A compelling songwriter and singer, Russell is blessed with an immediately recognizable and bluesy tenor voice. Stretching the boundaries of the bluegrass repertoire, while maintaining a respectful link to the music’s heritage, he showcases a broad range of material with his soulful tenor. His soaring lead vocal on the banjo-driven title cut Anytime Anyplace But Only You and the purity and ache in his delivery on I Need To Know, serve as a testament to his commitment to traditional and classic bluegrass. Yet effortlessly, his voice can take on a deeper more resonant quality as he renders songs from other music genres such as the Dean Martin classic Sway, Maroon 5’s This Love or Shaggy’s Strength of a Woman. Having written or co-written half the tracks on the disc, he covers a lot of ground with songs of love and heartbreak, wasted lives and even an anthem to bluegrass itself.
Russell has been the driving force behind two bands in his twenty plus year career. New Vintage, mainstays of the festival circuit and charts for much of the 90’s, won the Society for thePreservation of Bluegrass Music in America’s (SPBGMA) Band Contest and the Pizza Hut
International Bluegrass Showdown, both in 1993. They released five projects including three top 10 CD’s for Pinecastle Records. In 1997 he cofounded The Grass Cats. They have released seven CD’s and continue to record and perform. Both bands have featured his original songs with eleven of his compositions landing on the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey. (Including two #1 singles for the Grass Cats; Bluegrass Man and A Good Way To Get The Blues). He has been nominated for Songwriter of the Year twice at the SPBGMA Bluegrass Music Awards and as a producer he has 5 Top Ten CDs to his credit.