Russ Thompson

Local SEEN (and heard): Russ Thompson

If you follow the local music scene in Raleigh, you may already know that our city is home to a lot of impressive musical talent. One of the most impressive talents is singer/songwriter Russ Thompson. Russ has paved the way for many other aspiring area musicians, and draws crowds at several local venues with a unique style that combines rock, folk, and blues performed with his soulful voice accompanied by acoustic guitar and harmonica.

Social The Magazine was able to chat with Russ recently about his musical background, writing style and his upcoming projects.

SM: Russ, you’ve been a staple in the local music scene for quite some time now. How long have you been performing?

RT: I’ve been performing for 10 years. My first gig was running the Open Mic Night at The Comet Lounge when Andy Seagle and Oschell owned it. So, professionally 10yrs, but a few years of practice at house parties didn’t hurt. After that I waited tables or bartended to make money between gigs. But in the past year I’ve just been playing music. So I’m one step closer to where I want to be, and always working.

SM: You moved to Florida and just recently returned to Raleigh. What was the reason for the move?

RT:  Sometimes you have to walk away from the things you love to truly appreciate their worth. I left because I lost my music. I couldn’t find it anywhere. So I looked in Florida. Come to find out, it was there that I realized I need to get back to my roots with my music. North Carolina is home and I had to come home to work on the new material. Since I’ve been back I’ve found my music and a few new styles to work with. That’s why I’m so excited to be working on two different solo projects right now.

SM: Can you tell us a little more about these new projects?

RT: I am working on two albums right now that should be done in July and ready for an August release. I have a Folk/Blues album in the works as well as an acoustic rock album. Both will be available at my August 5th release party at Marsh Woodwinds.

SM: In terms of your songwriting process, do you sit down intentionally to write, or do the songs just come to you?

RT: It’s both. I play them out a lot and change them according to what I think works. Then I’ll sit down, write a finalized version intended for publishing, and record what I publish. But you’ll still catch me changing words every now and again to make sure you’re paying attention.

SM: What, in your opinion, would help to bolster awareness for the local musicians and the Raleigh music scene?

RT:  I wish the songwriters in this area had a showcase. This statement transcends across genres as well. This town is full of great songwriters. Whether it’s hip-hop, rock, folk, country etc…we have amazing talent in this area artists like myself, Jason Adamo, Mic Savvy, Frankie Goodrich, Matt Bowen and Grant Haze. If you could get all of us together in a large venue one night it would be a songwriters showcase I’d love to see.

SM: That’s a great idea!

Dear readers, we encourage you to see Russ Thompson live on stage as soon as you can. He performs frequently throughout the Carolinas, and he plans to book an independent Southeastern US tour in 2012.

Find Russ Thompson info online at:
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