Photo credit: MIndy Pines
For booking, publicity or radio,
contact Bruce Kaplan: 310-628-9589 or firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact Claudia personally, write rustyswing AT AOL.com
Claudia's new CD is All Our Luck Is Changing,
produced by Peter Case.
Claudia Russell is an outstanding singer and songwriter who has shared stages with Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer, Loudon Wainwright III, Steve Forbert, Tish Hinojosa, Kris Kristoffersen, Willie Nelson, Darryl Purpose, Peter Rowan, Rosalie Sorrels and Bill Staines, among many others. When the planets align, she is sometimes pleased to count Carl Byron (piano accordion), and Eric Lewis (dobro, guitar, mandolin) and Tom Tally (viola) in her band. She is also thrilled to perform in the occasional pop up band Paper Birds with Katie Dahl and Rich Higdon.
Boston's WUMB FM named Claudia the Best New Artist of 2000, the East Bay Express named her Best Musician in 2006, and she has twice been selected as a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting competition. Claudia was a 2004 finalist in the Sisters Folk Festival Songwriters contest in Bend Oregon and the 2002 KRCL Songwriting contest in Salt Lake City.
Claudia has performed for thousands as cast member in several productions at American Folklore Theater in Door County WI, including "Old Friends," "Goodnight, Irene," "Fish and Whistle," and "Sometimes a Song."
Besides writing evocative songs, Claudia is known for her vocal talent. She is an expressive and versatile singer, as at home on a soulful ballad as a Buddy Holly style romp. But music is in the ear of the listener. So have a listen and hear for yourself!
And on guitar and mandolin…Bruce Kaplan
Bruce Kaplan is a renaissance man. Which is a polite way of saying he’s still not quit sure of what he wants to be when he grows up. He’s been a writer, magazine editor, entrepreneur, graphic designer, marketing consultant, teacher, potter, concert producer, sound engineer, non-profit organizer, and most notably, a performing musician.
As a musician, Kaplan has worked with many talented singer/songwriters, most notably his wife and current musical partner, Claudia Russell. He is known for deftly accompanying on mandolin and electric guitar, providing melodic counter point and atmosphere that aspires to elevate each song just a little higher. The word tasteful is oft heard, while flashy is not. On stage he is noted for the witty off-the-cuff remark.
Kaplan and Russell are also concert producers, having co-produced 100 concerts in their home town of Point Richmond, about 12 miles across the Bay from San Francisco. Kaplan writes the press releases, designs the posters, runs sound and has created the a web site for the Point Richmond Acoustic Acoustic series.
Kaplan has been in a band almost his entire adult life, starting in LA with Reality Sandwich, moving on to the Young Adults with veteran music journalist j. poet, classic new wavers the Toasters, then The Tearjerkers, the Allison MacLeod Band, Annyland, The Folk Unlimited Orchestra and pop up folk band, Paper Birds. The Toasters had a development deal with RCA Records and was the pet project of mega-producer Ron Fair, who went on to be president of Geffen Records. During that period, Kaplan started a publication called Song Talk for the National Academy of Songwriters, and then served as Associate Editor of Music Connection Magazine. During that time – early 1980s – he became facile with personal computers, as well as basic typesetting systems.
The Tearjerkes featured the talents of Allison MacLeod, Danette Christine and Anny Celsi and led to playing lead guitar with both MacLeod’s band, and Celsi’s Annyland, which Kaplan calls his "rock and roll hey day."
In 1986, he founded Mind over Macintosh, which, for a decade, was Los Angeles’s premiere computer graphics training organization. He took the company from his kitchen table to 5 classrooms and 30+ employees, and counted corporations like Apple, Conde Naste, BBDO, Petersen Publishing, Honda, Sony Music, Toyota and the LA Times as clients. Simultaneously, he also worked part time as an instructor at UCLA Extension, developing an extensive computer publishing program for them. He eventually rebranded the company as a Productity Point franchise and sold the company in 1997 to Knowledge Universe, a company headed by Mike Milken and powered with funds from Larry Ellison. “They killed it, “ is all Kaplan will say about that chapter. Kaplan was out of the training business by the end of 1998.
Russell and Kaplan married in 1990, but it took a while for the couple to come together musically. As Kaplan began picking up the mandolin, Russell’s 90s project Maggie’s Farm disbanded. In 1999 Russell and Kaplan recorded a CD Song Food with Mark Governor producing, and began touring as a semi-acoustic duo. In 2002, Kaplan co-founded and became the first president of FAR-West, the Folk Alliance Western Regional conference.
Moving to the Bay Area in 2004, Kaplan managed a family business co-owned by his brother, Looking Glass Photo. There, Kaplan created a complete turn around of the store, launched a new brand and web site, and guided the staff from the transition from film to digital based business model. He learned about POS systems, inventory, co-op advertising and exciting stuff like that. Self-employment afforded Kaplan the luxury of being able to tour several times a year, as the Russell released her second CD, Ready to Receive.
Always at home in front of a computer, Kaplan has in the past decade focused on learning music software and video editing. Russell and Kaplan have added their talents to other people’s recording projects including Katie Dahl, Eric Lewis, Terry Murphy and the band Zen of Theives.
Kaplan has a strong interest in design and has created a number of posters and CD covers for Mark Lemaire, Jill Freeman, Point Richmond Music, Point Richmond Acoustic, Russell (of course) and Peter Rowan. He claims to have written and designed more than 200 advertisements for Looking Glass Photo.
For fun, Kaplan roasts his own coffee, makes pizza, and throws clay to make mugs, bowls and assorted ceramic objects.