The Russek Band

The Russek Band

 Clifton, Virginia, USA
BandRockPop

Check out the new album featuring Grammy and Wammie award winners Bill Kirchen, Jon Carroll, Johnny Castle, Jack O'Dell and Nicki Gonzalez.

Biography

“Life is just a metaphor of everything we've done before,” sings Erich Russek in “He Thought He Saw,” one of many thought provoking songs by the eclectic singer-songwriter that marries cleverly unpredictable lyrics with foot tapping Rock, leaving listeners with a knowing grin and no doubt that Russek is a thinking man’s roots rocker. Take his love ballad, “Come Back To Me,” which swings merrily along while quoting six philosophers, one poet, and Albert Einstein. Then there’s “Transients,” where Russek impishly riffs on Simon and Garfunkle with the words, “I am a rock/I like being a rock/All in all, it’s easy work.”

What’s not easy work is sticking a label on this versatile musician, who during his childhood lived alternately in Tampa’s Cuban quarter, where he was exposed to Cuban music, and the suburbs of Maryland, where he received classical training. Moving between these two very different worlds provides Russek with a unique perspective and the ability to adapt, mix, and match musical styles and instruments. He is skilled in eight different wood and string instruments, and his songs draw on a diverse range of influences including punk, folk, swing, mariachi, Cajun, and Klezmer.

In Los Angeles, Russek served as front man for the band Poets In Heat, which was voted “Best Funk Band in California.” Following the release of a song on the compilation CD Secrets of California, Russek teamed up with keyboardist Martha Renee to record the alternative folk album Duck Inherits Spoon, which received AAA airplay. Following a well-received tour, Russek once again explored new musical horizons, combining his early exposure to Cuban musical sensibilities with more contemporary influences in HeartBurn, a roots-rock album that began the Russek tradition of surprising his audience; in this case with deceptively upbeat tunes that reward keen listeners with delightfully incongruous lyrics that skillfully dance between politics and poetry.

Russek’s versitality led him to his next creative venture continued to break established boundaries when he reformed Poets in Heat as a nine-piece, and recorded the material for the self-released Nine Lives CD. The CD featured scorching violin and guitar battles with smooth backing harmonies. This melding of styles resulted in songs combining the energy of rock with the heartfelt emotion of folk, and satisfied the loyal followers of this multifaceted performer reinforcing the notion that Erich Russek is truly a master of surprises.

Erich’s new album, What Are You Afraid Of?, uses twangy guitars and the sweet sound of the Hammond organ to express love, passion, and longing with this characteristic tongue in cheek lyrics. In “Didn’t Want To Say Good-bye To You Darlin’,” Russek sings, “You can say you lost your true love/Or you can say you just lost me.” The modern rockabilly sound of these twelve tracks offers something unique for everyone_award-winning musicians, ear-catching tunes, and insightful lyrics.

Lyrics

He Thought He Saw

Written By: Erich Russek

He thought he saw a french fry girl
eating beans and rice
He looked again and saw it was
a heartache in disguise
If I should stay here long he said
It won't be very nice

He went to the senator
who was bathing with a sponge
He looked again and found it was
a snake with a forked tongue
If he should and talk with him, he said,
He'll eat up all our young

CHORUS
I'm never sure of what I see
It is all such a mystery
But everything is poetry to me

It is just a Metaphor
Of everything that was done before
And everything I can't really say

So he went to the president
who was standing in the rain
He looked again and found it was
a man who was not to blame
We should ask him nice he said
Cause he won't be back again.

He sailed upon an artichoke
on a deep and stormy sea
He looked again and found it was
the man from the TV
If I don't get paid soon he said
I'll have to work for free
CHORUS
He thought he saw a building
eating at some cheese
He looked again and found it was
a banjo on his knees
I'll play a little while he said
cause I already have the disease

SOLO
CHORUS
He thought he saw an artist
standing on the stage
He looked again and found it was
a jailer in his cage
I won't let him out he said
'cause we'll all' in a rage

He thought he saw himself one day
laughing at the zoo
He looked again and found it was
a man who wasn't two
If I don't mend my ways he said
I won't know what to do

What are you afraid of?

Written By: Erich Russek

CHORUS
What are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of? (my love)
What are you afraid of?

Are you afraid that I don't love you
or that I'm insincere
let me ease your problems
let me erase that fear

CHORUS

What are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of? (my love)
What are you afraid of?

I let myself go
and I drifted out to sea
I've never been that far before
and it sure is scaring me

CHORUS

(But) what am I afraid of?
What am I afraid of?
What am I afraid of? (my love)
What am I afraid of?

Am I afraid that you don't love me
or that you'll never care
or that you've lock yourself away
and you're leading us both to despair

CHORUS

(So) what are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of? (my love)
What are you afraid of?

Let yourself go
and drift on out to sea
if you've never been so far
then just grab a hold of me

BRIDGE

CHORUS
(Now) What are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of? (my love)
What are you afraid of?

Afraid of all these changes
Afraid you'll fail the test
Don't be afraid of destiny
And don't fear happiness.
CHORUS
(So) what are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of?
What are you afraid of? (my love)
What are you afraid of?

Didn't want

Written By: Erich Russek

CHORUS
Didn't want to say good-bye to you darlin'
But I couldn't be just your friend
If only I could get some of your attention
I wouldn't be lonesome in the end

GRUNTS

Someone said you heard about me leaving
They say they see some sadness in your eyes
I believe it's true and I keep on believing
That someday you'll come to realize

CHORUS
I didn't want to say good-bye to you darlin'
But I couldn't be just your friend
I wish the news would never meet you
I wouldn't be lonesome in the end

GRUNTS

I'd like to think there'd be a little sadness when I'm gone
Hate to think the whole thing was a waste
But you'll get over it and it won't take you very long
And I'll do things at a slightly faster pace

SOLO

You can say you lost your true love
Or you can you just lost me
You gave him a gift he wasn't needin'
And darlin' you just don't need me

CHORUS
I Wouldn't of said good-bye to you darlin'
If I wasn't just your friend
If I could only get you to love me
I wouldn't be lonesome in the end

Ahh but you teased me just a little bit too much
And Oh, it wasn't that hard to do
And as much as I long for your touch
Those teasing days are through

Cause you can't force people to love you
Can't chain a person to your heart
If I wasn't meant to have you
We are better off apart

CHORUS
But I never wanted to say good-bye to you darlin'
But I'll never be just your friend
You'll probably be better by morning
I'm gonna be lonesome in the end

I know you got other worries
Instead messing with a fool like me
I just miss your laughter
I miss your laughing with me

I miss...etc.

The Flame

Written By: Erich Russek

CHORUS
Your voice pours like gasoline
Sometimes when you talk I smell the Kerosene
One spark and I am not the same
I know it's getting hot cause I can smell the flame

VERSE
Lighting matches when we're in the dark
I look into your eyes and I can see the spark
Warm breath and the flame is getting bright
If you get too close to me my senses will ignite

CHORUS
Your touch and I'm blow to smithereens
It's getting so damn hot I think I'm going to scream
One spark and nothings quite the same
I know it's getting hot cause I can smell the flame

BRIDGE

VERSE
Bonfire lighting up the sky
Sweat stings as it rolls right into my eyes
Watch out the coals are getting hot
Everytime your close to me I feel a billion watts

CHORUS
Our love lights like gasoline
Take a look at our bed and smell the kerosene
These sheets will never be the same
I know its going to catch cause I can smell the flame

What's This Blues Thing?

Written By: Erich Russek

Baby I say baby, you know I like your style
She says, "Look here weirdo, we are what we are
These times are hard for everyone and at least you've got a car
But I won't sit in a Honda, even if it starts"
Now I can't help but wonder, what she meant to say
What the hell's this blues thing, anyway

All the cats that hang on Wilshire, they all play guitar
and the girls are out there after them like they were movie stars
And everyone is waiting, to see their name in lights
But the bulbs don't shine in daylight, they only shine at night
Now I can't help but wonder, what have to say
What the hell's this blues thing, anyway

I used to ride a Harley, and I loved to be alone
I'd get so sick and tired that I'd never use the phone
But I really loved that girl, you know I had the itch
But everytime I call I remember what a bitch
Now I can't help but wonder, what I meant to say
What the hell's this blues thing, anyway

I Shall Be Released

Written By: Bob Dylan

They say ev'rything can be replaced,
Yet ev'ry distance is not near.
So I remember ev'ry face
Of ev'ry man who put me here.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

They say ev'ry man needs protection,
They say ev'ry man must fall.
Yet I swear I see my reflection
Some place so high above this wall.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

Standing next to me in this lonely crowd,
Is a man who swears he's not to blame.
All day long I hear him shout so loud,
Crying out that he was framed.
I see my light come shining
From the west unto the east.
Any day now, any day now,
I shall be released.

Discography

HeartBurn
Featuring Rick Bailey, Laura Chandler, Ronnie Byrd Foster, Joe King, and Dan Walters.

Nine Lives
Featuring Candi Blackwell, Bill Grier, Andi Keller, Dave Kline, Jeff Livesay, Pierre President, Beth Rinaldo, and Oliver Walker

What Are You Afraid Of?
Featuring Grammy and Wammie winners Bill Kirchen, Jon Carroll, Johnny Castle, Jack O'Dell and Nicki Gonzalez. Also features Jenna Sokolowski and Dan Walters.

Set List

Originals
---------------

FROM HEARTBURN
Life Is Better Here (Down In Mexico)
I Loved You
But Actually That's Not True
If Our Love Was a Western Movie
I Love You, I Still Love You
Blown Your Mind
Transients
He Thought He Saw
Come Back To Me (The Philosopher's Song)
Christine's Theme (The Blues Mix)
Go Ahead and Laugh
Christine's Theme (The Fade)

FROM NINE LIVES
Hurricane
Mediocrily Happy In My Own Way
Everybody Wants To
Come To Me
Totally Satisfied
Fire
Nikki
It Was Good
Kimberly Instrumental
That’s the Way things Are
I Can Be As Nice as I Want To Be

FROM WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?
What Are You Afraid Of?
I Can Smell The Flame
I Was Up, Now I'm Down
I Found You
When You Are Used To The Rain
Didn't Want
I Want This
What The Hell's This Blues Thing Anyway
I Shall Be Released
Can You Feel It? (LA)
Can You Feel It? (Tour)
I Can Be As