DaShiell, Russell


Band members               Related acts

- Russell DaShiell -- vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion

 

  supporting musicians:

- Doug Clifford -- drums

- Stu Cook - bass

- John Tanner -- keyboards

 

 

 

The Big Wha Koo

- The Beau Gentry

- Crowfoot

- Don Harrison Band

- I Spy

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Elevator

Company: Epic

Catalog: JE 35074
Year: 1978

Country/State: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: timing strip along bottom; original inner sleeve; white label promo copy

Available: 2

GEMM catalog ID: 5528

Price: $20.00

 

I saw this one at a yard sale and somehow connected the name with CCR.  Turns out there is a connection, though it's one of those six degree of separation deals ...

 

He's largely unknown, but over a professional career that's spanned some 40 years, as a hired gun guitarist Russell DaShiell's played on hundreds of LPs.  He's also been a member of numerous name bands including The Beau Gentrys, Crowfoot, and the Don Harrison Band.  

 

DaShiell's official solo debut came as a result of the mid-1970s publicity surrounding The Don Harrison Band.  Harrison and his cohorts generated significant attention in the music press and while neither of their two LPs did much commercially, it proved enough to get DeShiell signed as a solo act by

Epic.

 

 

Self-produced, 1978's "Elevator" found DaShiell working with former CCR/Don Harrison cohorts Doug Clifford and Stu Cook.  Ironically while the hideous air brushed cover prepared me for a collection of guitar wanking (always wanted to use that word in a review), that simply wasn't the case.  Largely downplaying his guitar pyrotechnical abilities, instead DaShiell displayed an enjoyable knack for highly commercial pop-rock,  He also displayed a surprisingly attractive voice that was almost chameleon-like in his ability to adapt to different musical idioms.  Not intended as a criticism, but on material like the dreamy ballad 'In the Fire' he recalled Badfinger, or perhaps Emmit Rhodes.  Yeah, nothing here was likely to change your outlook on life, but by the same token, tracks like 'Come On', 'Wild Party' and the bruising rocker 'Top of the World' were tuneful, occasionally boasting clever lyrics (check out the lyrics to 'A La Mode' or 'Electrical Wave of Sound' - DaShiell's electrical engineer father would have been proud) and some nice arrangements.   Yeah, a couple of the ballads were a little too far on the MOR side ('Dreamer' and '50th Century'), but all told a pleasant and enjoyable surprise.  Epic doesn't seem to have done much to promote or support the LP (it quickly disappeared into clearance bins), though they tapped it for a single in the form of:

 

- 'In the Fire' b/w 'Dreamer' (Epic catalog number 50553)


"Elevator" track listing:
(side 1) 

1.) Come On   (Russell DeShiell) - 2:19

2.) Electrical Wave of Sound   (Russell DeShiell) - 2:50

3.) Wild Party   (Russell DeShiell) - 2:37

4.) In the Fire   (Russell DeShiell) - 4:07

5.) Top of the World   (Russell DeShiell) - 3:37

 

(side 2)
1.) Direction   (Russell DeShiell) - 3:46

2.) A La Mode   (Russell DeShiell) - 3:28

3.) Dreamer   (Russell DeShiell) - 3:38

4.) Oh My Wild Love   (Russell DeShiell) - 4:01

5.) 50th Century   (Russell DeShiell) - 3:31

 

DaShiell's subsequent recording career is a little sporadic.  There's a one-shot 45 under the moniker I Spy, In the mid-1990s he briefly reformed Crowfoot, releasing self-financed EP.  He worked in television scoring and doing editing.  He also worked in advertising.  In 2000 he returned to Hawaii (where he'd grown up.  A couple of years later he returned to California where he's continued to write and release a couple of solo projects including an instrumental set "Island Life" and a concept piece that was adapted for an animated film "Foreverland Forest".  

 

He has a small but  interesting website at: 

 

http://www.spiritguitar.com/

 

 

 

 

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