Salient. Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 25. October 4, 1976
Leon Redbone: on the Track — Andy Pratt: Resolution
Leon Redbone: on the Track
Andy Pratt: Resolution
A nice pair of albums essentially different both from the point of view of content and musical approach, but linked by the idiosyncrasies of their respective artists.
Andy Pratt, some might remember, is noted for Avenging Annie, a peculiarly-compacted 45 of some summers past, so stunningly jammed with good things that it needed two years to unravel.
"But when she strips me naked and oo how she can/
You see a fuzzy-brained little intellectual/
Who just became a real man".
"It seems there comes a pair of hands to guide us /
In our own special way make us stay in love /
That's when miracles occur /
Suddenly doors open that you never thought were even there".
Leon Redbone is something of an enigma, a mystery man in the mainstream of American contemporary music, but one whose repertoire stretches as far back as Irving Berlin, Fats Waller and Hoagy Carmichael, and about whom word first filtered through the grapevine courtesy of Bob Dylan. His musical setting for some delightful ditties successfully evokes nostalgia for a bygone era: just the thing to confound Psychology students, even those at an advanced level. I'm not sure just how valid his tracery of the 20's great classics is, but it is an enjoyable and worthwhile listening experience all the same after the time necessary for assimilation. That's an important point, actually. Neither of these records is immediately accessible, they both demand time and concentration, Redbone more so than Pratt. What attracts me to Redbone so much, however, is an airy insouciance he sounds like nothing quite so much as a wobbly Randy Newman, crossed with a severely stoned J J Cale, sitting on a back porch somewhere in the Okeefeenokees warbling to the mangroves and the magnolias. The instrumentation is sparse and mainly acoustic, recorded beautifully and wrapped in a colourful cover, on the the back of which Redbone - posing as a brakeman - is wreathed in cigar smoke. Consider it a clue to the unpredictability of the programme.
— Patrick O'Dea