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Pro Picks - Anthony Leon

Dec 20, 2012 08:57AM ● By Scott Blackwell

1 White Light, White Heat, White Trash (Social Distortion) – 

The stories of a Bad Boy trying to do the right thing and having an awful time at it, pretty much would be my anthem music for the majority of my youth. Favorite track to throw fist in the air to: I Was Wrong.

2 Columbia Recordings 1958-1986 (Johnny Cash) – 

As a teenager I hated country music except for Johnny Cash. His cut of Shel Silverstein’s A Boy Named Sue would forever bond me to this American icon. Favorite track for putting on my Lucchese Boots: Don’t Take Your Guns to Town.

3 Feeling Good: The Very Best of Nina Simone (Nina Simone) – 

As a young adult I fell in love with Nina Simone’s Music and her psychosis. A woman so full of suffering, so sensitive to the evils of the world, you can hear her longing for love in every word. Favorite track to fall down and get back up again to: Feeling Good.

4 Sweet Heart of the Rodeo (The Byrds) – 

This list would be a lot different if I had not been introduced to Gram Parsons via this album. The moment my ears were introduced to this musical masterpiece, I promptly gave away the majority of my music collection. This pop band would record a country album that at the time flopped on the charts, but later would become the foundation for many of today’s country stars. Favorite track to reminisce to: Hickory Wind.

5 89/93 An Anthology (Uncle Tupelo) – 

Punk rock angst meets front porch jam. As a performing songwriter, Uncle Tupelo would be everything I ever wanted to be. Not only did they sing about Jesus and whiskey on the same albums, they sang about it in the same song. Plus, Uncle Tupelo would lead me to my all time favorite band The Louvin Brothers. Favorite track to wallow in self-pity to: Whiskey Bottle.

6 Satan is Real (Louvin Brothers) – 

Charlie and Ira Louvin, two brothers with opposing morals and perfect harmonies, would put together this first of its kind gospel album specifically made for the sinner. Notably one of the first concept albums, and extremely delicious when drinking alone. Favorite track to remember I’m not alone: He Can Be Found.

7 Down Every Road (Merle Haggard) – 

My doctor has prescribed a minimum of one hour a week of The Merle. No one can sing of regret like him. The Real Deal straight from San Quentin encapsulates all that is country music. The best refrain ever, ever: Silver Wings.

8 The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Soundtrack) – 

The most amazing soundtrack ever written. Basically, it’s one long song cycle, with the human voice being the primary lead instrument; plus one of the most awesome six-gun-slingin’ guitar licks of all time. Favorite track for dueling in the streets: Il Buono, Il Cattivo, Il Brutto.

9 Wreck Your Life (Old 97’s) – 

A new found love for me, the Old 97’s blend power-pop and cow-punk to create some of my favorite jump-around-and-play-air-guitar music that I’ve ever heard. What these boys can do with a baritone guitar and some lyrics is pure gold. Favorite track to have a knock-down-drag-out with: Doreen.

10 The pistol, the bottle, and shaded pastures (Anthony Leon & The Chain) – 

Our first album is part one of an unfolding story of a young man, foolish and stubborn, determined to be more than the stars had laid out for him. Favorite track to hear on the local country radio station: Sons.

– Anthony Leon insists he’s a product of a series of genetic government experiments done during the early 70s. After escaping his confines in Virginia, Anthony moved to the mountains of New Mexico. Spending his time in and around Santa Fe,
he fronts Anthony Leon & The Chain. In his spare time he operates a small software development company. For more info, visit