Claudia Russell

Claudia Russell


Claudia plays a style all her own: eclectic folk music woven from diverse musical influences: blues, western swing, rock, county, and traditional songs, creating a sound that is truly moving and memorable.


“I’ve always considered myself more of a singer than a songwriter,” says Claudia Russell, best known as one of the top backup singers on the LA music scene. Nonetheless, in 1999, Claudia got the courage to enter the Kerrville Folk Festival’s songwriting contest. To her surprise, she won a coveted spot at the prestigious festival held each year outside of Austin Texas. (Past Kerrville finalists have included Cheryl Wheeler, Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett. And this just in: Claudia has made it to the finals again this year!)
Claudia credits the Kerrville experience for inspiring her to record her first CD. Lucky for us! As a solo artist, Claudia reveals a style all her own: eclectic folk music woven from diverse musical influences: blues, western swing, rock and county. Drawing from original compositions, obscure gems, folk and pop classics as well as songs from her many talented friends, her performances are truly moving and memorable.
Last year, Claudia released her debut CD, Song Food, on Radio Rhythm Records. Song Food has generated a huge response from the folk radio community, getting play on more than a hundred stations across North America and Claudia was named Best New Artist of the Year by WUMB in Boston, one of the country’s top Folk stations.
To support the CD, Claudia tours extensively, performing shows at many of the premier folk venues across the country including Club Passim, The Point, The Turning Point and the Boston Folk Festival.
Before embarking on a solo career, Claudia played in several notable bands. As vocalist and guitar player in Maggie’s Farm she recorded with JRS/BMG records and appeared around the country, sharing stages with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristoffersen (at Farm Aid), and um, Mickey Dolenz! She was also one third of L.A. cult faves The Life Is Grand Band, an award-winning vocal trio that featured stunning a cappella vocals. With their Fast Folk recording now a part of the Smithsonian Folkways collection, the band is arguably a national treasure!
Last year, Blue Flame Café, a track from her CD, was included in the Sony Pictures film Trixie, starring Nick Nolte and Emily Watson.
Song Food, produced by Mark Governor, was recorded in LA and Memphis. Claudia worked with many of her favorite musicians: keyboardists Carl Byron and Rob Strickland, percussionist Debra Dobkin (Bonnie Raitt, Jewel), slide guitar meister Ted Waterhouse, mandolin and electric guitar player Bruce Kaplan, LA session ace Ed Tree, Skip Edwards (keyboards for Dwight Yoakum), bassist Diane Lindsay and multi-instrumentalist Eric Lewis (Robin and Linda Williams).
A third generation singer, her father Gilbert Russell had a million selling record with the Teddy Bear’s Picnic as lead vocalist for the BBC Dance Orchestra. Her grandfather, Val Rosing, was Director of the American Opera Company. Though born and raised in Los Angeles, Claudia has an authentic American voice that sounds as if she grew up closer to Elvis and the Everlys than the smooth sounds of LA pop.
Song Food, is available online at and selected retailers.
So listen to Song Food and feast on some fine folk music! n


Song Food, Radio Rhythm Records, 2000

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