Russell Alvey provides locally-sourced music inspired and performed right here in North Texas. He has been a part of the professional music and recording community for over four decades.
Beginning in his teens as a solo entertainer in Dallas clubs he worked as a recording engineer at the celebrated January Sound Studios, was a member of the infamous Tinker’s Dam. Russ currently plays with the TIMES Session Players. As a songwriter, Russ connects genres and time, reflecting the well-traveled musical crossroads we enjoy as Texans.
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I’ve been working in the music business for a long damn time. I started playing in bars at 18 - underage in Texas. They didn’t ask and I didn’t see any reason to tell. I worked pretty steadily playing clubs, the occasional concert and lots of festivals opening for the big name guys. Asleep at the Wheel, Steve Fromholz, Elizabeth Cotton, Tom Paxton, Stan Rogers, Allen Damron, and The Chieftains have all shared a stage with me as soon as I got off of it.
In my twenties I was working as a recording engineer in Dallas pretty much specializing in acoustic music. A couple of years later I began playing Appalachian and Old Timey music with the 13 piece New Dallas String Band. It was challenging to play songs that only had two chords and no discernible time signature. A few of us got curious and traced the music back to its Irish roots and about 1981 we formed Tinker’s Dam. That was the beginning of an unintentional and sometimes uneasy relationship with Irish music. It still all sounds the same to me.
Those experiences led me to the realization that very few people get anywhere playing other people’s songs, and since I was writing anyway I figured I might as well play my own stuff. And so you’ve got my demo. Just snippets of a few songs. I can’t figure out what genre they’d all fit into. They just decide what they want to be. I try to stay out of the way. Might as well, they’re going to be what they want to be anyway. I’ve been told they seem to have a sense of place. They have the same accent I do. And eventually they get comfortable and easy to share.