the customers to go to the first floor-During his performance one of my janitors called me to the dressingroom to inform me that I did not pay him enough to clean the pee and crap from the dressing booth floor in the dressingroom-I left his depoist in his guitar case on his car and left him to find his own way to the airport-

over 4 years ago

I love you, Mr. Redbone, I always call your name in New Hope!! Do you still have the walking stick I gave you??? Be happy, healthy, and enjoy your family!!!

almost 5 years ago

I've been a fan since the '70's. I saw Leon perform in the early '90's in a bar in Orlando Florida, just him and a clarinet player. It was magnificent. I saw him again just a couple of days ago in Riverhead, Long Island. This time, just him and a piano player. A great show again. He is one-of-a-kind. Don't miss the chance to see the master perform.

almost 5 years ago

Took my wife and two friends to see Leon last night in central Jersey, and he did not disappoint. His music - 'cool' and 'hip' before cool and hip were even terms. What a delightful and entertaining evening with an American icon. Can you imagine this guy originating anywhere else on the planet? Much better than his recordings. Do we care who he really might be? Sure, but the entertainment...sigh...the best.

almost 5 years ago

I just caught Leon Redbone at an old theater ( Late 1800's ) in Riverhead Long Island. He went on with a wonderful piano player and did an hour or so music. He was spell binding. A grand master of the guitar. He suspended time and space for an hour. We were returned to a lost era. A great show !

almost 5 years ago

I work for a roofing supply company. about a month ago, Leon walked in shopping for shingles. I recognized him instantly. Talked to him a little about seeing him so many years ago and how wonderful it was having him as a neighbor to where I work. He was very friendly and just as strange. great combination. We fixed him up with shingles and a contractor to do the work. I took crap from everybody for awhile as no one knew who he was except me. I basically told the contractor that when I get tickets to see him in NJ that I would take him with me just to see what Leon is all about.

almost 5 years ago

I just heard Leon again in person, and after many years, he has not changed at all. I loved the performance. My only disappointment was that he didn't do MORE.

almost 5 years ago

i saw redbone in my home town of macon ga in 1988. at the grand opera house. i was already a great fan before. his show was great and when he asked for any requests he picked mine. WALKING STICK. what a great performer. i would love to see tom waits in concert also .

almost 5 years ago

I first saw him on the Saturday Night Live shows mentioned above. I have most of his albums and saw him in person in Atlanta a couple of years ago. Mr Redbone, in one word, is MAGNIFICENT. I love his music, I love the fact that he he has reached back to music over fifty years old and made it come back alive - as if it were written and performed for the first time !! I don't know how many fans and admirers he has, but I did see someone flat out imitate him in a bar in Texas some years ago. This guy performed many of Leon's renditions and you could tell he was also a big admirer. I can't wait until he returns to Atlanta again !

about 5 years ago

I met Leon in Phoenix on April 12, 2009 as he pulled onto the ramp of a hotel with his piano player Paul Asaro. I hadn't seen Leon since 'Saturday Night Live' and one of those TV commercial years ago and it was good to see him in person. He's a likable person and I know he lives an enriched life because he asked where the nearest public library was in Phoenix.

about 5 years ago

Isn't it lovely in a world as complex as the one that we all now find our selves that an entity as unique and true to it's heart can exist? No fake, no phony, just Mr. Redbone allowing us all to share in an experience unlike anything else.

about 5 years ago

"she said if I gave her fifty dollars, she would do anything I asked." "What did you ask her to do?" "Paint my house....two coats"

about 5 years ago

Everyone needs to experience Leon's music at least once in their life. His style, mannerisms, talents are truly unique for our time, and a gift to the listener.

about 5 years ago

I just saw him tonight at a small old movie theatre that has been converted into a musical venue for great musician that do not fit in the giant theatre. So the stage was set as a living might and a piano. So to me Leon was at a revial a reliving of music before rock and roll made everyone get up and dance and forget about melody and lyrics. After drinking some fine Irish whiskey I whistled when he rambled thru the chorus,he looked out to my location saying nothing he could have made a wry remark as he does sometimes about the audience.Leaon is a real treasure in incredible ability and his steady love of playing this music.I hope he is happy in playing small venues all over the country. He made me happy Please forgive any mispelling its 1 Am in the morning now Good night Gracie.

about 5 years ago

Saw Leon last night in Seattle, he was GREAT. He is certainly a must see act. He is fun & funny. You don't really know what to expect next.

about 5 years ago

Just learned Leon is coming to the Belcourt Theater in Nashville on 5-28-09. Sweet!!

about 5 years ago

Have enjoyed his work and talent since '76 when I first learned of him in college back in Philly. have not had had the chance to see him in person... would love to!

about 5 years ago

What a wonderful talent - Just superb. I wish he would come to Sarasota Fla.

about 5 years ago

Tonight at the Narrows Center in Fall River Leon was spot on. This was a sold out show. NEVER (since I've been a volunteer there) has the audience at a sold out show been so respectfully attentive. It was almost disrespectful to hear a bottle clink! And that didn't happen often during this performance. For those who've never seen his performance live ... do. For those who have ... do again. Check out the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River MA for some of the best music in a venue artists rave about. (www.ncfta.org)

about 5 years ago

I saw Leon at the "Exit In" Nashville, Tn. mid seventies. I was hooked for life. I wish he would come back this way.

about 5 years ago

Don't know his true name, may be Redbone! It matters little to me, I just love him and his music! I've seen him in concert 3 times, he's so funny and so gifted, his concerts are way cool! All ages semm to be drawn to him. Thank you for the great shows and music Leon!

about 5 years ago

I would, and could, and am swearing that I first heard Rebone on a record in 1959.

about 5 years ago

When I first heard of Leon Redbone it rang a bell. Why would someone use the name redbone? It couldn't be his birth name. Going to college in Natchitoce, La., A lot of the students liked to fish. Black lake was a favorite. That is where I learned what redbone meant. A number of fishing guides were called redbones. I was told this was because there ancestry was a mixture of american indian and negro. There skin was rather reddish in color. I've never heard this any place else, but it may be an antiquited southern term. Anyway I doubt if he is Canadian. I suspect that he is a native of Louisiana.

about 5 years ago

Love Leon Redbone's music...you really listen to both the sound and words...Would love to see him but have not seen any promo in Canada. Some music just makes you stop and listen and enjoy and Leon is just THAT....

about 5 years ago

We had the pleasure of seeing Mr.Redbone in Norfolk CT (Infinity Music Hall)on Feb 8th/2009-sitting 2nd row from the stage. Fantastic show-never knew if he was pulling your leg or actually giving out factual information. Music was incredible. Would love to see him again.

about 5 years ago

I saw Mr. Redbone two noghts ago, at the Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT. It's been many years since I've seen him perform, but I never miss the chance to go to his shows, whenever I hear about them. I've been following him since the mid-seventies. He never disappoints. Thank you for this informative article about his life and career. God bless Leon Redbone!

about 5 years ago

I had the pleasure of watching Leon Redbone in Norfolk CT on Feb. 8, 2009, as a sold out audience was held captive by his genius. In our world of cookie-cut, gingerbread entertainers, it felt marvelously refreshing to get swallowed up by his mysterious persona and extraordinary musical gifts. Bravo also to Paul, his pianist.

over 5 years ago

Leon is coming to Charlottesville, Va. January 2. I can't wait! Springsteen was here a few months ago but I'm more excited about Rebone!

over 5 years ago

I first saw Leon Redbone on SNL when he appeared for the first time on the show. First, I thought it was Frank Zappa playing a joke on us all. When I realized he was the real deal, I fell in love with his music and ran out and bought his album. As a result, Leon turned me on to an entire genre of forgotten musical treasures! I then saw him open for Tom Waits in L.A. and I was thrilled and fascinated. Hands down the best show I've ever seen. On a side note; would today's music labels ever sign an act like Leon Redbone? I think not. God bless the 70's. Today's teens have really missed out.

over 5 years ago

As a surprise 61st birthday present my wife found tickets for Leon's concert in Dubuque,Iowa! The concert was held at the Grand Opera house. Such a great setting. His Mark Twain humor blended perfectly so close to the Mississippi banks. His age only added seasoning to his Hobo and rail-yard style. I was entranced while I invisioned his music and tempo at small barn gatherings during 1930's Kansas dust-bowl, or the lost 20's depression tramps and homeless travelers seeking shelter and comfort in his music. Redbone gathers romance when there were ink bottles not blackberries, and radio before I-Pods. He truly captures the days of the "chautauqua"! Thank You for a great evening with a star!

over 5 years ago

None f the biographical material mentions Leon's prowess as a hustler and gambler. Rumors abound that he makes much more money hustling pool and cards than he does at music. I've seen him with a cue, it is as amazing and entertaining as his concerts.

over 5 years ago

I took my 83 year old mother to see Leon in Buffalo, NY on the night of a typical Buffalo winter blizzard. As we sat in the crowded room, I watched the snow blow around outside. Leon was brilliant, and he had a piano player who was simply superb. People all around us sat and a sang along. There was probably not a single person under the age of 50 in the audience. It was magical. Mom was terribly impressed. I would go see him again in a heartbeat!

over 5 years ago

I love Leon Redbone...been a big fan since the later 70s. His music exudes style, musicality, a great sense of humor and the tunes are just terrific.

about 6 years ago

Going to finally see the man at a cool spot in Seattle... long overdue!