Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan traverse a wide Americana landscape, stopping at wondrous musical landmarks along the way, tipping their hat to string bands, blues divas, jazz cats, Village folkies, Bakersfield cowboys and Laurel Canyon troubadours. Driven by Claudia’s expressive voice, distinctive guitar style and finely honed songwriting, it all comes together beautifully. Russell has a knack for crafting tightly-written songs that carry you to the sweet spots of youth and the autumn colors of growing older. Kaplan’s melodic accompaniment, on mandolin and electric guitar, is spot-on. All of this is served up with a generous helping of homespun humor and shaggy dog stories, making for a heartfelt and humorous evening of deeply engaging music.
Indeed, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote, “Russell has a voice that was born for folk music – she breaks hearts.” Russell has won numerous other accolades including Best New Artist from WUMB FM in Boston, Best Musician in the East Bay Express Reader’s Poll, 2x Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Finalist, and high praise in Sing Out, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Boston Globe. Paul Zollo, a senior editor of American Songwriter magazine, called her latest CD, All Our Luck Is Changing, “a masterpiece.” Lovers Tree, their fifth and most recent CD, was produced by Grammy Winning Bluegrass legend Laurie Lewis and hit #5 on the national Folk Charts.
Russell and Kaplan have toured across the country, performing more 1000 shows in living rooms, barns, coffeehouses and churches, as well outdoors at festivals including Kerrville Folk Festival, Boston Folk Festival, the New Bedford Folk Festival, Black Hawk Folk Festival, and concert appearances at major venues such as McCabe’s, Club Passim, The Turning Point, and more than a dozen appearances at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage
“Making music is our favorite thing to do, and we put a lot of love into it,” says Kaplan. “But playing in a band with one’s spouse is not without its hazards. Some couples argue about sex or money. We argue about song keys, set lists, and ‘who stole my capo?’ But all in all, we’re very lucky to have found each other.”
Visit www.claudiarussell.com to have a closer look/listen to this unique duo.