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Awarded 1st place in Fingerpicking and 2nd Place in Flatpicking at the Florida Old Time Music Competition 

David honored the memory of Doc Watson by picking and singing  "Deep River Blues"  with Steve and Penny Kilby- simulcast live on WPAQ-FM at the 41st Annual Mt. Airy, NC Fiddler's Convention 

David awarded 4th Place in flatpicking Guitar at the 41st  Annual Mt. Airy Fiddler's Convention



Singer, songwriter, performer David Russell has weathered the changing tides of progressive acoustic music.  David began classical guitar at 6, and developed his skills in blues, rock, folk, jazz and country genres on several instruments as well as guitar. His first professional performance at 13, he made it a point to absorb and learn from wherever he had a chance- always open, always learning and listening. A turning point for him came at 18 in what he describes as “a not entirely mis-spent youth on the road” at the Old Time Picking Parlor in Nashville, when he heard Norman Blake with the then-named Dobrolic Plectral Society (the future Aereoplane) with Tut Taylor, John Hartford & Vassar Clements and, Bill Monroe with Norman.  Later, he got to listen to Norman  for 3 nights in a row at a tiny lounge (he was off the road with Johnny Cash that week). He never looked back, and dedicated himself to acoustic string music (carrying his other influences along as he developed).  His writing, playing and musical compass have been influenced by and is shaping a new/old music sorely needed in an increasingly rootless world. Timeless traditionals & classics mixed with contemporary writers take an audience on a musical tour with an energy and sensitivity that captivates. David says by connecting his playing and singing to live audiences :“ I  want  to leave people entertained, inspired and uplifted, with memories that stay in daily life-- for me, it's a matter of deep belief in and dedication to the workmanship of my craft”                                              

                                                                                      In Performance

                                 He has toured/opened or performed with: Doc & Merle Watson, Norman & Nancy Blake, John Hartford, Vassar Clements, Earl Scruggs, Steve Goodman, Jimmy Buffett, John McEuen, Lester Flatt & the Nashville Grass (w/ Marty Stuart), Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Steve Martin, John Hammond, Gamble Rogers, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Jesse Winchester, Will McLean, Mickey Clark, Sally Fingerette, Stephen Wade, Jack Williams, Charles Pettee (Shady Grove Band) and many other fine artists. 

“Outstanding! Refreshing! Simply not to be believed! David was super; congenial, cooperative and downright talented. I can’t begin to thank you for allowing us to showcase David Russell”
-ABC-TV Leisure Attractions, NYC

“……With a musical career that has taken him to every major listening room in the South and Northeast, David plays with energy and presence born out of loving what he does…and it shows..”
-Chicago Sun Times

“ We had a huge number of listener response calls to the station during the club simulcast of his show in Buckhead… would you please send us some of David’s recordings for our shows?”
-WREK-FM Atlanta,GA

“ …Shows weave songs with powerful lyrics, which are complemented in the beauty of Russell’s guitar work. A classically trained guitarist, he offers a smorgasbord of styles including flatpicking, steel slide, jazz, Travis picking, Delta blues, folk, Celtic and country ……What you won’t hear are staples of many lounge acts…what you will hear is cutting edge writing.. and being a part of that audience is worth the drive…”
-Jacksonville Times-Union (FL)

.... The single set was impressive and demonstrated a mastery of several approaches to folk music, roots music, bluegrass, or whatever label you choose..... rolling through some traditional bluegrass, contemporary bluegrass (yes, there is such a thing) and reaching to traditional country and western ..... Russell demonstrated that he could pick Nine Pound Hammer in the manner in which it should be, which is that hard edged Merle Travis finger picking style. Later in the evening he would show the delicate yet complex side of flatpicking with Sweet Sunny South. The excitement of the evening came when they dove into Django Reinhardt’s I’ll See You In My Dreams.....I would highly recommend you give this guy a listen if you enjoy hearing great solid guitar licks built around good solid rhythm and traditional structures, and seriously great singing..

- Good Life Editor (Jacksonville, FL)

"The singular treat of the Delmore Days Festival last weekend was David Russell and  his group, CedarBlue.  A trio with upright bass,  fiddle and tenor guitar player (in the tradition  and memory of Rabon Delmore!). David presented the classic "Kennesaw Line" civil war song (which he's been performing more than 25 years), his own songs, and doubled up flatpicking on a great selection of regional  fiddle tunes played by Jim Holland (one from his grandfather). With great renditions of Delmore's "Big River Blues"  and the Louvin Brothers' "Cash on the Barrelhead"  David finished the set with a rousing version of the Delmore's "Freight Train Boogie", just as one many freight trains came barreling through downtown Athens.  An honor to the memory of the Delmore Brothers and a great performance!"

Athens State University- Delmore Days Festival 2012


"David provided EXCELLENT performances at the festival!  I heard nothing but rave reviews and praise from fellow musicians and general public audience members alike..."   

 Gamble Rogers Festival 2009

"David's got some serious chops on that guitar! I can see why folks use the "killer" analogy. Though I know he's a kind soul, he did "murder" us all with those licks last night. On the other hand, and this was something that I wasn't quite prepared for- David sent us to a higher plane with the tenderness of his music writing and one will soon forget his playing and singing and that he kept us "on the sunny side". What a beautiful moment and evening it was!"

White Springs Folk Club- The Telford Hotel- White Springs,FL



“ A guitarist’s guitarist who plays mandolin and dobro as well. With a wide-ranging clear voice, he performs his songs and those of his fellow writers with an energy and sensitivity that captivates… a broad brush of styles from bluegrass and traditional music, Delta blues and Travis-picked country to contemporary acoustic… the man’s a natural”
-Huntsville Times (AL)

“When Russell performs, his manner counterpoints the sometimes serious nature of his songs… he moves smoothly from blues to ballads, flatpicking to jazz… throwing out one-liners and then ducking an imaginary beer bottle… a tasteful troubadour who delivers a full course show”
-Gainesville Sun (Gainesville, FL)





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Hello and Welcome!

Hope that you enjoy my site. My wife and I maintain it, so we try to keep up. I am constantly traveling, rehearsing, picking at festivals or shows and generally a moving target for time.  If you leave a guestbook message we'll try to get back to you. Thanks for coming here and learning about my music. See you down the line! Blessings,

David Russell



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David Russell: Guitar, Vocals, Mandolin, Mandocello, Banjo and Resonator guitar (sideman and when solo)
Fretless and Fretted Electric Bass in NC/VA:  Dana Trantham , Justin Meyers 
Upright Bass:  John Peyton (The Peyton Brothers), Brad Hiatt (Rich in Tradition, Close Kin tour- Johnny & Jeanette Williams)
Banjo and Dobro: John Boulding (The Dr. of the Banjo & Luthier) Wyatt Rice & Santa Cruz, Shady Grove Band.
Banjo: Darrell Wilkerson (Jr. Sisk and Rambler's Choice)
Steve Barker ( NC guitar fingerpicker extraordinaire) and Lorrie Barker (Songbird)




David Russell at the Gamble Rogers Festival 2009
David with Tut Taylor- MerleFest 2010 Photo:Ted Lehmann (see photos page)

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