Claudia started formal musical training at an early age. Here Claudia performs Prokofiev on the ukulele for an audience of young music critics.
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Read the full review of Ready To Receive from the Fall 05 issue of Sing Out magazine.
The Boston Herald's profile of Claudia gets to the point without wasting words. By Daniel Gewertz. (9/7/01)
Ben Ohmart's review of Songfood on Music Dish.com is over the top.He calls Claudia a star and says she sings like "the only good girl in a whore house." Hmm...as long as they spell the name right. (5/13/2001)
Performing Songwriter magazine picks Song Food as one of the Top 12 independent releases. (Sept. 2000)
Read a review of Old Friends, featuring Claudia Russell at the Milwaukee Rep Theater in the Milwaukee Sentinel. Dec 1999.
Read about Gilbert Russell, Claudias father and his million-selling record with the classic British children's song, Teddy Bears' Picnic.
Read quotes from all sorts of people about Claudia and her music
Award winning songwriter Claudia Russell has released Ready To Receive, her second CD, on Radio Rhythm Records. The CD has gained airplay on more than 75 radio stations from San Francisco to Boston.
In 2000, Russell scored somewhat of a Folk hit (if there is such a thing!) with her first CD, Song Food, which appeared on more than a 100 playlists around the world and earned her Best New Artist honors from folk powerhouse station WUMB in Boston.
A gifted vocalist and a musicians' musician, Russell has appeared as a backup singer on recordings by some of the best songwriters on the LA independent music scene including Daryl Purpose, Alan Whitney, Allison MacLeod, Anny Celsi, Jenny James, Chad Watson and Mark Governor. She recently moved to Berkeley with her husband/partner Bruce Kaplan.
a solo artist, Claudia plays a style all her own: eclectic folk music
with traces of all her musical loves--blues, western swing, rock and county.
Drawing from original compositions, obscure gems, folk and pop classics
and contributions from her many talented friends, Claudias performances
are truly heartfelt and entertaining. Using humor, personal stories and
her Who me? attitude, Claudia quickly bonds with audiences,
winning them over with her powerful voice and signature guitar voicings.
Claudia has extensive performing experience. As a band member, she played a key role in Maggie's Farm, leading to a record with JRS Records (distributed by BMG) and appearances around the country, including Farm Aid where she shared the stage with Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. She also was one third of the Life Is Grand Band, an award winning vocal trio that featured original material, satirical rewrites of classic songs and stunning acappella vocals. Their 1990 FastFolk recording has been added to the Smithsonian/Folkways collection, making them somewhat of a national treasure!
In 1997, Claudia appeared in the American Folklore Theater production of Old Friends, a musical revue featuring the songs of Paul Simon. In the winter of 1999, she reprised her role in Old Friends with a six week run at the Milwaukee Rep.
In the summer of 1999 , Claudia took center stage with a Memorial Day performance at the Kerrville Folk Festival near Austin, Texas. Claudia played two original songs chosen as finalists in the prestigious Kerrville New Folk competition. Past finalists have included Cheryl Wheeler, Shawn Colvin and Lyle Lovett, three of Claudia's favorite performers. The experience of being asked to appear at Kerrville, and getting a pep talk from Kerrville promoter Rod Kennedy inspired Claudia to record her first CD as a solo artist. In 2002, Claudia was again a finalist at Kerrville with two songs from her just released CD: Just Like You, and Stars, co-written with Anny Celsi. It's ironic Claudia keeps winning songwriting contests, ironic, because Claudia claims to have only finished about ten songs in her entire life!
Ready to Receive, Russell's new CD, was recorded around the country, with sessions in Memphis, Los Angeles, her new hometown of Berkeley CA and her home away from home, Door County Wisconsin. Russell and Kaplan produced the CD with long time collaborator and frequent guest musician Carl Byron lending a hand, offering co-production on the last three songs recorded and advice throughout the project.
Musical talent runs in Claudia's family. Her father, Gilbert Russell (born Val Rosing) was vocalist for the BBC Dance Orchestra in the 1930s, and had a million selling record with Teddy Bears Picnic. Her mother, Marilyn, was a dancer and appeared in White Christmas and the Jimmy Durante TV Show.
Claudia's grandfather, also known as Val Rosing, was an Russian opera singer and director and moved to California to direct operas at the Hollywood Bowl and the American Opera Company in San Francisco.
Claudia has been touring the country in support of Song Food with her husband Bruce Kaplan accompanying her on mandolin and guitar. They have been invited to play at many top folk venues including the Electric Brew, Club Passim, the Point, Stone Soup, Linden Tree, McCabes, Uncommon Ground, Common Fence Point and the Boston Folk Festival.
They have also made a number of live on the air radio performances including the longest running folk show around, Roz and Howard Larman's Folkscene, and three appearances on WUMB with the patron saint of folk music, Marilyn Rea Beyer.
One of the most satisfying aspects of performing around the country has been the opportunity to share bills with great performers such as Peter Rowan, Tish Hinjosa, Terri Hendrix, Bill Morrisey, Jimmy La Favre, Roy Zimmerman, Steve Forbert, Bill Staines, Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, Kevin So and Rosalie Sorrels.
On a personal note, Claudia's interests are many: she has been an apprentice pie maker, operated her own giftware business, and collects antique postcards, matchbooks and other ephemera. She has a love-hate relationship with her native Los Angeles and calls El Coyote (a mexican restaurant that has been around forever) and the Farmer's Market her favorite haunts. She currently lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband Bruce and their two cats, Minnie and Mo.
Updated Oct 4, 2005
Visitors to this page since October 16, 2000