Picks and Pans Review: From Branch to Branch

updated 04/27/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/27/1981 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Leon Redbone

A strange little man singing strange little tunes, Redbone is a self-created enigma who refuses to tell his age (about 35), his birthplace (probably somewhere in Canada) or his real name (most likely not Redbone). But despite his mannered presence, Redbone—with his scatty growl and eclectic choice of old, usually bluesy material—can be both amusing and musically satisfying. Here he sings There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight, Your Cheatin' Heart, My Blue Heaven and, in a quavery version that might prevent even Jiminy Cricket from having a nice day, When You Wish upon a Star. Redbone's backups play mostly in a '20s mode, no matter what mode he's in. Still, it's hard not to like a man who'll sing, in Gary Tigerman's flippant Seduced, "I might demur politely, falter slightly/If she tried to fondle my knee/But I'm relatively certain I'd compromise/If I know me."

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