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Russell K Shores L.L.C: Press

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Russell K Shores - Thunder Rain


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Album Review
Thunder Rain - Russell K Shores
Genre - Funk/Jazz

Of all the things I contribute to Thunder Row, one of my happiest moments is when I have the privilege of reviewing the work of one of our own TMBG students. Such is the case with this month’s album; I am honoured to present this look at Thunder Rain, the latest release by our own Russell K. Shores.

From his website,

Russell Kenji Shores was born in New York has a varied and impressive resume. Nicknamed Thor or Thunder Baby by his peers for his thunderous grooves, he began playing bass at age twelve. Armed with a degree in music, he began his professional career. Russell has shared the stage with Diana Ross, Julian Lennon, The Kevin Fowler band, Lucid Dream, The Steve O’Neil Band, The Major Burkes Band, The ACC Jazz Band, The Blues Specialist, which features Mel Davis (cousin of the legendary T Bone Walker), Elliott Fikes, Soul Serenade (as musical director), Austin Alibi, the Wesley United Methodist Church, the First Baptist Church, the Mount Zion Baptist Church, and The Freedom Home Baptist Church Mass Choir under the leadership of Pastor O.B Howard Jr. Russell is also on staff as the electric and contra bass teacher at the Academy of Music in Austin Texas. Russell plays and has the endorsement of MTD basses, American and MTD Kingston and MTD strings, Visual Sound pedals, AccuGroove speaker cabs, Gruv Gear, and Reunion Blues Gig bags.

The album is a collection of 8 instrumental songs, perfectly encapsulated by the title, Thunder Rain. Each song is an emotional experience where the listener can close his/her eyes and imagine one of those special times within the weather... and the magnificent rumbling thunder that is the bass guitar. In the hands of this artist, the bass takes control of your heartbeat with its commanding growl or smooth soothing tones. Bass lovers will understand. Shores uses 5, 6, and 7 string basses, as well as a fretless, so the voices are many, the moods diverse, always leading exactly where Shores wants you to go.

The opener, Breezin’, is a perfect introduction. Just close your eyes and kick back as it works its magic on your soul. A big sigh of satisfaction as this breeze passes over you. Jazzy and cool, with a serious bottom end.

After we’ve had a chance to relax, along comes Big Anchor with its amazing funk-filled rhythms. We’re back on our feet for this one, even if just to bob our heads and pull on our groovy bass-face. You know the one I’m talking about. The tasty keyboard laughs in light dancing tones with big brother bass right behind to keep things heavy and rich. Mood, baby. It’s all about mood.

The next mood is created in the tune, River People. It’s a busier, more intricate piece, with brassier effects on the keyboards and a funked up bass that really gives the feeling of a jam session. The first two tunes gave me the feeling of being outside. River People, despite its title, brought me the sense that I had moved indoors. Maybe the rain was coming down in buckets outside.

Mr. DV follows. This is one of those songs that really stands out in the mind of a bass fan. So heavy, so hot, so many different expressions. When Shores calls the thunder, he drops those bombs right down on top of your head. Well placed as the fourth song - this one marks the end of the first half of the collection. The thunder’s really rolling now. This song is too big!

Now, let’s start all over again with the second half Maybe the storm has lulled a bit, but things are about to pick up once more. The title song, Thunder Rain, goes straight to the theme. We start softly, with thunder/rain effects wafting gently in the background, along with various accents on the keyboards. Then in steps Shores, that massive sound grumbling and growling though the piece, reminding us that it’s all about that thunder! The number ends with an aggressive stomp that makes you nod in affirmation and say, “And THAT is how you do THAT.”

In 6th place, Top Secret is a true bass delight! Shores’ chops are smokin’ hot. Those brassy keyboard accents walk right alongside his grooves. This man plays so well, the word “Groove” doesn’t quite seem enough to describe his lowdown vibrations. Maybe “Grooooooove” would be more appropriate. And when you say it, curl your lip, then close your fist and move it in front of your body. You feel this one in your chest!

Pulling up for the next mood is GS1, another heavy funk piece with lots of slap and style. At this point in the album, I really get the feeling we’ve left the rain behind, and are now just cowering under the trees as the thunder booms above us.

Tynet brings things to a close with some nice melodic bass, very handily played by Shores. The finger-work alone is enough to drop a jaw or two. The man is a true bass master, a force to be reckoned with. His skills are right up there with some of the best. I hear a little Doug Johns in his approach; both men have a solid feel for the funk, and how important it is to keep that bass out front and in your face

On an album like this, the presence of the bass should never slip into the background in favour of the melodies. The keyboards and drums are definitely skillfully handled and well featured, but Shores’ keeps the bass voices well heard and in command; he reminds us that this melody IS the thunder.

Russell K Shores - 5, 6, and 7 String bass and fretless bass
Joel Guzman - piano, keyboards, drum programs
Phil Chidester - keyboards
Mike Kosacek - drums

TMBG is honoured that a player of this quality hangs out among the denizens of Thunder Row.

Visit RKS online

Do yourselves a big favour and buy a copy of this superb bass-heavy collection. Available as digital downloads or in CD form at CD Baby.

And while we're here, check out this video of Russell K Shores t Bass, I adopted a method we haven't used before. Rather than...
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Dana B. Goods



Start the day off right with Russell K. Shores new release "LS5". "No Stopping" puts you in the right frame with it's smooth melodies and just enough umph from his thunderous bass !! "I Shot The Sheriff "has that island feel reminiscent of the "Tuff Gong" himself. And while you're out stop by" 2120 Jade Ave" relax and smooooooooooth it out.

Will " Da Thrill" Mc Neal

WOWE989 JAMZ / FB: Talkin' All That Jazz
On Sun, May 27, 2012 at 12:33 AM, William McNeal <>
Will " Da Thrill " Mc Neal - WOWE989 JAMZ/ FB: Talkin All That Jazz (May 30, 2012)
Interview of Russell K Shores

RUSSELL K. SHORES LS 5 Russell K Shores

Honestly, there is nothing I like better with my Smooth Jazz than bass… give me that low end, funky, growling groove and I’m hooked! Needless to say when we discovered LS 5, the latest album from Russell K. Shores, all it took was one listen to make me a fan! The New York native, now Austin, Texas resident, has an impressive resume… dubbed Thunder Baby by his peers for his thunderous grooves, Russell began paying bass at the age of 12... since he has earn a degree in music and has shared the stage with many greats including the legendary Diana Ross. His soulful new album, LS 5 is packed with rich melodies and deep grooves and thankfully, plenty of Russell’s expressive electric bass guitar! Favorite tracks for us are “No Stopping” and “Tynet,” and the irresistible cover of “I Shot the Sheriff”? LS 5… get real and put in on your iPad today!

The cd is quite musical, you have a strong groove and excellent tone. Smooth
and melodic.


Michael Tobias
MTD (Michael Tobias Design LLC)
3 Lauren Ct
Kingston, NY 12401 USA
845 246-0670

Michael Tobias - MTD Bass (Jul 20, 2010)

Russell K. Shores   -   LS 5    4/4
O's Notes: Russell K. Shores brings his bass to center stage owning the melodies on all seven tracks. The predominant groove is radio friendly 'quiet storm' with sampled riffs from 1980s R&B, fusion and pop tunes. There's a cool arrangement of "I Shot the Sheriff", and "Teen Town" has a nice pop. Shores takes it up a notch on "Tynet" working his bass hard! The band, Phil Chidester (keyboards), Mike Kocsacek (d), Tom Well (d) and Joel Guzman (keyboards), do fine job supporting the vision. In this case the remodeling is good!

D. Oscar  Groomes
O's Place Jazz Magazine
P.O. Box 38430
Charlotte, NC 28278

I’m listening to this perfectly mellow and soothing album after three hectic days of going over my grandmother’s house and taking care of her animals while she’s in the hospital being treated for an ulcer. I’m understandably tired and stressed out, but after hearing the beautifully lulling and relaxing smooth jazzy opening notes of the first track “No Stopping” I forget all about my current nerve-wracking situation and get totally caught up in the sumptuously rich, relaxing, and enrapturing gradual tempos and steady, yet subdued beats that bump along at a pleasingly kicked-back rate. Of course, the crisp and professional playing helps matters a whole lot, with funky keyboards, heavy trudging basslines, sturdy drums, and neatly percolating guitars seamlessly blending together to create a sweetly soulful and appealing lowdown groovy sound that’s impossible to either resist or dislike (the instrumental cover of “I Shot the Sheriff” in particular completely smokes in a marvelously easygoing sort of way). An excellent album.

the world accordind to Wawrzyniak , Joe Wawrzyniak Jersey Beat



A collection of tasteful, jazzy alternative recordings, Russell jumped in with both feet on this one, and most of all, with some slamming finger & thump action!! I must say that for a debut CD, this artist is running neck and neck with many of the fabulous veterans of our music industry!


Russell’s renditions of “I Shot The Sheriff” and “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” have his own luscious vibe and creativity. His originals, such as LS 5 ” and “Tynet,” have their own sweet funky flavor but the vibe still shouts out ALL THAT JAZZ! I must say that at the root of Russell’s music, cover tunes as well as originals, his bottom-end-flow is as grand as Niagara Falls! Keep keeping on, Russell, because there ain’t no stopping you now!


This review was written by Danna Starr, former host of KAZI 88.7 FM’S, award-winning “Juice & Jam” show.

Danna Starr (Jul 28, 2010)
Russell K ShoresL.S 5: Seven songs in a flurry of jazz, funk, soul and blues tows up this album. Written for his wife, Lola, it’s compilation of old favorites and new compositions that are both uplifting and refreshing. His peers call him “Thor” or “Thunder baby” for his thunderous grooves– and the reason why is reflected quite nicely on this release.
4.5 McRiprock’s
- Austin Daze (Nov 21, 2010)

“It is so refreshing to hear a bassist who has both an amazing sense of groove and melody, but that is what Russell Shores brings to the table with his new CD “LS5”. The songs are very well-crafted and impeccably performed. This is one of those CDs that I liked the very first time I listened to it, and I think you will too.”
Dale Titus
MTD Kingston Artist Relations Manager
Former Editor of Bass Frontiers Magazine
Former instructor at the Bass Institute of Technology

Dale Titus (Jul 20, 2010)

Edo Castro January 18 at 11:47am Russell here is my review.

"Russell K. Shores "LS - 5"

Russell has been threatening to release upon on us an Album of his tunes and he's made good on his promise. A richly orchestrated 7 song CD that is nothing short of beautiful.

First let me say that Russell's playing is superbly eloquent, melodic and if there's a pocket he's got your back. I love his playing because it is quintessential: Everything you need as a solid, expressive and artistic player can be heard in his playing. There's no windfall of notes and battery of chops. Just tasteful playing. That is artistic maturity my friends, bar none.
There are 2 favorite cuts of mine:
No Stopping, is a gorgeous octave double stop melody which breaks into
a sensual slap solo. Melodic has not left the room my friends. He's still playing a tune for you and it's right.

Teen Town. Now if you're going to cover a tune, I say play it differently or don't bother. Different indeed. Russell notches DOWN the tempo! And lights us up with a laid back, in the pocket version that NO one has ever played. (Usually it's at break neck speed and just ridiculously self indulgent.) Not hear my friends. His melodic phrasing on Teen Town is just thoughtful and expressive.

Biased? Yes. I am a bass player.
Thank you Russell for making good on your promise."
But only to that degree. There's no need to make up
false praise. Russell is a formidable bassist who yields to the song
and lets the music live through him.

Edo Castro (Jul 20, 2010)

Edo Castro July 21 at 3:03pm Hey dude
I just wanted to say in all honesty, you're one of the cats. you've got a great vibe in your sound. You can make that MTD bass sing. I've owned a few of them and I couldn't make it sound like that.
But that's what it's all about right? Making your own voice. Keep up the good work my bass man.

Edo Castro (Jul 22, 2010)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I Got the Bass Fo' Yo' Face

If you know me personally, you may know I have one weakness (to which I will admit): the bass guitar. I'll admit, I don't particularly discriminate. However, I know what I DO like. I know a good bass line when I hear one. And, here, I present to you: my favorite basslines as of late. You don't even have to especially love the sound of a bass to appreciate these tunes, although, if you do you will be quite pleased. Whatever you think, you'll agree these bass lines are in no way subtle.

I have no reference of technical terms. Therefore, I will explain them in my (a bass-lover's) terms.

AutoVaughn - On the Radio (The most groovy low-lights I've ever heard. A super underrated band, and one you will get to know. Nashville, TN. Check 'em out)

Communiqué - My Bay (These bass lines just groove with the tune. You know it's a good bass line when you couldn't imagine the tune without it.)

Cut Copy - The Twilight (Hands down, the best bass break-down I've ever heard at 3:21. Well, this song is mostly bass. Surprised it's my favorite?)

Late of the Pier - Broken (This one makes me feel like I'm in an outdoor concert, the band's collective hair is blowing back as they gnaw at their instruments. The bass is be-a-u-tee-ful.)

Fenix, TX - Threesome (I've never heard a better chorus bass line that is so friendly to the lead guitar, yet keeping in line with the rhythm sect. Perfect.)

Phoenix - (You Can't Blame it On) Anybody (You want bass with a soul that's usually relegated to the '70s and that grinds so good, you'd swear there wasn't even a drummer? Here ya go. My very favorite bass groove at the mome.)

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble - Hideaway/Rude Mood (Live at Montreux) (This shit grooves like nobody's bus. This is my favorite bassist of all time, Tommy Shannon, who sounds like he's chewing an eagle when he plays the bass. I love that gritty, gnawing sound his bass produces. Plus, this is the best blues tune(s) ever made and the best guitar riff I have ever heard occurs at 5:13. Followed by the best bass riff ever.)

And here's your special treat. I had the very wonderful pleasure of seeing Mel Davis and the Blues Specialists on Labor Day weekend at the Arcadia Blues Festival. Let me TELL you, I saw the BEST bassist I have seen, maybe ever. His name is Russell K. Shores. And you may know that funk is what initially drew me into the bass guitar. This band blends nicely blues and funk and Russell straight riffs and funks on that bass. I swear this link does him NO justice, but go here anyway and see for yourself : Push 'play' on Thunder Bass and you'll get a taste.

I left out a bunch of my favorites. Maybe a Part Deux is in the works?
Posted by AMP at 11:13 PM 0 comments 
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    LOWDOWN: Ladies and Gentlemen - Russell K. Shores!

    Rev. Russell K. Shores

    Native New Yorker Rev. Russell Kenji Shores has a varied and impressive resume. Nick-named Thor or Thunder Baby by his peers for his thunderous grooves, he began playing bass at age twelve. A few years later, armed with a degree in music, he began a professional career during which he has shared the stage with Diana Ross, Julian Lennon, Unified Tribe, The Kevin Fowler band, Lucid Dream, The Steve O'Neil band, The Major Burkes band, The ACC jazz band, The Blues Specialists, Elliott Fikes and Soul Serenade.

    As musical director, Russell has played with Austin Alibi, Wesley United Methodist Church, The First Baptist Church, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, and The Freedom Home Baptist Church Mass Choir under the leadership of Pastor O.B Howard Jr.

    Russell also serves on the staff as the electric and contra bass teacher at the Academy of Music in Austin Tx. Russell plays and has the endorsement of M.T.D basses and U. S. Master Guitar fretless bass as well as MTD strings and Visual Sound pedals, E.A Amps, and AccuGroove speaker cabs. Check 'em out!

    From Russell's MySpace site:

    "Russell K Shores learned to play the bass when a friend pointed out he was only playing the first four strings on his electric guitar. This is how natural-born bassists are discovered!

    Now Russell displays his considerable skills on an album of seven songs that is as refreshing and uplifting as it is dazzling.

    The album – ‘L.S 5’ – was written for his wife Lola, but it is more like a present for the world of music. A combination of jazz, funk, soul and blues, of new compositions and old favorites, it is as good a debut album as you are likely to hear this year.

    His talent for bass has earned Russell rave reviews from people who know their apples. And all that talent is evident on this collection. From accomplished covers such as ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ and ‘Ain’t No Stopping Us Now’ to his own slap-happy tunes, every one of the tracks is guaranteed to be loved by bass aficionados and casual listeners alike.

    Taking his inspiration from legends of the low tones such as Stanley Clarke, Chuck Rainey and Jaco Pastorius, and armed with a degree in music, Russell both learns from the greats and contributes something new to the pantheon.

    Having made music and performed since the age of 12, and having shared a stage with the likes of Diana Ross and Julian Lennon, Russell is ready to step out of the shadows and show what he is capable of."

    He might have picked up the bass by accident, but the same can be said of most bassists. On second thoughts, I think this album is proof that maybe there was no accident after all…

    Check it out!
    Comments3 Comments
    1. SilverFlame46's Avatar
      Great BIO, Russell!!! Your album ‘L.S 5’ is now part of my music library. Thanks for sharing!!!
    1. Elmeaux's Avatar
      Nice to meeet you, Russell. Bassman DeLuxe!!
    1. Kegs's Avatar
      Nice, Russel, very nice. Surely it was the 'last' four strings on the electric that you were playing? Any bassist who takes inspiration from the Master, S. Clarke Esq. will always be heading North instead of South. I'll be watching out for you. Good luck to you..........Kegs.

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    LS 5

    Austin bassman Russell K. Shores slaps and taps his way through a cool seven-song set of jazz-rock on a solo debut for serious jazz- and bass-heads. The local quintet gives "I Shot the Sheriff" a workout and takes a trip to Weather Report's synth-laden "Teen Town." The live bluesy closer, while of dubious recording quality, names the game: "Thunder Bass." **.5