By Antiem Boyd
Russell Lee’s latest album What Do I Do is less of a question than a possible guidepost, especially in these vexing times. In the style of the old school folk crooner, Lee is pondering life as he knows it, honestly and without flinching.
The guitars on What Do I Do are gorgeous, the production is superb, and Lee commands the storytelling like an experienced world traveler. His easy style and golden voice are a healing balm, too. But not a weary one. Also, Lee is clearly a positive person, calling for a break from the chaos. He encourages the listener, “Let’s just have some fun, guys.” Nothing wrong with that.
One of the things that’s most striking is Lee’s ability to accurately describe the frustration and complication of relationships. He is not afraid to address just how brutal, lonely, and confusing trying to make a connection can be. He’s hopeful, he’s shattered, he gets up and tries again. He’s us.
Where Lee most shines is his beautiful and eerie cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “If You Could Read My Mind.” His rendition transports the listener back to the mid ‘70s, and what a ride. This harkening back to another time is probably Lee’s biggest appeal. A melding of different eras, with an opportunity to understand just where we’ve come from and where we’re going.
If you’re looking to relate, chill out, or simply find a new take on something that’s been bugging you, Russell Lee’s What Do I Do is good medicine.
Russell Lee – Guitar, vocals
Tom Koroluk – Keyboards, backup vocals
Curtis Chrusch – Bass, backup vocals
Owen Price – Lead guitarist
Brett Koroluk – Drummer
2. Piece of the Earth
3. What Do I Do
4. Never Know Your Name
5. High and Low
7. If You Could Read My Mind
8. Only One for Me
9. Different Time
10. Find Myself
11. Amazing Grace
Recorded and mixed at T.A.G. Recording Studios
Engineered and mixed by Tom Koroluk
Co-produced by Russell Lee and Tomo Koroluk