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The name RUSS IRWIN may ring a bell for few people, but chances are if you've seen Aerosmith live in concert in the last two decades, you've heard him playing keyboards and doing backing vocals.
Indeed, New Yorker Russ Irwin has been been part of Aerosmith's touring band since the '90s, performing keyboards, guitars and backing vocals. Also, in the meantime, toured with Sting, Bryan Adams, John Fogerty, and recorded with Paul Stanley, Jeff Beck, etc.
But he's more than this.
Irwin is a skilled songwriter too, having penned songs for Meat Loaf, Foreigner, Scorpions and many, many more. As example, most recently Irwin co-wrote Aerosmith's top 20 hit 'What Could Have Been Love' on their album Music From Another Dimension.
However, Russ Irwin started his musical career as solo artist when he was singed at the beginning of the Nineties by major label Columbia. His self-titled debut appeared in 1991, produced by Westcoast guru Phil Ramone.
Despite of featuring as well session musicians also often related to Westcoast / AOR music like Vinnie Colaiuta, Jeff Bova or Steve Ferrone, "Russ Irwin" (the CD) is pretty Adult Contemporary, Rock&pop and Classic Rock oriented, with some melodic rock tracks in between as the beautiful "Sea Of Dreams".
The album spawned a hit single - # 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 - with the ballad "My Heart Belongs to You", while "I Need You Now" hit No. 36 on the Radio Rock chart.
This is a very good record with cool tunes, of course top class musicianship & production, and Irwin's excellent vocals as a corollary.
It seriously grows in you with each listen.
01 - Don't Like The Way You Look At My Love
02 - All I Want
03 - Alison-Francis
04 - She's Part of Me
05 - Get Outta Town
06 - Can't Stop Lovin' You
07 - My Heart Belongs To You
08 - That's What Love Should Be
09 - I Need You Now
10 - Sea Of Dreams
Russ Irwin: Vocals, Bass, Keyboards, Piano, Wurlitzer
Jeff Bova: Synthesizer
Jimmy Bralower: Programming, Synthesizer
Doug Katsaros: Synthesizer, Backing Vocals
Eric Rehl: Keyboards, Synthesizer
Vinnie Colaiuta, Steve Ferrone, Gregg Gerson: Drums
Bashiri Johnson: Percussion
Joe Shepley, David Taylor, George Young: Horns
Phoebe Snow, Rachele Cappelli, Jill Dell'Abate, Karen Kamon: Backing Vocals
RUSS IRWIN (1991) HQ