The music of Leon Redbone is as unique as the man himself is mysterious. He is a known name due to exposure on late night TV in the 1970/80’s, and his four decades of touring, playing primarily festival stages. Over the course of forty years, Leon Redbone has released thirteen albums that championed the early days of recorded music in America with the sound of Ragtime, Blues, and Jazz. Leon Redbone has preserved the music of a bygone period on his albums, and on the recent release from Third Man Records, the sounds are replicated in the scratchy form of his mentors with a performance from 1972 when Dave Benders taped a radio show from WBFO at the University of Buffalo. The album, Long Way from Home, captures the earliest recording of Leon Redbone.
The cuts on Long Way from Home are covers from an earlier time in musical history as Leon Redbone balances the material between Tin Pan Alley and the Mississippi Delta. He offers reworkings of Reverend Gary Davis (“Lord, I Looked Down the Road”), Blind Blake (“Bootleg Rum Dum Blues”), and a few selections from the legendary catalog of Robert Johnson (“Kind Hearted Woman Blues”, “Me and the Devil Blues”). Long Way from Home pays tribute to Jimmie Rodgers with cuts such as “Mother, Queen of My Heart”, “T.B.Blues”, and “Yodeling Cowboy” among many others from The Singing Breakman as Leon Redbone offers an Irving Berlin song with the 1929 Rudy Vallee hit “Marie”.