Pop & Hiss

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Leon Russell: Back to the Garden, 40 years later

March 17, 2011 |  3:35 pm


Newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Leon Russell added another highlight to his latter-day career renaissance on Wednesday with his first performance at New York's Madison Square Garden since 1971, when he led the band at George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh benefit.

Russell joined his friend and champion Elton John for an eight-song set from last year's duet album, "The Union," during John's concert at the Manhattan arena.

Southern rocker Gregg Allman also showed up to join the pair on the album's Civil War-themed gothic ballad, "Gone to Shiloh."

John has another Madison Square Garden show booked for Sunday, a few days ahead of his 64th birthday.

Russell will bring his own band with him when he returns to Southern California for a May 1 appearance in Indio for this year's Stagecoach Country Music Festival.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo: Elton John introduces Leon Russell at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony March 14. Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters