Woody Russell is an award winning Contemporary-Jazz/R&B vocalist, guitarist and composer based in Austin, Texas. The WR Trio tours the US performing his original music primarily at listening rooms, house concerts, private events, festivals, jazz and blues clubs. The full band expands to a quintet/sextet. Mr. Russell was a prominently featured artist on the CW Network's "Troubadour, TX" - an hour long television program airing weekly in over 20 million homes nationwide (2011-12). He was a Texas Commission of the Arts Touring Roster artist (2016-2018), "deemed the best in their field by a panel statewide experts. Voted "Top 10" in Songwriter category of the Austin Music Awards.
Woody and Lloyd were quite the dynamic duo. The gentlemen's punctuality to the event was spot on, very easy to work with, and communicate. The musical performance, with a nice mixture of instrumental and vocal selections, was fantastic. I would strongly encourage others to book these artists.
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 60 - 180 minutes
What to Expect
Jazz at Style Quarterly
"Woody Russell is the consummate singer/songwriter, and one of the most believable lyricists and storytellers I’ve heard in quite some time. Russell’s latest endeavor, Carry It Up, packs a wallop of pop-infused jazz, soul and rock flavorings that will send you on an unforgettable expedition through fascinating hues of ingenious songwriting and immaculate production – track after track after track."
"[Carry It Up] is bristling with blue-eyed soul grooves while, lyrically, the long player offers insight into relationships as well as addressing broader social issues ... as on the album's title cut. The song 'Carry It Up' is a kind of 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother' for the 21st century."
BE Music and Entertainment
"One of the BEST kept secrets in the world of live performance today."
Chart Magazine (CAN)
"He's got some powerful, gut-emanating pipes, full of soul and deeply-felt conviction. He immediately drew attention with his intricate finger work. The packed crowd was roaring…eclectic and unique and worth more than the price of admission."
"Sophisticated arrangements and a very thoughtful, fresh approach."
House Concert Fan
"One the the best musical events I've ever been witness to!"
If you're looking for an original concert experience, not just another cover band, Woody Russell provides an exceptional concert event for your audience.
Woody Russell is a professional performer with over 25 years of professional musicianship and songwriting to his credit. The touring WR Trio (WR3) delivers a world class concert experience based on Russell's original songs spanning multiple album releases. Their "Jazz adjacent", Contemporary Jazz style has been praised by audiences nationwide. His music is sophisticated, yet accessible. The focus is on WR's soulful, uplifting song-craft and the superb musicianship of his Trio or full band.
DISCLAIMER: Woody Russell is NOT a cover band, though some songs - often classic Blues, Soul and Jazz Vocal Standards - are covered at his choosing.
PA/Concert Sound Equipment and Basic Lighting can be provided
*Tours throughout North America at all manner of venues (clubs, house concerts, theaters) as well as major festivals (Newport, NxNE, SxSW, Winterfolk, Folk Alliance, Sisters, Houston Int’l, Tall City Blues, Navasota Blues, Listening Room Fest & more)
*2019 TOP TEN Songwriter - Austin Music Awards Poll
*2016-18 Texas Commission On The Arts Touring Roster Official Artist
*2016 Finalist USA Songwriting Competition
*2016 Listening Room Festival Featured Artist
*2016 Release of Carry It Up with successful Pledge Music campaign
*2015 Finalist - International Acoustic Music Awards
*2014/15 Honorable Mention - International Songwriting Competition
*2013 recipient of the Bugle Boy “Founder’s Choice Talent Trust Award” (Kat Edmonson, 2011 / John Fullbright, 2012).
*2013 Successfully funded release of Delicious Days and subsequent video through Kickstarter
*2012 Co-founder of BluzSkool, an interactive live program that encourages "Creative Courage" through musical improvisation with elementary aged children (booked at rural schools throughout Texas)
*2011-12 Television: Prominently featured artist on the debut season (Sept ’11 – Sept ’12) of “Troubadour, TX”, a nationally syndicated docu-reality show that aired weekly on the CW Network in over 20 million homes
*2010 release, Up Against It, received substantial critical praise in national and international blues press (see press buzz below)
*2006 release Salt, nominated for an IMA “Album Of The Year”
CARRY IT UP
Critically acclaimed, award winning vocalist, guitarist and composer, Woody Russell, has released a body of recorded work that spans from the folk-rock infused songwriter fare of his first album, …As Simple As That (1996) to the more recent and highly praised blues/soul release of Up Against It (2010) and the pop-jazz shades of Delicious Days (2013). A year in the making, his newest full length album, Russell's latest, Carry It Up, delivers gutsy pop-jazz that orbits around themes of love, compassion, tolerance, respect and the quest for all of the aforementioned. Again, his sophisticated jazz-adjacent songwriting is present throughout as the band turns in one exceptional performance after another. Mainstays from previous WR lineups include bassist extraordinaire, Brady Muckelroy and harmonica ace, Jose Ruiz. Newer additions, Lloyd Wright (piano, keys), Derrick Hicks (piano), Tony Miller (drums) and special guest vocalist, Jacqui Walker, shine through with inspired performances. The recording is brimming with excellent solos and ensemble interplay. But, what elevates the game this time around is Russell’s very fine delivery as a vocalist. There can be no doubt that he possesses a mastery of his vocal instrument which conveys emotional sincerity with each phrase, each lyrical turn. And, not unlike a primary influence, Van Morrison, he navigates the sound of his words with a rhythmic precision and melodic expression akin to jazz improvisation. Then there’s his guitar playing, which Blues Revue likened to “the fearlessness of Jeff Beck”.
The Austin, Texas based Russell has always been a genre-blurring artist and Carry It Up is no exception. As a lyricist, Woody digs deep in to intimate narratives and is equally comfortable addressing a broader social consciousness. An amalgam of pop-infused jazz and classic R&B buzzes at the core of Carry It Up, shaded by a bit of rock and soul. His sophisticated songwriting is supported by narratives that dive deep in to the heart of the spiritual, the romantic and the soul-searcher, orbiting around themes of love, compassion, respect and the pursuit of each of the aforementioned. He has also, for the first time, recorded a cover song; a sincere acoustic take of Marvin Gaye’s chestnut “What’s Going On” that focuses on the poignant message of a timeless lyric. It features the tenor sax of Chi-town transplant, Dez Desormeaux, and is right at home amid the rest of this original work. The end result with Carry It Up is a lush recording that is positively brimming with superb song craft, gutsy pop-jazz and soul, created by a master craftsman and his world class band.
The touring Woody Russell Trio features two Austin based “A-list” musicians from the album’s sessions: Lloyd Gil Wright on piano/synths plus jazz/blues harmonica virtuoso, Jose Ruiz. The Trio format has been developing over the course of several tours, employing the use of electronics and percussion in an aim to further the possibilities within the context of a small group.
TEXAS TOURING ROSTER ARTIST
Woody Russell is an officially recognized artist of the Texas Commission on the Arts Texas Touring Roster. Texas Touring Roster artists have been deemed the best in their field by a panel of statewide experts. Support may be available to assist with booking fees through the Arts Respond Performance Support grant program. This quarterly program provides support to Texas schools, libraries, and nonprofit organizations for hiring an artist from the TCA Touring Roster to give a performance, residency, or workshop. These applications are funded based on a sliding scale ranging from 30% to 50% of contracted fees. Support is based on TCA’s available funds. Contact TCA for more information.
Woody takes to the road throughout the U.S. continuously. His live performances, whether solo or with his full band, have been described as "transcendent" by KDRP radio personality, David Arnberger; engaging audiences with a sincere and "in the moment" connection to his music. He's shared billing with artists ranging from Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, Steve Earle and Paul Thorn to Jimmy Vaughan and Tommy Castro at theaters, nightclubs and major festivals, including the prestigious Newport Folk Festival. Critically praised as an "exemplary" guitarist, an “exceptional singer” and songwriter of the highest caliber - a "total artist package", Woody Russell delivers seasoned performances with over twenty-five years as a professional musician to his credit. Respected music industry veteran and President of BE Music and Entertainment, Michael Blanton, calls him "one of the best kept secrets in the world of live performance today."
Woody is also a founding member of BluzSkool, a performance program which brings a fun, dynamic and interactive musical "clinic" to elementary and middle school aged children in often under-served communities. The program includes on-stage participation; singing, dancing, playing the harmonica and percussion in a highly charged improvisational performance atmosphere that helps develop self confidence, as well as, the courage to be creative and to "think outside the box".
Woody Russell was a prominently featured artist on Season One of the CW Network's, "Troubadour, TX"; airing weekly in over 20 million households nationwide from Sept. 2011 through Sept. 2012. He also toured as one of four artists chosen to represent the program.
Additional Booking Notes
Woody Russell can provide a 1-3 hour concert event. Some PA and lighting can be provided, as well. Contact artist for more information.
Past Booked Events
|November 15, 2017 • 5:30pm - 7:00pm||Convention/Trade Show|
Original Material with some Covers added at the Artist's discretion.
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