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Leon Russell to Release New Studio Album, "Life Journey," in April

Image courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of Universal Music Enterprises (via ABC News Radio)

Veteran singer/songwriter and pianist Leon Russell will release a new studio album titled Life Journey on April 1, a day before his 72nd birthday.  The 2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee says he's looking back at his "musical journey through life" with the 12-track collection, which features two new original compositions and 10 covers.

Life Journey was produced by Tommy LiPuma , who worked with Paul McCartney on his 2012 standards album Kisses from the Bottom , and was recorded at Los Angeles' famed Capitol Studios.  Elton John , who considers Russell a major influence and collaborated with him on the 2010 album The Union , served as the new record's executive producer.

The new tunes on Life Journey are "Big Lips" and "Down in Dixieland," the latter an homage to New Orleans jazz.  Both tracks feature contributions by Abe Laborial Jr. , the longtime drummer for McCartney, and Willie Weeks , who's played bass with Eric Clapton , George Harrison and many other famous musicians.  The album also includes renditions of Billy Joel 's "New York State of Mind," Robert Johnson 's "Come On in My Kitchen," Hoagy Carmichael 's "Georgia on My Mind," Duke Ellington 's "I Got It Bad & That Ain't Good," and Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell 's R&B classic, "Fever."

Leon says the material on Life Journey "reflects pieces of things that I have done and things I never did, for one reason or another."

Russell was a member of The Wrecking Crew , the renowned collective of session musicians, before launching a career as a solo performer and songwriter.  Among his best-known compositions are such hits as The Carpenters ' "Superstar," Ray Charles ' "Song for You," George Benson 's "This Masquerade," Joe Cocker 's "Delta Lady," and his own "Tight Rope."

Here's the full track list of Life Journey :

"Come On in My Kitchen"
"Big Lips"
"Georgia on My Mind"
"That Lucky Old Sun"
"Fever"
"Think of Me"
"I Got It Bad & That Ain't Good"
"The Masquerade Is Over"
"I Really Miss You"
"New York State of Mind"
"Fool's Paradise"
"Down in Dixieland"

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