Friday, February 4, 2011

Drummer to the Stars

Lyle Lovett was telling Bob Edwards how much fun he had playing with his Large Band (15 players without horns) when he mentioned Russ Kunkel. I knew Russ had played with a lot of my favorite rock and rollers but I did not realize how many. In fact his name is on  more liner notes than I can count; his Wikipedia entry lists nearly 100 artists he has played with...from Herb Alpert to Warren Zevon. But it is not only the quantity but the quality. He played on some of the best albums of the seventies and eighties.
Kunkel is credited with Carole King (Tapestry), James Taylor (Sweet Baby James), Joni Mitchell (Blue) and Bob Dylan (New Morning). He played on eight Jackson Browne albums, including Running on Empty, as well as with Bob Seger and Linda Ronstadt, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young(in groups and as soloists). Then there is Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand and Neil Young. I guess he has some stories from the road and the studio.

Lyle is contributing to a 24-song tribute album to Guy Clark. That's something to look forward to. When he was asked about his novelty songs like "Keep it in the pantry," he told Bob:  "I think it is important to be silly whenever you can."

That seems a good motto for Super Bowl weekend.


  1. I, too, will be looking for that Lovett tribute album. I've loved Lyle's work since I first heard him sing " Tonto he was smarter and one day said 'kemo sabe, kiss my ass, I bought a boat, I'm goin' out to sea.'" Weird lookin' guy, though.

  2. Anyone who played on Blue has my respect!