Creating music from the heart is something that Canadian singer-songwriter Russell Lee is very serious about. Offering up his most recent and emotionally charged work to date, Russell has released both a new album, entitled What Do I Do, along with a story-driven and thoughtful new music video for the lead single, “Picture”. One thing is clear when it comes to Russell Lee: this is one musician that understands the value of hard work combined with a professional attitude towards his craft.
Opening with the lead story-driven single, “Picture”, Russell Lee wastes no time introducing us to his honest, thoughtful, and unique sound. Every instrument played on this track is mixed and mastered to perfection, with nothing feeling out of place. In many ways, this song is reminiscent of the good-ole-days of music, back when Tom Petty, Buddy Holly, and Gordon Lightfoot were the trailblazers of their generation (and yes, Tom Petty is still killing it today). “Picture” successfully marries the classic sound of country with the current sound of rock, and, for those looking to hear a song that gets you thinking about time and life, look no further than this beautiful single.
Although “Picture” was a great single on its own, it raised itself even higher after the recent release of its accompanying music video. Channelling directly from his own deep musings, Russell Lee gathers the entire band together for a real introduction this time around, as well as giving us an emotional story to watch and think about at the same time.
The following song, entitled “Piece Of This Earth”, is a simple and clean track aimed at shining a light on the importance of focusing on the proper treatment, and well-being, of our fellow man. Brett Koroluk continues to keep the drums right where they need to be, while Tom Koroluk adds a necessary sweet and soft piano to the mix. Curtis Chrusch does a great job filling out the song with both his bass and his very pleasant back-up vocals, while lead guitarist, Owen Price, focuses on making sure the song keeps moving ahead in an exciting direction. When it comes to “Piece Of This Earth”, no one overplays their parts, and the band continues to share a common professional minded thread; the end result is a quick, thoughtful, and welcomed walk in the park.
Moving on throughout the album, there are many great tracks to sink your teeth into and more than a few potential single-worthy tracks, but it is the entire body of work that shines when played together. Starting off with “Picture” and “Piece Of This Earth” is only a couple steps down a more interesting path. For the many listeners who both embrace and look fondly back to the days of Johnny Cash, Bruce Cockburn, and the like, what Russell Lee has brought us with What Do I Do will be a truly welcome sight to see.
Weaving together a tapestry of sound that collectively takes from multiple generations of sound is what Russell Lee and his band do so well. It is always great when a musician clearly respects his fellow musicians, his fellow fans, and all the ones that came before; when an artist does that properly, they end up with music worth listening to, like Russell Lee and his beautiful new album What Do I Do.