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Musical Legend Leon Redbone

When I heard the news Leon Redbone was going to be performing at the Bing Crosby Theater (locals call it The Bing,) I jumped at the opportunity to go. For those who may not be aware, the Bing Crosby Theater is known for its extraordinary acoustics. It is a Mecca for the single artist as they can perform in this theater without a microphone and still be heard. Then you add the performance of Leon Redbone who is known for his Vaudeville presentation style of jazz and blues in Tin Pan Alley style. This was a perfect match!

Knowing that this was not going to be your typical concert, my date and I decided to do something different this Friday night. We went to Frank's Diner and had breakfast for dinner! Yes, it is even more fun than going on Saturday morning. We got to sit at the counter and watch our breakfast be prepared by a young chef whose body language conveyed that he really enjoyed his job. Although his face was flushed from the heat of the grill, he still smiled and talked to everyone passing by. Did I mention  the diner is located in an old railcar? Booths and all!

Then, with great anticipation of the performer we had watched in the 70's and early 80's on Saturday Night Live, we headed to The Bing. We could not believe all the people standing in line wearing Fedora and Panama hats - Redbone trademarks! That totally upped our excitement!

Sitting in the darkened theater, a performer stepped on stage and sat down at the piano. The audience didn't realize it was Paul Asaro, one of the best Ragtime pianists of our time (not to mention a 2009 Grammy winner!) He began playing a little ragtime and then you could hear someone whistling and there he was, in person, Leon Redbone complete with his Panama hat, dark sunglasses and cane! He hung his cane on the floor lamp and the evening of entertainment began.

Leon spent the night telling jokes and playing his guitar and harmonica with Asaro on the piano. You could hear him tapping out the beats of the music with his foot. The audience was entranced. Ok, so he didn't play my favorite, "Lazy Bones," but he did play lots of songs reminiscent of the Speakeasy Era and he still does the "Throat Tromnet." What a show!

It was an incredible performance and reminded us of a simpler era in music. Thank you to The Bing for a delightful, reminiscent evening - we absolutely loved it!

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