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Rick Russell 

        (Songwriter, Piano, Keyboards, Guitars, Mandolin, Banjo, Bass, Resonator Guitar, Dobro, Ukelele

Harmonica, Mandocaster, Banjolin, Banjouke, Octave Mandolin, Accordion, Percussion & Vocals)

  

Rick comes from a musical family " All five of us played something, my folks saw to it, even though they didn't play themselves" He began taking piano at an early age.  Growing up in Western N.Y. Rick was quickly drawn to the popular music that was burgeoning in the late 60s & early 70's. His musical path reached a crossroads when he was exposed to a musical treasure of old recordings that his older brother Bill had collected. "Old stuff, field & chain gang hollers, recorded on 78s. He had old Leadbelly, Josh White, Lightning Hopkins, Robert Johnson & Woody Guthrie vinyl's. "I just thought it was the realist stuff I'd ever heard! It gave me another angle to approach the world of music". Writing songs became a priority, from there Rick also begin learning guitar & harmonica in addition to piano and began performing solo and with bands. "My oldest sister Ellen sang and played guitar in some folk rock groups and sometimes they rehearsed at our house, so I got to hang out, actually I was a pest, and I lifted whatever I could from her and her band mates. It was very inspirational to me, I soaked it up"

At eighteen he hitchhiked out of his home town and migrated to SW Florida. Over the years he began to collect and learn other instruments and accumulate the gear he'd need to equip his Electric Loom Studio. "I always loved the way the group "The Band" & Bob Dylan holed up there in the Saugerties and recorded the wonderful songs on Music From Big Pink & The Basement Tapes" The concept of creating our own music, our way, in a clubhouse setting always appealed to me". Three years in the mid eighties were spent in Austin & San Antonio playing with Hal Ketchum of Grand Old Opry fame among others. "Hal & I played together in a band on Sanibel right before he moved to Austin and began to make his way to Nashville"  It was there Rick was exposed to the fertile world of the great Texas singer/songwriter community of Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, Steve Earle, Robert Earl Keen and many others. "There was also a plethora of amazing blues players too, add the Tex Mex scene, Western swing, it was an incredible musical stew and I learned a lot.

In 2006 Rick joined SW Florida Motown, soul & blues cover band Deb & The Dynamics. For five years he played keyboards, harmonica & vocals for the band. He also produced their four CDs and created their website.  His contribution to that show was the source of much of the energy and passion displayed during their heyday as one of the area's popular show bands.  It was then the concept of Stringtown was born and in the summer of 2010 they debuted to packed houses in Matlacha. Rick's desire to record and perform original music and stretch creatively led to the end of his involvement with the Dynamics in winter 2011.  Rick was immediately invited to play keys and harp with his good friend Joe Connors and his band, local blues powerhouse The Juice

May 2011 the first Stringtown CD recorded at the beloved homestead was released. Two live CDs followed in 2014.  Rick is currently busy on multiple recording projects, writing songs for future CDs, playing solo piano shows at the legendary Veranda and performing with a side project called Brother Love Too when he gets the chance.  In summer 2015 Kenny Cox & Rick debuted their duo "Big Sky" which has been performing every Tuesday at Miceli's.  And of course he's "Bringin It All" every Sunday.               

          

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Contact:   rickrussell@embarqmail.com   Phone:  239~994~7162