Russick Smith’s music is steeped in the emotional remnants of his motley, spirited adventures; whether recording at Woodstock studios or sailing the high seas on traditionally rigged ships. Described as “a smart, dynamic musician who is doing everything right,” the cellist and multi-instrumentalist walks between sentimental acoustic arrangements and modern electronic landscapes.
With a formal education in cello and electric bass, Russick Smith’s foundation bridges contemporary and classical music drawing inspiration from artists such as Air and Edgar Meyer. His interests and recording work have led him to supplement his instrumental repertoire with mandolin, banjo, concertina, double bass, guitar, and other various keyed and string instruments. Smith’s productions are also bolstered by a background in audio engineering. After graduating from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, Smith moved on to cut his teeth as an assistant engineer working under Grammy-winner Justin Guip and platinum-selling engineer John Siket as well as assisting sessions with producers such as David Baron and Paul Stacey. Outside of music, his extracurricular activities prompted Chris Robinson (Chris Robinson Band, The Black Crowes) to characterize him as “a real-life action man.”
Using his diverse background, Smith engages audiences by seeking out non-traditional roles and locations for his music. In his piece “Music for the Birds”(2016), Smith took his cello off the ground and into the trees to perform a solo set framed by the changing Colorado aspens. “Runoff Reverie”(2017) and “A Small Concert on a Tiny Island”(2016) set Smith in the middle of a river playing to his audience on shore. He has performed alongside artists spanning genres from the likes of veteran goth rocker Peter Murphy to southwest neo-soul group Hello Dollface. In 2016, Smith won “Best In Class” for his looping performance at the Vertex Musical Championships and first place as a duo with troubadour Cody Wayne at KSKE’s Country Music Showdown. Smith has been featured on television in Denver’s KDVR ‘Everyday’ show, on radio stations KYSL and KLNX, and in print articles for the Summit Daily and Explore Summit Magazine. Festival appearances include Bohemian Nights at New West Fest, WAVE: Light+Water+Sound, iAM MUSIC Fest, Breckenridge International Festival of Arts, Vertex, Guitar Town, Copper Country, and Festival in the Clouds. He has been spotlighted at the Colorado Creative Industries Summit and been a presenter at the Colorado Music Convergence. Smith has also appeared with national storytelling organization The Moth as a Mainstage timekeeper and hosts a monthly Songwriter’s Circle in Breckenridge, Colorado.
In the fall of 2017, Smith will be presenting a series of concerts among the boughs entitled “Tree-o” with violinist Karen Lauffer and mandolinist Kevin Larkin. He is currently recording a full-length album of original chamber compositions on traditional bluegrass instrumentation.