Elton John has recorded an album with 70s country-rock star Leon Russell and is busy in giving the finishing touches to his new album. Elton along with his old songwriting partner Bernie Taupin has composed 15 tracks, ranging from “Stones-like rockers” to a “Sinatra-like weepy”. According to Taupin’s website, “Russell has always been one of Elton’s musical heroes and influences when it comes to piano styling”. The long-haired Russel has toured with acts such as BB King and the Stones, and also as a member of Phil Spector’s studio group. He played on hits like Mountain High, River Deep, and the Byrds’ Mr Tambourine Man. in the US and Canada. In 70s Russell scored some minor hits like 1979’s One for the Road, with Willie Nelson. Taupin in his website says that for this new album Russell will be featured on a “50/50 basis”, he will write and perform his own material for the project, along with writing and performing on the pair’s own songs. Russell joined Sir Elton at a Los Angeles studio last month for recording vocals after attending a “marathon writing session” in November. Moreover, Taupin adds not to expect hearing the old [Elton and Bernie] sound saying that this is organic recording unlike anything heard from the duo before. Helming the sessions is the celebrity roots producer T-Bone Burnett while guitarist Marc Ribot shall also makes an appearance. Songs include gospel, rockers, country-tinged ballads, and a track that’s “something torn from the grooves of In the Wee Small Hours”. Russell underwent a brain surgery in January but “his playing is masterful as ever”, according to Taupin. Until now the album has not been given a title or a release date.
At Intrust Bank Arena on Wednesday night, March 3rd two of rock’s most famous piano men, Elton John and Billy Joel, performed in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 15,000 for more than 3 hours. The both 60 plus star paused their “Face 2 Face” tour at Wichita, where they performed more than their 30 best-known hits. The show started with Billy and Elton entering the stage from two separate sides. First entered Joel wearing a casual suit with a blue T-shirt and then from the other side of the stage John appeared who wore a black tux with tails and purple-hued sunglasses. The two took a seat at the grand black pianos and started off with joint performances of the hits; John’s “Your Song” and “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” and “My Life”. Later, John began solo set including “Levon,” “Rocket Man,” “Madman Across the Water,” “I’m Still Standing,” “Daniel” and “Crocodile Rock.In “Tiny Dancer” and “Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road”, he skipped his famous high notes.Joel started off with “Angry Young Man” followed by “Movin’ out (Anthony’s Song),” “Allentown,” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” during which he left the piano and played the guitar in stage centre. He also performed “Always a Woman, “It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me” and “Only the Good Die Young.“At the end , the two returned to the stage and performed together on “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues,” “Uptown Girl,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Bennie and the Jets” and finally closed stages with “Piano Man.” Get your Cheap Elton John Tickets before they sold out.