Offering up an Album so richly mixed and weaved between
Blues and Soul, is not an easy task, but Woody Russell has
managed to do it, seemingly effortlessly, with his newest release, "Up
"Up Against It" consists of 9 Tracks and clocks in at around 37 Minutes,
which is not that long compared to a lot of Albums out there today, but it
does feel a little longer than that, thanks in part, to the length of the
Tracks, which are mostly in the 4+ minute range.
All songs for "Up Against It" are Originals, all by Woody Russell. That of
course is a daunting enough task for any Artist, but Russell's credits on
this Album do not stop their, in fact far from it, he also Produced "Up
Against It", Engineered and Mixed it, did the Cover Art Design, and oh yes
he played all the instruments except for Harmonica (Jose Rutz) on Tracks 2,
4 and 6, and Drums (Doug Marcus) on Tracks 2 and 4.
Woody Russell also uniquely marketed this project by way of something he
called the "In Session Project", which offered his fans an opportunity to
preorder "Up Against It" and when they did, they received "access to a
behind the scenes look at the making of "Up Against It", in real time." From
beginning to end, the fans who preordered, got to see the entire process of
a an Album being created from start to finish, and as a added bonus they
also received their copy of "Up Against It" before it was officially
released. This successful Project is something that more Artists should be
thinking of doing.
As mentioned earlier, "Up Against It", is a unique mix, no actually fusion
of great guitar Blues and Soul, at least that is what I get from it. It is
also done in a way that I thoroughly enjoyed it, as I am not a big fan of
straight soul music, but this is different, unique, and refreshing.
Woody Russell's musicianship and vocal delivery on this Album are second to
none, he really is a very good musician and an exceptional singer and lets
not forget his Songwriting that seals the deal for this Total Package
Woody Russell fully understands that the lines between different genres of
music are a bit blurred and quite often weave back and forth across their
borders. "Up Against It", is a superb example of what happens when an Artist
is able to use that fact to create yet another special bit of musical magic.
For those that like the Blues, artfully mixed with Soul, you are going to
really like, "Up Against It".
"Up Against It" gets a high recommendation from me as it shows us what a an
exceptionally creative Artist can achieve. ~Review By John Vermilyea (Blues