Russell Turner
Gig Seeker Pro

Russell Turner

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Band Rock Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



This band has no press


Aubade - Industrialist Records, November, 2009



One’s creations are an expression of their fundamentals; a material extension of the core that drives them. My life—and therefore, my work—is a product of independent judgment. I wrote, produced, performed, recorded and mixed my debut album, Aubade, a process which spanned nearly four years from the summer of 2005 to the late spring of 2009. The album showcases 14 original tracks totaling more than an hour in length with songs ranging from short folk ballads to long, intricate rock n’ roll songs. The title means, “Music to greet the dawn” and serves to represent the significance of this album to me as a symbol of a new beginning. This is the start of a transition towards self-sufficiency; the first step taken towards the time when I can exist by the productive capacity of my own mind and body, rather than just the later.

I began my music career in Long Beach, California on November 28th, 1982 in the choir of the nursery at Long Beach Community Hospital—I sang better (or at least louder) than all the other babies even though my lungs had collapsed at birth. By the age of three, I had mastered the art of pounding on a toy piano and was gifted a conducting staff by the church pastor. I quickly took command of the choir. It would be another four years before a music store clerk would convince my parents that I should learn to play the guitar right-handed—that it would be easier for me if I fit in—though I was naturally left-handed in every way. One’s true nature can never be successfully fought; I was more comfortable playing the guitar upside-down than “backwards.”

The guitar would collect dust through my tenth year when I would begin my first piano lessons. My dad had bought what seemed to be the oldest piano in the world from a garage sale. It had more broken keys than whole ones. The wood looked like bark from a tree long dead that had floated ashore on a deserted island and been left to the beating sun for an eternity. It sat at an angle and wobbled with the slightest touch. He sanded the decay off the surface, tore out the wounded parts, splinted it into proper form, and replaced only what was necessary. No one would have traded a rusty nail for this heap. I loved it.

I liked to press the keys. I liked to control the sounds which would shake my body. I liked to decide which combinations of notes I found pleasant, and which ones were horrible. I hated to read music, it never made sense to have a middleman. The lessons did not last long; I would never achieve great fame for the mastery of obedience.

I was twelve when I got my first electric guitar. It came from a pawn shop down the street. The manufacturer was obsolete, it hardly stayed in tune, it crackled and popped as the knobs switched from pick-up to pick-up. I didn’t want to put it down.

Within the following three years I started my first band, The Commercial Rockstars, with Dusty Santamaria on Bass and Brandon Stover on… well, we could hardly afford a drum set so we made one out of anything we could find. The final product which graced such stages as The Whiskey A Go-Go and The Roxy in Hollywood, California was made of two water bottles (a 1-gallon and a 5-gallon), a metal wash tub, a tin popcorn bucket (like the one’s you get at Christmas, you know, with three kinds in it! Yeah, we always had lots of popcorn around), a coffee can, a wire grate, a saw blade with a chain dangling on it, and the hard lid of a city park trashcan.

When we realized that with all the money we had spent on popcorn cans we could have bought a house, we decided to graduate to a standard kit. It was on this summer evening in 1999 in Pomona, California waiting for the doors to open at a Jon Spencer Blues Explosion show that we decided to retire the trash kit and the name and become The Guitar Outlaws, a name which came from an old Commercial Rockstars song titled, “Revenge of the Guitar Outlaw.”

A year earlier, my dad bought me a 16-track recorder for my 16th birthday. I spent every available hour in the garage beginning to master the complexities of multi-track recording, and greatly improved my guitar and piano playing. During the following couple of years, I learned to play a handful of other instruments like the saxophone, the cello, the banjo and the accordion. I recorded several EP’s for both The Commercial Rockstars, and The Guitar Outlaws before going to a studio in the winter of 2001 to record our first full-length album. The product of this session—which included two more trips in early 2002—came to be called The Crooked Mile Sessions because it did not go as planned and was never released as a full album.

We relocated to Portland in the summer of 2004 and with the new experience gained from working with renowned engineer Gene Cornelius (who engineered on records such as Mule Variations, Tom Waits), I went on to record the album The Minx and the Mountebank in the basement of our Portland Residence. By the time this album was complete, we had m