Russell Huie
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Russell Huie


Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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"Finding his voice"

Bryan's Russell Huie had the required skills.

All he needed was a little encouragement to begin his career as a solo musician

Russell Huie's introduction to the guitar began 13 years ago when he was a bored 12-year-old trying to beat the summer doldrums. Once Huie picked up the instrument, he has barely been able to put it down. The Bryan-based musician is working on his first studio album and will play at Revolution on Thursday night.
Russell Huie's friends knew he had the goods to make it as a musician. All it took was a little encouragement to convince him of the same.

In 2002, local singer/songwriter Bobby Tang recruited Huie to play lead guitar during his shows around town. Huie decided to play a couple of his own songs for Tang, whom he respects as a friend and a musician. He also impressed his "music connoisseur" friend Timothy Britton.

"The two of them were like, 'Dude, you should be playing these [in front of audiences],'" Huie said. "It was received pretty well. They kind of pushed me along."

That initial encouragement was all Huie needed to start his solo musical career.

His next gig will be at 10 p.m. Thursday at Revolution in Bryan. In between club dates, he has been recording his first studio album.

Once friends convinced him that music success was attainable, Huie discovered that playing for audiences wasn't as difficult as he expected.

It didn't hurt that, during his first few performances, people weren't exactly paying attention.

That sounds like a less-than-ideal situation for a musician - playing for an inattentive audience - but Huie said the situation gave him a sense of comfort.

"Even though it was [30 minutes before the bars closed], nobody's listening," he said. "You still get stage fright. But it didn't matter that nobody was listening. It mattered that I got it out there.

"It was really good. If it had been too nerve-racking, I probably would have [quit]. But it was great."

During his first solo gigs, Huie learned that if he was happy with his songs, the opinions of others didn't really matter.

"When you put yourself out there, what you've created or what you do has been approved as good by you. But there's still this thing where you think, 'What if people don't like this?'

"I guess those early few times, you kind of realize that it doesn't matter. I like this, and it's coming from the heart. So it was really empowering."

Of course, Huie definitely craves acceptance.

One of the few times an audience has paid close attention was during last year's Kerrville University Songwriters Contest at Revolution in Bryan.

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Eagle Photo/Butch Ireland
Like other musicians playing that night, Huie performed for an audience that was captivated. During his performance, a hush fell, providing a unique experience.

"The Kerrville [contest] was really neat because that was the first time I had played ... where people were quiet and listening. It was exciting. You feed off that a lot more. It's easy to get up and play in front of people who aren't really listening. You can kind of hide behind that.

"But being really vulnerable like that and having people hanging on every word, it's really exciting. It's not just background music; it's the main focus."


WHO: Russell Huie.

WHEN: 10 p.m. Thursday.

WHERE: Revolution, 211-B S. Main St., Bryan.


Thirteen years ago, long before he was captivating audiences with his singing and guitar prowess, Huie was just a bored 12-year-old in San Diego trying to ease the summer doldrums.

Huie decided to pick up his sister's guitar and start playing. Not long afterward, he was taking lessons.

Huie played guitar in his high school jazz band and drums in the marching band, but he hadn't expanded his musical endeavors until 1999, when he arrived at Texas A&M University.

At that point, he started listening to more "melodic stuff," for instance, Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley.

"Eventually, with some prodding from friends, I thought, 'You know, I could probably write songs,'" Huie said. "I had kind of built up this confidence in my songs. And it all came out at one time. There was a period of six months where every day I was writing a new tune."

He credited his guitar instructor in San Diego for teaching him the principles of music theory. Those principles and his mastery of the instrument have helped him become a proflic writer.

"From day one, he taught me these scales and these chords, but [he also taught me], 'Here's why they work together.' That always stuck with me, and it was real helpful when I played in that jazz band. It was nice to have that foundation and knowing the rules and structure. It was good to know the rules because when you broke them, it made it that much better."

Lyrically, Huie's music is abstract yet still retains intimacy.

Even though he doesn't name specific people or events in his life, Huie said the songs - The Bryan Eagle


Yet Untitled (Fall 2007 Release) - Canon Records
To the Sea EP (2002) Canon Records



Russell Huie's music is big. A serious affair. His band formed in Texas from the members of several other outfits (Bryan from Wish Found Nation / Joshua James Trio, Keith from CHASE! and many others). It's sort-of hand-picked group that can play seriously and movingly, to really give the music agency. This band is intent and focused on the music. With the air of all the great musicians and song-writers they admire, the band captivates its audience with a firm dynamic, all driven at the base by authentic, graceful musicianship.