Woody Russell
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Woody Russell

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1996 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 1996
Band Jazz Singer/Songwriter




"A Mixture Of Urgency, Passion, Pain and Hope"

"He's drawing on personal experience, expressing a sweet melancholy, the bittersweet of all facets of love from the individual heart to the burden of humanity. Russell sings with a mixture of urgency, passion, pain and hope and has gathered together a tremendously talented group of musicians." - St. Petersburg Arts Alliance

"Jeff Beck's Fearlessness"

"Woody Russell has crafted a lovely collection of original blues and soul music… appealing guitar tones; his crisp, inventive lines blend funk and blues with Jeff Beck's fearlessness." - Blues Revue

"Sophisticated, Thoughful"

"Sophisticated arrangements and a very thoughtful, fresh approach." - Roots Time

"One of the BEST"

"Woody Russell, without question, one of the most dynamic performers in the world of music today. I've been working with artists of all genres and styles for over 30 years. I became a huge fan of the energy and dynamic performance that Woody brings to the stage. I do believe he's one of the BEST kept secrets in the world of live performance today and it's time to set him free." - BE Music and Entertainment

"5 Stars"

“[Delicious Days] …drips pure soul that I haven’t heard since the days of Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Donny Hathaway. Yes, I just wrote that. I gave this album 5 stars, but to be honest, it deserves The Milky Way. This is the best album I’ve heard in 2013 and the competition isn’t even close.” - Muzikreviews.com

"Ahead Of Most Of His Peers"

"There's a fine legacy of Texas blues and Woody Russell is well up there alongside many of his heroes... sounds like the work of a man whose life revolves around his music and he writes and plays well enough to put him well ahead of most of his peers." - Blues Matters (UK)

"An Ear For Craftsmanship"

"A little taste of Americana, Salt is a poetic string of love and loss. With an ear for craftsmanship, this album successfully captures the roots-folk sound often lost in production." - Hyperactive


Carry It Up (2016)

Delicious Days (2013)

Big Sky (2012)

Up Against It (2010)

Salt (2005)

Time To Go (2001)

As Simple As That (1996)



  • Tours throughout North America at all manner of venues (clubs, house concerts, theaters) as well as major festivals (Newport Folk, NxNE, SxSW, Winterfolk, Folk Alliance, Kerrville Folk, Sisters Folk, Houston Int’l, Tall City Blues, & more)
  • 2016 Texas Commission on the Arts Official Touring Roster Artist
  • 2016 Release of Carry It Up with the aid of a successful Pledge Music campaign
  • 2016 Listening Room Festival Featured Artist
  • 2015 Finalist - International Acoustic Music Awards
  • 2014/15 Honorable Mention - International Songwriting Competition
  • 2013 recipient of the Bugle Boy "Founder's Choice Talent Trust Award" (Kat Edmonson, 2011 / John Fullbright, 2012)
  • Successfully funded release of Delicious Days (2013) and subsequent video through Kickstarter
  • Television: Prominently featured artist on the debut season (Sept '11 – Sept '12) of "Troubadour, TX", a nationally syndicated docu-reality show that aired weekly on the CW Network in over 20 million homes
  • Co-founder of BluzSkool, an interactive live program that encourages "Creative Courage" through musical improvisation with elementary aged children (booked at rural schools throughout Texas)
  • 2010 release, Up Against It, received substantial critical praise in national and international blues press
  • 2005 release, Salt, was nominated for an IMA "Album Of The Year" in 2006
Critically acclaimed, award winning vocalist, guitarist and composer, Woody Russell has released a body of recorded work that spans from the folk-rock infused songwriter fare of his first album, …As Simple As That (1996) to the more recent and highly praised blues/soul release of Up Against It (2010) and the pop-jazz rock shades of Delicious Days (2013). A year in the making, Carry It Up, is Russell’s stunning new addition to his discography. Again, his sophisticated jazz-adjacent songwriting is present throughout and the band turns in one exceptional performance after another. Mainstays from previous WR lineups include bassist extraordinaire, Brady Muckelroy and harmonica ace, Jose Ruiz. New members, Lloyd Wright (piano, keys), Derrick Hicks (piano), Tony Miller (drums) and special guest vocalist, Jacqui Walker, shine through with inspired performances. The recording is brimming with excellent solos and ensemble interplay. But, what elevates the game this time around is Russell’s very fine delivery as a vocalist regarding both the arrangements and performances. There is no mistake that he possesses a voice which places him as a soul-jazz front runner on the performing songwriter scene. And, not unlike a primary influence, Van Morrison, he navigates the sound of his words with a rhythmic precision and melodic expression akin to a jazz improviser. Then there’s his guitar playing, which Blues Revue likened to “the fearlessness of Jeff Beck”.
The Austin, Texas based Russell has always been a genre-blurring artist and Carry It Up is no exception. As a lyricist, Woody digs deep in to intimate narratives and is equally comfortable addressing a broader social consciousness. The album focuses on themes of love, compassion, tolerance, respect and the quest for all of the aforementioned.  An acoustic cover – Russell’s first - of Marvin Gaye’s chestnut, “What’s Going On”, features the tenor sax of Chi-town transplant, Dez Desormeaux, and is right at home amid the rest of this original work. The end result with Carry It Up is a lush, complex recording with a soul-jazz heart, created by a master craftsman and his superb band.
The Woody Russell Trio features two musicians from the album’s sessions: Lloyd Wright on piano and “all things keys”, plus jazz/blues harmonica virtuoso, Jose Ruiz. The Trio format has been developing over the course of several tours. It also continues to grow technically, employing the use of electronics and percussion in an aim to further the possibilities within the context of a small group.

Woody takes to the road throughout Texas frequently, as well as select dates in the U.S. and Canada. His live performances, whether solo or with his full band, have been described as "transcendent" by KDRP radio personality, David Arnberger; engaging audiences with a sincere and "in the moment" connection to his music. He's shared billing with artists ranging from Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, Steve Earle and Paul Thorn to Jimmy Vaughan and Tommy Castro at theaters, nightclubs and major festivals, including the prestigious Newport Folk Festival. Critically praised as an "exemplary" guitarist, an “exceptional singer” and songwriter of the highest caliber - a "total artist package", Woody Russell delivers seasoned performances with over twenty-five years as a professional musician to his credit.