Who is Leon Redbone? No one seems to know where he's from, how old he is or if Leon Redbone is even really his name. However, we do now know that Leon Redbone can be heard as the voice of Leon the snowman in the hit holiday movie Elf which stars Will Ferrell. We also know that Leon's rendition of "My Blue Heaven" is slated to both open and close a new Barry Levinson comedy to be released shortly called Envy. But besides this recent foray into TV and film entertainment, it is rare to find anyone in the annals of popular music more difficult to define than Leon Redbone. In the way he contemplates where he fits within the confines of the music industry, he is the Nietzsche of popular music; in the way he challenges audiences, venturing against their conventional expectations of what a live show should be, he's the Andy Warhol of front porch guitar playing. At the core of his career was the desire to simply honor songs from the past, which has established him as the preeminent curator of the museum of 20th century music. But over the course of his 25-year, 10-album career, the band has flirted with numerous styles ranging from classical to blues to tormented tangos to Hungarian folk music. Often flanked by brass or violins, he is equally comfortable performing as a monolithic solo presence. If there is one common element to Redbone's diverse music, it's his mastery of his constant companion: the acoustic guitar.
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