Russ Glenn
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Russ Glenn

Detroit, Michigan, United States

Detroit, Michigan, United States
Band Pop


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Singer/songwriter Russ Glenn strips it down and keeps it simple. A nice
strumming guitar chord rings clear with his wavering vocals that transform classic light folk pop into an amazing amalgam of fantastic cuts and righteous songwriting.
I like an artist who isn’t afraid to “keep it simple stupid” and not get so wrapped up in adding a billion different parts and instruments that the song feels forced rather than a natural thing. Good stuff for folks who just want to hear a damn song. - Smother Magazine

"Fan Review"

I have listened to this CD (alot) and seen Russ live - both are amazing! His acoustic stylings, Tracy Chapman like vocals, and some REAL lyrics mix to create a sound that you can't help but love. My favorite song, by far, is Blind. Mellow, catchy and upbeat all at once. - Fan Review

"Mike Pionkowski"

Russ Glenn's simplistic artistry cuts through the over-dubbed,electronically layered world of pop music. His rich insights into life on songs like Flagstaff and Truth & Consequences make his messages live in the universal flow of human experience.
Russ' ability to 'master' the moment and capture the live feeling in one cut in a recording studio usally reserved for endless hours in takes, re-takes, and massive engineering edits make it a perfect fit for those who appreciate what can and does happen at an intimate live performance by an approachable, personable artist. - WVRC, Topeka KS

"Jesse a.k.a. The Vicar"

Memories are a funny thing, aren't they? They can come flooding back in an instant, transporting you back in time to remind you of things long forgotten. So when my old high school buddy and current Virginia resident Russ Glenn emailed me I was plesantly surprised to find out that his rudimentary guitar skills I remembered from 15 years ago had blossomed into a truly formidable talent. Was this modern day troubador really the same person who once schooled me on the finer points of the Dead Kennedy's and Oingo Boingo? Singing a different tune these days, Glenn now puts pen to paper to write melodic, soothing odes that crawl inside the reccesses of your subconcious and root there for days at a time. Imagine a less bragadocious Dave Matthews or a less hyperactive Jason Mraz and you're halfway to grasping Russ's obvious gift. -

"Chip Withrow"

I was thinking that maybe it was just my mood last Friday – I was excited because it was the day before a vacation, and I was head-bopping all day as I gave this disc repeated listens. But a few more listens later, I’m convinced – Russ Glenn’s A Brand New Earth is a treat on any day.

Glenn plays all the guitar on the album, and his earthy vocals sound like a smoother, more in-tune Michael Stipe. The opener “Stick” catchily layers crunchy electric over driving acoustic. It also has a cool, quirky chord progression and a hooky refrain worthy of the title. “Blind” begins as a yearning acoustic guitar-and-bass number before it bursts into a nice midtempo lope.

On “Goodbye” Glenn stretches his vocal range a bit higher, but he’s always in control. The heavy backbeat of the verses is juxtaposed with the straight-ahead power pop of the chorus.

And those first three cuts are excellent, but the brilliant “Curbside” is in another stratosphere. Seth Kibel’s squawking sax gives this a wildly jazzy vibe, and then Glenn turns on the effects-drenched guitar. All this over Scott Harlan’s bubbling bass and yet another rock-solid performance by drummer Andy Hamburger.

Glenn then offers a percussion-laced cover of one of my old favorites, Jane’s Addiction’s “Jane Says” (in which he quotes Tina Turner's "What's Love Got To Do With It"). And later he does a languid take on Lou Reed’s “Sweet Jane” that is sweetened by Harlan’s piano.

Glenn’s bio states that he is the father of young children, and another deep-groove standout, “Your Birthday” shows that proud dads can rock. The song is built around hypnotically simple riffs that a jam-band guy like me just don’t want to end. Next, “Don’t Say Goodnight” has a wistful calypso/reggae feel to it and is a natural follow-up in both music and theme to the buoyant “Birthday.”

“Path to the Gallows” is another good one, a straight-ahead folk rocker that tells a bittersweet, evocative tale. And the closing “This Land” is a prettily strummed environmental ode, just guitar and plaintive vocal.

One change that might have made this disc more cohesive would have been to re-order the tracks so the latter half wasn’t so folk-heavy. But that’s a minor detail. Russ Glenn delivers succinct, memorable messages in his writing, and the musicianship breathes crisp, organic life into his creations. -

"James McQuiston"

If my math is right, this is Glenn’s fifth recording. Glenn started out with “Starshell” and “Evergold”, took the next step up for 2003’s “Unless”, and continued to refine and innovate on 2006’s “Little Bird”. In much the same way, Glenn has continued to evolve his unique brand of funk soul, and rock. The first track on “A Brand New Earth” is “Stick”, and it operates perfectly as a hold-over from the previous Glenn albums. However, it provides individuals with just enough in the way of new material to allow for a gradual shift in Glenn’s sound over the course of the following 11 tracks. Hints of John Maher, Jack Johnson and Dave Matthews all comes forth on this introductory track.

The production values present on “A Brand New Earth” are stellar, at the degree that individuals should not be surprised if Glenn gets some airplay on mainstream radio in the next few months. Where the instrumentation on “Stick” are strong in their own right, it is really the vocal harmonies that Glenn achieves that shine brightest on this track. A dollop of emotional gravitas is present during “Blind”. This track links together the aforementioned Dave Matthews influence with “A Boy Named Goo”-era Goo Goo Dolls. The twinkling approach of the instrumentation during the track highlights Glenn’s vocals in all the right way, making another single-worthy track out of “Blind”. The third track on “A Brand New Earth” is “Curbside”, and the track is notable with the inclusion of jazz and funk into the sound achieved during “Stick” and “Blind”. The insertion of new styles and influences into “A Brand New Earth” is exactly what is needed to keep individuals interested in Glenn’s output.

The follow-up track to “Curbside” keeps individuals interested. This track, “Jane Says”, is a cover of the Jane’s Addiction classic, and showcases the ability of Glenn to come forth with a track that closely conforms to the style of the original but still brings enough in the way of Glenn’s soul to the track to succeed. Keep listening, for “Goodbye” may just be the pinnacle of the tracks on “A Brand New Earth”. This track shifts through styles and sounds enough to keep individuals interested, while allowing Glenn to take on some of the sound of the Barenaked Ladies. A fun, unique album that is still familiar enough for fans of all stripes to appreciate.

Top Tracks: Goodbye, Insecurity -


Starshell- 1996
Evergold- 1997
Unless- 2003 (Contains Starshell and Evergold encoded as MP3's on disc).
Little Bird (a collection of Woody Guthrie's Grow Big Songs)- Released December 2006
A Brand New Earth- July 2007




Imagining 'A Brand New Earth'

While most U.S. based singer-songwriters work on building a Stateside fan base in the hopes of someday playing for audiences overseas, Russ Glenn’s career began with an impromptu performance Down Under. While studying Resource and Environmental Management at a college in Australia, the Southern California bred Glenn was at a club late one night when the house band ran out of songs. They asked for volunteers to come up and play, and he got up and jammed on one of his favorite songs, Jane’s Addiction’s “Jane Says.” Now, some years later, he has recorded that song among ten originals and a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Sweet Jane”on A Brand New Earth, his third and latest independent release.

Glenn has racked up a lot of frequent flier miles between that first stage appearance and his unique addiction to Jane songs and a fully realized band vibe on A Brand New Earth.
He recently moved back to his previous home of Connecticut after several years of successful coffeehouse performing in Virginia. Fashioning a true troubadour lifestyle, he has performed over the years everywhere from New Mexico and Colorado to South Carolina. Critics and tastemakers have remarked that he “writes melodic, soothing odes that crawl inside the recesses of your subconscious and root there for days at a time,” and have compared him to “a fiery version of Van Morrison” with a “Morrissey and Stipe vibe.”

When he’s not out there performing his own material—which has been described as a less braggadocious Dave Matthews or a less hyperactive Jason Mraz—or redefining classics by his heroes The Clash, Johnny Cash, Lou Reed, Van Morrison and Bright Eyes, he can be found at schools and libraries, entertaining children. He followed the release of his 2003 debut album Unless with 2007’s six song EP Little Bird, an inspired collection of Woody Guthrie’s “Grow Big” songs refashioned in a fresh, modern voice for today’s kids. The success of this project led him to create a unique “edutainment” program that he has performed at camp expos, private shows, public libraries and pre-schools.

The father of two daughters under the age of ten, Glenn enjoys the exciting duality of using music to inspire young children and drawing on his lifelong love of The Clash’s Joe Strummer and Lou Reed to create exciting acoustic rock for adult audiences. “My live sets focus on original material,” he says, “but through the years I have incorporated into my sets covers by The Velvet Underground, Jack Johnson, Bob Dylan, R.E.M., Red House Painters, you name it. It’s exhilarating connecting people to musical history, and that’s what I do in another way with the Guthrie songs. I’m introducing the kids to the great work of a legendary songwriter, and show their parents that he’s a lot more than just the guy who wrote ‘This Land Is Your Land.’ I feel as though I’m drawing on all of these great artists of the past in writing and performing my original material as well.”

While Glenn’s first two recordings were pretty much acoustic guitar and vocal driven, A Brand New Earth is a larger production with a full band approach. True to its title, the collection has a subtle underlying theme of environmental consciousness running throughout. “They’re not strictly songs about the environment,” he says, “but as with my previous work, there is always that thread. I feel we’re in an age that’s on the cusp of something new, even if I don’t know exactly where that is going.” Over the years, Glenn’s songwriting has evolved from the deeply personal/confessional to incorporating his observations of the lives of people around him.

“Goodbye” is a revamped song from an older demo he did a few years back that he felt was a worthy inclusion alongside the brand new material; in the vein of Lou Reed’s “Stephanie Says,” it’s an open ended reflection about a beautiful woman with a troubled past. The infectious opening number “Stick” is a vaguely politica