By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
Leon Russell and the Abominable Snowman appear to have a lot in common. Both are legendary. Then too, there's that physical similarity—Russell's flowing white hair and massive beard find him a dead ringer for that reclusive creature. More important, sightings of each are relatively rare.
Russell's low profile contrasts with a prolific career that flourished throughout the '60s and '70: He worked on arrangements for Phil Spector and provided the instrumental muscle behind the chart-toppers of the day, working with the Stones, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, Willie Nelson and George Harrison, and eventually emerged as a reliable chart draw on his own.
He never fully retired either, given his spate of comeback recordings over the past millennium. His appearance at the Grammys last January backing the Zac Brown Band on their hit "Chicken Fried" not only marked his first appearance at the fete but also came barely two weeks after surgery to stop a fluid leak in his brain. Now the 67-year-old seems active as ever, working on a new album with Elton John that features cameos from Neil Young and Booker T. Jones.
Clearly, this Yeti is ready to rock.