A Collaboration
About Benjamin Russell
About Benjamin Russell
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About Benjamin Russell

A singer-songwriter, painter from Saskatoon, now living in Montreal, Benjamin Russell is known for his hit single, MIRACLE, for which he was nominated, "Most Promising Male Vocalist", in the 80s. He has released many albums, singles and videos, and has shown his paintings in exhibitions.
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“...one of the biggest talents in this, or any other, country...songs are so full of hooks and strong melodies...tracks that grow stronger with each spin..."

- Aaron Badgley, Spill Magazine

“It is a damn fine album"

- David Marsden, nythespirit.com

“Fabulous. It's like Disney animated movie soundtrack stuff. Melodic rhythmic and bright. I doubt I'll hear anything else more engaging today."

- Div Allan, Matrix Div

“I can see this in a James Bond film. It's absolutely stunning - it blew me away!”

- Suzanne Letting, Let’s Get It On radio show

“…loaded with talent!”

- The Hamilton Spectator

“…one of our better singer-songwriters.”

- The Montreal Star

“…a wide and expressive vocal range…a talented multi-instrumentalist.”

- Ralph Angelillo, Muzik Etc.

“…experience this uber-talented, charming, and endearing musician..”

- Miss Parker, Rave and Roll Blog

“His style, voice and playing are right on the money.”

- Fanfare Magazine

The vocals are expressive and strong, carrying a melody mingling energy and shadowy feeling as drums thunder and bass growls.

- Karl Magi, Freelance Blogger

“A sound and persona of his own.”

- Share

“Combining elements from his punk era with his better remembered electronic Miracle ‘80s pop career…prolific...”

- David Farrell, FYI Music News

“I love this (ROCKHILL) CD. It brings elements from the exciting times of the late sixties and early seventies and makes it fresh and new again, sounding totally modern.”

- Duke Eatmon, CBC Radio One Homerun Show

“…a fantastic show. The interaction was almost unbelievable.”

- The Plant

“…a very special talent.”

- Sunday Express

“An impressive display of staccato, claw hammer style of guitar playing... His voice is smooth and tuneful, evocative of Ian McCulloch from Echo & The Bunnymen.”

- noisography

“…excellent new album is an amalgam of avant-garde modernity, earthy tradition, and Brian Eno-like eccentricity.”

- zoot aloors, canadaisamusicmec.ca

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Early Years
Benjamin started playing guitar while in high school. The first song he learned was House Of The Rising Sun, on the Silvertone electric guitar he bought from the Sears catalog. It never sounded right because he couldn't afford an amp, so he sold the guitar and got an acoustic. He performed King Crimson's Cadence and Cascade with his sister, Janet, in the high school talent show.
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Solo Acoustic "Folk" Singer

After graduation, he started picking up gigs in coffee-houses and bars around town, then set out for New York, hoping to emulate his hero, Bob Dylan. He stopped in Montreal when he met Elyce - they've been together ever since. In the 70's Benjamin played the expanding repertoire of eclectic songs he was writing, in coffee houses, schools and colleges. He toured across Canada, busking to help make ends meet.

Later, hired as a music specialist in the inner city Montreal schools, Russell taught music and inspired a new generation of songwriters who went on to careers in music, performing, DJing, recording and broadcasting.

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Punk landed on him like the proverbial ton of bricks! "I had been expressing myself nicely in my songs. I was impressed by the way the punks were saying a lot of the same stuff, but they sort of grabbed you by the collar and made you listen."

He joined his first band called, The Strokes (no not THAT band!) in 1979 playing The Clash, Ramones, T-Rex and Bowie. That soon morphed into doing originals in Madman where Russell was pumping out songs faster than ever. The MADMAN album was recorded on a rented 4-track Tascam reel to reel tape recorder before the band broke up. "Drugs were a problem and I got fed up with guys showing up coked up enough to think they were playing great, but too much to realize they were starting to stink."
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Post Punk Electro Pop

Benjamin claims MIDI was invented because he needed it. He wanted to program his own beats, and be able to sequence bass so he could play with machines live. His Roland TR-808 and TB-303 could only take him so far. When sequencers and MIDI synths hit, he took off!

TGO records heard the demos he'd made and signed him immediately. In the the pro 24-track Studio Marko, Russell taught the engineers how to lay down a sync tone. He then layered and played all the tracks himself on his 1984 album for which he was nominated, "Most Promising Male Vocalist", in the nationally televised CASBY Awards in 1985.

His music video for POWER OF LOVE played in high rotation on Much Music and he did TV appearances in support of his album. He performed solo shows at venues like Club Soda, in Montreal, and The Rivoli, in Toronto, backed by racks of synths all synced to his Oberheim DMX drum machine, which had been custom modded to deliver CV and Gate signals to control his Roland equipment. "That really wasn't as much fun as playing with people, but it allowed me to recreate the record live."

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2021 To Today
In 2021, Benjamin was approached by super fan, Kevin Alberga, asking him to remake Miracle, his hit in the 80s. Kevin credited the original song, now out of print, with helping his son recover from a serious brain injury. The resulting Miracle 2021 (the John Roland Penner mix) went to number one on Artefactor Radio's Top 20.

When Rob Stuart heard it, he asked permission to do his own remix and that was the start of a "beautiful friendship" as they say in the movies. The pair have released several singles and videos and are now preparing the release of Something In F Minor, their debut album.
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