Canadian Country/Rock recording artist, Russell Lee, has a great voice with just the right amount of emotional investment in his songs. This much can be gathered from his latest single and video release, “Picture” taken from the album “What Do I Do”. Russell has got that baritone crooning sound to him which Country audiences love. You can liken it to melted chocolate and smooth cappuccino with an added smattering of Bailey’s.
The song itself is upbeat-yet-introspective and balanced perfectly for pop-country. The drums and guitars don’t dominate, yet still create a smooth fully layered sound, and there is a hint of subtler keyboards in the backing, enough to prevent the song from being too loud and still reliant on the great vocals by Russell.
In the revolving doors of mainstream country music it can be hard to keep track of all the different male artists. They dominate the genre in every way. Russell Lee stands out from the latest male crowds, by simply avoiding the bro country traits and trends.
Though he has a fresh modern sound, Russell Lee sticks to a more ‘mature’ Country sound, which is slightly flavored by rock and other Americana influences without being totally contaminated. This is this is the kind of sound that I think fits perfectly in the mainstream and can satiate both sides of the country music aisle.
But at the end of the day, you have to go over and above the sound, because it’s Russell’s vocals which are killer in this song. Whether you love or hate this genre of music you have to admit that Lee has chops. His voice, along with his great charisma, is not an issue and is the bright spot. This alone elevates him above many in the underground and mainstream country music scenes.
This song couldn’t have come at a better time, as country radio is in the dumps in terms of quality, and hopefully this will make there. Russell Lee can inject some much-needed quality, and above all, authenticity that is sorely lacking in the country scene.
I’ll be honest and say that, depending on your own personal taste, “Picture” may not be the absolute best song you’ve heard from country all year – that would be presumptuous – but it’s certainly very high up there up there on that list. In fact Russell Lee himself simply describes it as “… just a fun song to sing and to perform live, with a nice message that I believe people can identify with.”
In my book, “Picture” is a breath of fresh air, compared to the other stuff that I’ve heard coming out in recent weeks!
To contact or book Russell Lee for a show, please email: Russell@russelllee.ca