Russ Kunkel

DanRH

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I saw him about 10 years ago play with Lyle Lovett. I wondered who was the drummer. Bald and a little portly, I didn’t recognize him. When Lyle introduced his band, wow, it all made sense. The guy was so solid. Loved that performance. He was playing a one up, one down Yamaha kit.
 

langmick

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Top five influential drummers imo., and didn't play on Help Me lol. His time is amazing, the consistency he gets.
 
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drummer5359

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Vinnie Colaiuta? Jeff Watts? Poogie Bell? Art Blakey? Roger Humphries?
Tons of great drummers come from that region.

I love Russ's drumming. My favorite recording that Russ has done is this...


That is some of the best pop drumming EVER!!! A touchstone for me.
Pocket, groove, great sound, EVERYTHING!
Oh and some wonderful songs too.
MSG
And... JDA and I!






;)
 

Squirrel Man

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(see his place of birth. It's "Export, Pa." I believe. 12 miles thru the woods from me; plus his family name "Kunkle's " has had a Subaru dealer ship there since the early 70s) I don't think he ever returned (for family if it's the same Kunkle or for anything)

Far out man.
actually Delmont, Pa. /that area/export/delmont are next to each other) cows and fields and a convenience store
and other stuff/simple life. heartland east
I was in Export PA a couple times.

I can't recall why I was there or anything beyond that but honestly, I was there.

Might have been a bar there, pretty sure of that at least.

...just googled it, nah - don't remember but I was there.
 
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Tarkus

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...

Kunkel and Sklar .......! ...
Two years ago, I had no clue, who Russ Kunkel is. Shame on me. Of course, I knew a lot of songs he drummed on, but the name meant nothing to me.

It is Leland Sklar's youtube channel, that I was (and still am) listening to, that discovered so many gems of music business. Russ Kunkel is one of them. It is rare to hear something over-spectacular from him. But - as mentioned - he 'plays for the songs'. And he makes songs shine better through the way, he plays. What more could you expect from a drummer.

Now, I have highest respect about his master drumming and tried to incorporate partly in my own playing. Not sure that worked out, but something happened, that I didn't expect. It is not 'boring', no, it is real fun. Because it far from 'straight', what Russ Kunkel delivers. And it is more difficult than expected to play less and leave room for others.

Here a recent example of Lee Sklars channel (featuring James Taylor - Everyday, and of course Russ Kunkel):

You can skip the talking. Music starts at 1:48. To play along with this master helped me a lot in understanding structures of good songs. At least, I hope so.
 

bbunks

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I seem to recall Kunkel playing on a fusion record at some point - might have been his own date?

Mike
Russ and the guys backing up Taylor and Browne - Sklar, Kortchmar and Doerge - had an instrumental band called The Section.

Now, mostly the same guys, the band is The Immediate Family.
 

NobleCooleyNut

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I have been a long time fan of Russ’s playing. I was first introduced to his playing by one of my first drum teachers . We were listening to the Tapestry album by Carole King . We would chart out the drum part and then I would practice the song for the next lesson . I was only about 11 at the time and it was such a great lesson in restraint and playing for the song . Russ has been a big influence on me .
 

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I have been a long time fan of Russ’s playing. I was first introduced to his playing by one of my first drum teachers . We were listening to the Tapestry album by Carole King . We would chart out the drum part and then I would practice the song for the next lesson . I was only about 11 at the time and it was such a great lesson in restraint and playing for the song . Russ has been a big influence on me .
That’s quite amazing that you were learning Carole King songs to that degree ….
 

drumgadget

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Two years ago, I had no clue, who Russ Kunkel is. Shame on me. Of course, I knew a lot of songs he drummed on, but the name meant nothing to me.

.................................................................................................................

You can skip the talking. Music starts at 1:48. To play along with this master helped me a lot in understanding structures of good songs .............

Hey Tarkus ...... thanks for posting this! Reminded me of how much I dig Lee Sklar, not only as a musician (half of Kunkel & Sklar, among countless other things!), but as a genuine human being. But I would suggest that one not "skip the talking"; that's what makes Lee's videos special to me. I appreciate his warmth and "actuality" as "just another guy" you'd like to sit down and have a "chin wag" with. Don't know about you, but that's one of the main things I've missed over the last 1 1/2 years of COVID isolation - just sitting down and talking music with other musicians ........ in addition to playing, of course.

And thanks to everyone for this Forum ....... it's been a great help to me during this trying time ........ !

Mike
 

Tarkus

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Hey Tarkus ...... thanks for posting this! Reminded me of how much I dig Lee Sklar, not only as a musician (half of Kunkel & Sklar, among countless other things!), but as a genuine human being. But I would suggest that one not "skip the talking"; that's what makes Lee's videos special to me. I appreciate his warmth and "actuality" as "just another guy" you'd like to sit down and have a "chin wag" with. Don't know about you, but that's one of the main things I've missed over the last 1 1/2 years of COVID isolation - just sitting down and talking music with other musicians ........ in addition to playing, of course.

And thanks to everyone for this Forum ....... it's been a great help to me during this trying time ........ !

Mike
Hi Mike

Don't get me wrong. This was pure technical advice for the impatient ones. Of course, I have highest respect of the 'human touch' of Lee Sklars opinions. I'm a little fan boy (but not connected via any social network). Musicians like that are rare, at least I don't know many.

And, I also want to join in your 'thanks to the forum'. Helped me as well a lot. Thanks to ya all.
Markus
 

NobleCooleyNut

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That’s quite amazing that you were learning Carole King songs to that degree ….
I had been taking lessons for five years by that time . This particular teacher was a great influence as he introduced so many great bands to me as part of his teaching. Our regular routine was for him to pick an album and we would go through it track by track and chart out each song . Then I would play the chart for the week until I had it down . I was Kit allowed to move to the next track tillI had mastered the current one .

We did a few albums with Russ on them and I really loved the space and his tasty approach to the songs .
 


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