Russell D is Austin singer/songwriter duo Russell Forsyth and percussionist Arron Michaels, and the “one thing” referenced in the CD title is love – the overriding or underlying theme that runs throughout the album.
The music is folk and psychedelic, but has nothing to do with the pretentious psych-folk movement. Forsyth and Michaels could be transported to the Fillmore circa 1968 and fit right in; the melodicism is somewhat reminiscent of the Youngbloods.
The music centers around Forsyth’s mandocello. Craig Tourngate’s bass and Mark Wilson’s sax and flute flesh out some of the arrangements, and the production is first-rate – the warm and immediate sound befitting the intimacy of the lyrics on the 17 originals such as “Love Is Life” and “If I Knew You Then,” featuring vocal support from Maya Carle West and Joe Meitzen, creating an almost tribal feel.
Hard-to-categorize stuff – which isn’t a half-bad thing.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Dec. ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.