Fascinating hues of ingenious songwriting - Jazz Quarterly

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Much anticipated new music from Woody Russell's forthcoming project

DARK HOUR RADIO

New Album
Early 2022

 

Woody Russell (CUTS Music Group 2021)

Swagger, Swing and vivid lyricism

A writer once panned Woody Russell’s songs as overtly lost in the 1970s. Though meant as a dig, the reviewer was only somewhat correct. While not lost in, nor intentionally retro-centric, his songcraft is indeed distilled from the same thoughtful essence and warmth of singer-songwriters who populated the freeform FM radio of his childhood in the early to mid-70’s. Add then the spirit of a masterful guitarist and you’ve got in front of you a tunesmith by the name of Woody Russell. A critically acclaimed, award-winning guitarist, vocalist and composer, Russell concerns himself with a certain aesthetic "inextricably tangled with a myriad of inspirations." Both his guitar playing - which Blues Revue likened to the "fearlessness" of legendary guitarist, Jeff Beck - and his songwriting are equally informed by a cross-pollination of vinyl album era singer-songwriters, rhythm and blues, vintage country and modern jazz. "I'm equal parts guitar picker and crooner in search of an honest turn of phrase." It's an adventurous mix of swagger and swing peppered with vivid lyricism and a command of his honeyed baritone voice. Russell's music bears a genuine patina of being lived in, experienced and restless. It reveals a life spent under the hood as a working-class musician. 

His origin story begins with – more or less – a southwestern Montana boy, the beloved FM dial, a modest record collection and his sister's unwanted classical guitar. Those seeds having been planted long before uprooting the country kid to a musician's grind in Seattle clubs during the heyday of Grunge. Following another relocation, his story continues with unrelenting effort toward broader recognition and success in the eclectic, roots music epicenter of Austin, Texas. It's been a persistent creative pulse, ultimately forging an artist now thousands of gigs in to his career. Woody continues to honor an ever-present spark of fascination with "guitars and songcraft", stoking that original flame while delivering new recordings released on his own CUTS Music Group label. ​

Russell has released a catalogue of diverse recorded work that spans from the Americana infused fare of his first album, As Simple As That (1996), the rootsy IMA "Album Of The Year" nominated, Salt (2005), a highly praised blues and soul album, Up Against It (2010), followed by the rich instrumental/orchestral collection, Big Sky (2012). Later releases offered up funkier pop-jazz shades with Delicious Days (2013) and Carry It Up (2016). A new album, Dark Hour Radio, is slated for release in early 2022. It promises to be a recording that dials up the warm vibe of those earliest 70's era songwriter influences. 

Woody Russell tours throughout North America at all manner of venues (clubs, house concerts, theaters) and major festivals, including the prestigious Newport Folk Festival. He's been a prominently featured artist on the CW Network's docu-reality show, "Troubadour, TX", a Texas Commission on the Arts Touring Roster Artist and a 2019 Austin Music Awards Poll Top Ten Songwriter.

"Any hard-won success I've managed to garner has happened without the support of a major label. I won't lie: there has been real pain and heartbreak associated with this life. But, I am a fierce believer in the positive force of this mysterious magic we call music." 

Reviews

  • "Woody Russell is the consummate singer-songwriter and one of the most believable storytellers I've heard in quite some time... a wallop of pop-infused jazz, soul and rock flavorings that will send you on an unforgettable expedition through fascinating hues of ingenious songwriting."
    - Jazz Quarterly

     
  • "The Van Morrison of his generation." - B McIntyre - Honey Creek Concerts
     
  • "Bristling with blue-eyed soul." - SoulandJazzandFunk.com

 

 

Featured on the CW Network's Troubadour, TX

 


 

  • "Russell does a great job of melding the old with the new to create something that will appeal to a wide range of listeners. His voice is definitely old soul and full of soul. Everything in between like the butter and honey in the biscuit." - Ear Candy 
  • "One of the most interesting musical cities in the world, Austin... again they have a promising talent and that's Woody Russell." - Roots Time

  • "The sound of a musician who's invested a lifetime in sharpening his playing." - High Bias
     
  • "Crisp, inventive lines blend funk and blues with Jeff Beck's fearlessness."- Blues Revue
     
  • "There's a fine legacy of Texas blues and Woody Russell is right up there alongside many of those heroes." - Blues Matters (UK)
     
  • Touring Roster Artist 2018-19

     

"JAZZICANA"

What's Jazzicana? Well, it should definitely be a cocktail so I'll have to get to work on that.  But The backstory is that it was a title given to my music after playing a concert in Florida (shout-out to Alice!). You could think of it as the country-raised side of the family and their jazz and blues cousins making a joyful noise together. It's also informed by the sweetest melancholy sounds I've ever heard while drinking at a pub in County Kerry, Ireland. It represents a meridian in all of the music that I love, the music that I am carrying a torch for, so to speak. The soul of it has really deep roots. As a songwriter, I'm equal parts guitar picker and crooner, so it seems Jazzicana is probably as close as I'm gonna get to accurately describing this thing I've been doing all these years.  - WR























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