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Whistling In the Wind

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Album Review

Listening to Leon Redbone is like taking a trip back in time. How many singers, after all, can deliver a ragtime-flavored piece like "Dancin' on Daddy's Shoes" with a straight face? While Redbone's backward glance does offer a fresh counterpoint to the music of his contemporaries, the skeptical listener might be led to ask: how long can a singer get by with singing Stephen Foster songs? The answer on 1988's Whistling in the Wind seems to be as long as the singer feels like it. Sure, the idea of singing a duo with Merle Haggard might not work completely, and adding Ringo Starr's vocal on "My Little Grass Shack" may be a bit odd, but so what? Overall, Redbone is in fine form here, delivering sleepy, raspy vocals and backed by a number of classic jazz players like guitarist Frank Vignola and violinist Joe Venuti. One real revelation is Redbone's take on "Love Letters in the Sand," a song that's been almost impossible to listen to since Pat Boone ruined it back in the 1950s. He offers good takes on familiar fare like "I Ain't Got Nobody," but specializes in serving up golden oldies that no one remembers, like "Bouquet of Roses." Whistling in the Wind might not be as fresh as Redbone's earliest work in the '70s, but it's a solid album and fans will be glad that Rounder put it back in print in 2004. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi


Born: August 26, 1949

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

While his gravelly baritone and omnipresent fedora, dark glasses, and Groucho Marx mustache made him one of the more distinct and recognizable characters in popular music, little is known about the neo-vaudeville crooner Leon Redbone. Throughout his career, he steadfastly refused to divulge any information about his background or personal life; according to legend, Redbone's desire to protect his privacy was so intense that when he was approached by the famed producer John Hammond, the contact number...
Full bio
Whistling In the Wind, Leon Redbone
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music, Jazz, Ragtime
  • Released: 1994

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