russell

Luther Russell Announces New Double LP

Luther Russell is set to release his fifth LP, a double-length entitled The Invisible Audience, on July 12th on Ungawa Records. It's a wildly ambitious record from the multi-talented singer-songwriter/producer, which he calls "a glimpse into the jukebox of my psyche." The twenty-five tracks on this epic record were culled from months and months of recording "whenever I could get into my eight-track studio or on a four-track cassette to get an idea down." The album's narrative flow seems to run the gamut of emotions from regret, betrayal and loss to humor, nostalgia and hope. His last release, 2007's Repair (produced by Ethan Johns) was a ragged, rootsy pop record full of rich, sometimes bouncy melodies which belied their darker subject matter, namely that of his then-fresh divorce. The album won him quite a bit of acclaim but nonetheless failed to break him to a wider audience. Since then he concentrated on the production side of things, working with a wide array of artists, including Noah & The Whale, Laura Marling, Sarabeth Tucek, Holly Miranda, Richmond Fontaine, Sean Lennon and Fernando, to name a few.

It was during this industrious period that Luther would hit the recording studio on his own whenever time permitted "to capture some kind of feeling before it slipped away" or for other projects like "the odd failed soundtrack that never was." Being a multi-instrumentalist (Luther has lent his talents to many other artists on drums, guitar, bass, keys, etc.) helped to get many songs recorded with no time to waste. For instance, "Traces," a track evoking Slim Chance-era Ronnie Lane, was done "pretty much in one day", recalls Russell. Still, he did enlist help from a few close musical allies to help flesh out harmony-laden blasts like "Everything You Do" and "Tomorrow's Papers", as well as the psychedelic trance-rock of "Motorbike". In fact, on the elegiac "In This Time," members of his old band The Freewheelers popped by to help with the feel of the track. "I just had so many different types of songs coming out of me over the past few years that for once I wanted to intertwine as many as I could, regardless of style or genre, to try and paint a more complete picture of who I am as an artist. This would be my chance because I could take my time and do it until it was done--whenever the hell that would be".

Turns out it wouldn't be for roughly five years, as Luther wouldn't finally compile the songs until he was able to listen to many different sequences on the often snail-paced subway rides between Manhattan and Brooklyn where he had relocated after several years in Los Angeles. "I just began to hit upon the fact that all of the instrumental tracks that I had accrued could provide little 'smoke breaks' for the listener, so to speak". Inspired by the sprawling double-albums of his youth, such as Husker Du's Zen Arcade, Game Theory's Lolita Nation and Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, he began to see the songs woven together in a longer, more colorful tapestry. "I wanted to make a record that someone could literally get lost in...every time you'd drop the needle you'd be somewhere new. It would be like a friend that was always around, but each time you get together something has changed a little, just like in life". Invariably the album would wind up consisting of some darker pathways, to which Luther attributes more than a few harrowing experiences, such as the sudden passing of two of his "very best friends" and a horrible accident where he nearly lost use of his right hand. "A period of intense darkness seemed to settle over me after the recording of my last record. Moving to New York was definitely an 'escape' of sorts, but the kind of loss I experienced over the past few years one can never quite shake, I think".

It's these more contemplative stretches of musical highway that are found in songs such as "A World Unknown," a stripped-down blues lament concerning "various frightened glimpses into one's own mortality" and "1st & Main," a spidery concoction regarding a certain sojourn through downtown L.A. "which I'd rather not discuss", Russell broods. Livelier tracks include the uproarious "Long Lost Friend," something of a sonic shotgun-wedding between the Faces and Nilsson, juxtaposed with lyrics about "literally having fuck-all", and "Ain't Frightening Me," a dervish of acid words and zig-zag melody influenced by the proto-power-pop of Nick Lowe and Dwight Twilley. The font of mix-and-match songcraft throughout the record can also be attributed to Luther's background, which includes a grandfather and great-uncle, each of whom wrote several Tin Pan Alley standards. It's this family history which he pays tribute to on instrumentals such as the ragtime-y "109th & Madison" (named for the intersection in Harlem where his grandmother grew up) and "Still Life Radio," the old Broadway-style opener which evokes an instant nostalgia even before the expansive record has begun to rev-up (with the grinding Sidekick Reverb).

As to the inevitable head-scratching regarding the sheer length of the record, Luther takes it in stride. "I fully get and understand that many people will ask 'why so long' and generally not have the patience to sit through such an 'endless' listen", he laughs, "but I just had to do it. It just felt right and I thought it would be a true musical experience--that is if you even like what I do in the first place!" This time around, not only has Luther Russell made a record that has many of the hallmarks he is known for (ear-catching melodies, lyrics layered with multiple meanings and adventurous musicianship), but he's managed to make one that contains all of them: the dark folk-blues territory he has covered in past records such as Lowdown World, the bold experimentation found in out-of-nowhere u-turns like Down At Kit's and the melancholy pop of the aforementioned Repair. The Invisible Audience aims to tie up the many loose ends of Luther's recorded output and twist it into something new, yet strangely recognizable. "It's an album made for music fans. People like me. Folks who want to disappear for a while, take a vacation from all the bullshit. All you need is a pair of headphones and an open mind".

Leon Russell, Fri Sept. 17 @ Boulder Theater

The ultimate rock & roll session man, Leon Russell's long and storied career includes collaborations with a virtual who's who of music icons spanning from Jerry Lee Lewis to Phil Spector to the Rolling Stones. A similar eclecticism and scope also surfaced in his solo work, which couched his charmingly gravelly voice in a rustic yet rich swamp pop fusion of country, blues and gospel. Born Claude Russell Bridges on April 2, 1942, in Lawton, OK, he began studying classical piano at age three, a decade later adopting the trumpet and forming his first band. At 14, Russell lied about his age to land a gig at a Tulsa nightclub, playing behind Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks before touring in support of Jerry Lee Lewis. Two years later, he settled in Los Angeles, studying guitar under the legendary James Burton and appearing on sessions with Dorsey Burnette and Glen Campbell. As a member of Spector's renowned studio group, Russell played on many of the finest pop singles of the 1960s, also arranging classics like Ike & Tina Turner's monumental "River Deep, Mountain High"; other hits bearing his input include the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," Gary Lewis & the Playboys' "This Diamond Ring," and Herb Alpert's "A Taste of Honey."
In 1967, Russell built his own recording studio, teaming with guitarist Marc Benno to record the acclaimed Look Inside the Asylum Choir LP. While touring with Delaney & Bonnie, he scored his first songwriting hit with Joe Cocker's reading of "Delta Lady," and in 1970, upon founding his own Shelter Records imprint, he also organized Cocker's legendary Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. After the subsequent tour film earned Russell his first real mainstream notoriety, he issued a self-titled solo LP, and in 1971 appeared at George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh following sessions for B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan. After touring with the Rolling Stones, Russell increasingly focused on his solo career, reaching the number two spot with 1972's Carny and scoring his first pop hit with the single "Tight Rope." While the success of 1973's three-LP set Leon Live further established his reputation as a top concert draw, response to the country inspired studio effort Hank Wilson's Back was considerably more lukewarm, as was the reception afforded to 1974's Stop All That Jazz. 1975's Will O' the Wisp, however, restored his commercial luster, thanks in large part to the lovely single "Lady Blue."
In June of 1975, Russell married singer Mary McCreary; the following year the couple collaborated on The Wedding Album, issued through his newly formed Paradise Records label. Also in 1976, the Russell-penned "This Masquerade" earned a Grammy Award for singer George Benson. He and McCreary reunited for 1977's Make Love to the Music, and upon completing the solo Americana, Russell teamed with Willie Nelson for 1979's Willie & Leon. He then spent the next two years touring with his bluegrass band, the New Grass Revival, issuing a live LP in 1981; although Paradise shut down later that year, the label was reactivated for 1984's Hank Wilson, Vol. II and Solid State. Russell spent the remainder of the decade largely outside of music and did not resurface until issuing the Bruce Hornsby produced Anything Can Happen in 1992. Hank Wilson, Vol. 3: Legend in My Time. Face in the Crowd appeared a year later.
21+ / Gold Circle: $51.00 / Reserved: $41.00 / GA: $30.00
On sale July 30
Tickets will be on sale through the Boulder Theater box office
Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com
Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030

Catherine Russell CD Release Party Monday April 12 at Dizzy's Club

World Village/harmonia mundi proudly announces the release of vocalist Catherine Russell’s Inside This Heart Of Mine on April 13, 2010. Her third album for the label, Inside This Heart Of Mine is a collection of 13 songs -- tied together by the special place these songs hold inside the heart of Catherine Russell.

It's a heart that's warm and effusive, bluesy and erudite, bold yet vulnerable, passionate yet ethereal. Just listen to Cat's masterful reading of “Troubled Waters”, a seldom heard tune scored by the Duke Ellington Orchestra for both Ivey Anderson and Mae West, performed here as a sultry meditation. Then there's “We The People”, a never before covered Fats Waller tune from an originally unreleased recording, a tongue-in-cheek populist manifesto from the previous Great Depression, which implores legislators to provide “syncopation” as the surest way to “please the people.” The Spencer Williams languid blues melody, "Slow As Molasses", was originally recorded as an instrumental by Luis Russell in 1929 with his band The Jungle Town Stompers. Wordsmith Rachelle Garniez added lyrics just for these sessions, allowing Cat’s evocative vocal spin on the new creation, some 80 years following her Dad’s original version.

This decades spanning collection of songs, originally performed by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Peggy Lee, Maxine Sullivan, Howlin’ Wolf, Wynonie Harris, Fats Waller, and Catherine’s father, Luis Russell, draws from Vaudeville wit, Tin Pan Alley tune craft, New Orleans swagger, Swing Era sock, the European Cafe, Jump Blues jive, modal Delta Blues, and Django-esque swing, with an immediacy and a timeless quality that’s refreshingly oblivious to current “trends”. Here in you’ll find works by Hall of Fame Songwriters, like Andy Razaf, Harold Arlen, Ted Koehler, Alec Wilder, and Willie Dixon, as well as being introduced to newer Contemporary songs with an old-time vibe by Rachelle Garniez and producer, Paul Kahn.

For the sessions, Musical Director/Arranger/Guitarist/Banjoist, Matt Munisteri (Holly Cole, Little Jimmy Scott, Brock Mumford), assembled the cream of New York City based players, including trumpet great Jon-Erik Kellso, who contributes arrangements, trombonist John Allred, and saxophone/clarinetist Dan Block. The rhythm section includes players from Catherine Russell’s road tested band, including stride and swing connoisseur Mark Shane on piano, Lee Hudson on bass, and Brian Grice on drums (Count Basie Orchestra, Eartha Kitt). Additional players on the album include legendary hipster Howard Johnson on tuba, Rachelle Garniez on accordion, Sara Caswell on violin, Neal Miner on bass, and Rob Garcia on drums.

Catherine Russell is a New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was a native of Panama who moved to New Orleans and then New York City, becoming a pioneering pianist/composer/bandleader, and Louis Armstrong's long-time musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, an outstanding bassist and vocalist, has performed with Mary Lou Williams and International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Considering her roots and family pedigree, it’s no surprise that Catherine Russell is a one-of-a-kind singer and musician. Cat is in demand as a backing singer and multi- instrumentalist, having performed and recorded with artists including Steely Dan, Levon Helm, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Carrie Smith, and Rosanne Cash.

Of her debut album "Cat", (World Village/Harmonia Mundi), she made critic and Sinatra biographer, Will Friedwald's top 10 list who stated "She is a fresh and original voice. The most exciting debut album I've heard in a long time."    "It's a delight to hear the real thing in Catherine Russell", wrote the dean of jazz writers, Nat Hentoff, in The Wall Street Journal.


Catherine Russell's second album on World Village, "Sentimental Streak", was released in 2008 to universal acclaim, hitting the Billboard and I-Tunes Jazz Charts, and JazzWeek and Living Blues Radio Charts. Cat was a guest on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and NPR's "Fresh Air". She won the prestigious German Record Critics' Award in the Jazz category and Living Blues magazine's 2008 critics' poll as "Artist Deserving More Attention." L'Acadamie du Jazz in France chose "Sentimental Streak" as finaliste for Prix du Jazz Vocal 2008, while Grammy Award winning writer and jazz critic Francis Davis picked "Sentimental Streak" as Vocal Album of the Year in the 2008 Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll.

Since the release of her albums, Catherine Russell has performed on three continents. She's been the surprise hit at major events including the Chicago Blues Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Bern Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Lotus World Music Festival, I Love Jazz Festival in Brazil, Panama Jazz Festival, and at premier venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, The Dakota in Minneapolis, and Yoshi's in San Francisco. All Music Guide says, "Russell emerged as a retro old school vocalist for the ages."

Catherine Russell's "Inside This Heart of Mine" is a personal selection of gems from the 1920s through the Present; vital interpretations, bursting with soul and humor. Deepening the approach of her previous recordings -- an off-the-beaten-path song selection, sparkling small group acoustic swing, and a stunning vocal approach -- with "Inside This Heart Of Mine", vocalist Catherine Russell joins the ranks of the greatest interpreters and performers of American Popular Song.

Catherine Russell CD Release Party
Monday April 12
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street,
(33 West 60th Street)
NY, NY 10023
(212)258-9595

Tom Russell: Blood and Candle Smoke Streets 9/15

Tom Russell has recorded 25 records and one DVD. His songs have been recorded by Johnny Cash, Doug Sahm, Nancy Griffith, Joe Ely, Iris Dement, Ian Tyson, KD Lang, Suzy Bogguss, Ramblin´ Jack Elliott, Jeff Walker, Dave Van Ronk and other great artists.

Tom-RussellRussell credited, along with Dave Alvin, of inventing the Americana radio format with their Merle Haggard tribute 'Tulare Dust' in 1994. The Columbus Other wrote: 'Russell seems to have invented, and keeps re-inventing, American roots music...! He´s the strongest live performer we have seen in years.'

Tom Russell has appeared on the David Letterman TV show four times in the last few years, and his songs have appeared in a dozen movies and television series including: Tremors, Songcatcher and Northern Exposure.

Russell was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and now makes his home on a 2.68 ''badland farm'' on the border of El Paso-Juarez. He graduated from the University of California with a Master´s Degree in Criminology and taught school in Nigeria during the Biafran war, befor re-locating to Vancouver to begin his musical career singing Hank Williams´ songs in skid row bars.

Tom Russell has published three books: a detective novel (in Scandinavia), a compendium of songwriting quotes with Sylvia Tyson (And Then I Wrote - Arsenal Press), and a book of letters with Charles Bukowski: (Tough Company: Mystery Island Press).

Russell is also an established painter represented by Yard Dog Folk Art in Austin and Marfa (www.yarddog.com) and Rainbow Man in Santa Fe (www.rainbowman.com)

russellIn 2008 Shout Factory released 'Veteran`s Day', a double disc Anthology with 37 songs, which were remastered, from Tom`s entire recording career. Guest artists included Dave Alvin, Nanci Griffith, Iris Dement, Ian Tyson, and many more. There are also two unreleased songs included, and a twenty page booklet. In 2009 Tom co-produced, and was a featured guest, on the critically acclaimed Gretchen Peters record One To The Heart, One To The Head which included Tom`s song "Guadalupe" and songs by Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt. Tom`s new Shout Factory record Blood and Candle Smoke is scheduled for a September 15, 2009 release.

Robert Hunter, the Grateful Dead lyricist and co-writer on Dylan's latest, said, "Excellent record in all respects. Lyrics are jewels, arrangements deeply tasteful, vocals superb." Robert first met Tom in the latter's New York cab in 1983 and the two became friends. (Things happen to Tom that just don't happen to anyone else.) 

Here is an mp3 from Tom's newest album:  {play}images/mp3/santa_ana_wind.mp3{/play}

Upcoming Tour Dates:

 Month             City                                  Country


 Sep 18, 2009 Cowboy Train

 Sep 18, 2009 Albuquerque, NM

 Sep 19, 2009 Durango, CO

 Sep 30, 2009 Cambridge (Boston), MA

 Oct 2009
 Oct 01, 2009 The Late Show with David Letterman, NYC

 Oct 02, 2009 Piermont, NY

 Oct 03, 2009 New York, NY

 Oct 04, 2009 Washington, DC

 Oct 06, 2009 Pittsburgh, PA

 Oct 07, 2009 Cleveland, OH

 Oct 08, 2009 Columbus, OH

 Oct 09, 2009 Ann Arbor, MI

 Oct 10, 2009 Chicago, IL

 Oct 11, 2009 Fairfield, Iowa

 Oct 13, 2009 Columbia, MO

 Oct 14, 2009 Kansas City, MO

 Oct 15, 2009 Springfield, IL

 Oct 16, 2009 St. Louis, MO

 Oct 17, 2009 Mt. Olive, IL

 Nov 2009
 Nov 04, 2009 Phoenix, AZ

 Nov 05, 2009 Tucson, AZ

 Nov 06, 2009 Pinos Altos, NM (near Silver City)

 Nov 07, 2009 Las Cruces, NM

 Nov 08, 2009 Santa Fe, NM

 Nov 10, 2009 Fort Worth, TX

 Nov 11, 2009 Dallas, TX

 Nov 12, 2009 Austin, TX

 Nov 13, 2009 Fischer, TX

 Nov 14, 2009 Houston, TX

 Nov 15, 2009 San Antonio, TX

 Dec 2009
 Dec 04, 2009 San Diego, CA

 Dec 05, 2009 Santa Monica, CA

 Dec 06, 2009 Ojai, CA

 Dec 07, 2009 Visalia, CA

 Dec 09, 2009 Felton, CA

 Dec 10, 2009 Redwood City, CA

 Dec 11, 2009 Berkeley, CA

 Dec 12, 2009 Winters, CA

 Dec 13, 2009 Sparks (Reno), NV

 Dec 14, 2009 Sparks (Reno), NV

 Dec 15, 2009 Portland, OR

 Dec 16, 2009 Seattle, WA

 Jan 2010
 Jan 15, 2010 Bristol, UK

 Jan 16, 2010 Farncombe (Surrey) , UK

 Jan 17, 2010 York, UK

 Jan 19, 2010 Southport, UK

 Jan 20, 2010 Glasgow, UK

 Jan 21, 2010 Glasgow, UK

 Jan 22, 2010 Barton-upon-Humber (North Lincolnshire), UK

 Jan 23, 2010 Bury, UK

 Jan 24, 2010 Gateshead, UK

 Jan 25, 2010 Norwich, UK

 Jan 26, 2010 Leicester, UK

 Jan 27, 2010 London, UK

 Jan 28, 2010 Belfast, UK

 Jan 29, 2010 Dublin, Ireland

 Jan 30, 2010 Roscrae, Ireland

 Jan 31, 2010 Galway City, IE

 Feb 2010
 Feb 01, 2010 Norway

 Feb 02, 2010 Norway

 Feb 03, 2010 Norway

 Feb 04, 2010 Norway

 Feb 05, 2010 Norway

 Feb 06, 2010 Norway

 Feb 07, 2010 Norway

 Apr 2010
 Apr 12, 2010 Toronto, Canada

 Apr 14, 2010 Calgary, Canada

 Apr 15, 2010 Calgary, Canada

 Apr 16, 2010 Edmonton, Canada

 Apr 17, 2010 Calgary, Canada

Catherine Russell at The Metropolitan Room, NYC - 1/11/09

Photos by Anthony Pepitone- for the Grateful Web

Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born with an enviable musical pedigree. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was born in Panama and moved to New Orleans and then New York City, becoming a pioneering pianist/bandleader, and Louis Armstrong's long-time musical director.  Her mother, Carline Ray, is an outstanding bassist and vocalist and holder of advanced degrees from Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, who has performed with Mary Lou Williams and Wynton Marsalis. Not surprisingly considering her roots, Catherine Russell is a one of a kind vocalist.  She has toured the world, performing and recording with a wide array of trend setting artists, including Paul Simon, David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, and Rosanne Cash.

Since the 2006 release of her debut album, Cat, on Harmonia Mundi's World Village label, Catherine Russell has been making fans and friends and grabbing listeners by the ear. "She is a fresh and original voice. The most exciting debut album I've heard in a long time" writes New York Sun critic and Sinatra biographer, Will Friedwald, who picked Cat among his top 10 cds of the year. "It's a delight to hear the real thing in Catherine Russell.", writes Nat Hentoff in The Wall Street Journal.

Ms. Russell has been a hit on major events like Rochester Int'l Jazz Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Bern International Jazz Festival, JVC-New York Jazz Festival, Detroit International Jazz Festival, Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Lotus Festival, and at premier venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Sculler's in Boston, The Dakota in Minneapolis, The Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, and Yoshi's in San Francisco. She has appeared on the nationally syndicated shows Mountain Stage, JazzSet on NPR, Studio 360, and The Tavis Smiley Show on PBS-TV. Reviews and profiles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Phoenix, Living Blues, Blues Review, Downbeat, Goldmine, No Depression, Boston Herald, Newark Star Ledger, JazzTimes, Chicago Sun Times, and many more.

Cat spent weeks on JazzWeek magazine's chart for national airplay, while 'Back O Town Blues' was a top 10 download on I-Tunes Jazz Chart. National Public Radio's top 5 jazz cd's of 2006 included Cat, as chosen by WBGO dj's.

Catherine Russell's 2nd album on World Village, Sentimental Streak, hit the streets on February 12, 2008, to universal acclaim, becoming a world-wide favorite of critics and fans alike. Catherine appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien on NBC-TV, Fresh Air with Terry Gross on NPR, Beale Street Caravan, and in concert on CBC-Radio in Canada. Her 2nd cd reached the #3 position on I-Tunes Jazz Chart, while also charting on Billboard's Jazz Chart, JazzWeek, and Living Blues Radio Chart. She recently won a prestigious German Record Critics' Award in the Jazz category and Living Blues magazine's 2008 critics' poll as "Artist Deserving More Attention."

The Metropolitan Room

34 West 22nd Street between 5th & 6th Ave

New York, NY

reservations 212-206-0440

purchase tickets online