The 6 Best Things We Saw Thursday at SXSW 2017: Hanson’s Leon Russell Tribute, Grandmaster Flash, the Drums & More

By | March 18, 2017

Yahoo Music

Hanson were singing a song for you … and for Leon Russell

At the Recording Academy’s Grammy Block Party on the backyard lawn of the Four Seasons hotel, Tulsa’s finest, Hanson, honored a fellow Oklahoman, songwriting legend Leon Russell, with a special eight-song set of Russell classics. Middle brother, Taylor Hanson — who performed at “brilliant creator” Russell’s memorial last November, and whose band is celebrating an incredible 25th anniversary this year, stressed “how important it is for us as artists to not coast. Down to his last couple weeks … [Russell] was still thinking about what was next. He was working on the next thing; he was working on a new standard. He was making plans for what he was going to do. And that is really inspiring to a young guy that loves to create things. To all of us on the stage tonight, we aspire to never put it on cruise control, as long as possible.” Later, Taylor, a member of the Grammy committee, said he’d be “raising his hand” next year when it comes time to vote to give Russell a Grammy lifetime achievement award.