Jim Russell (drums)

Powerful and skilled drummer, he has played in many great bands, and fortunately, he's still around.

First band I know with Jim is when he played backing reggae singer Desmond Dekker, but I don't have any more details: 

In October 1972, most members of fantastic band Curved Air (including Francis Monkman) leave the band. Sonja Kristina and Mike Wedgwood recruit new members, thus forming another great lineup: They release the album Air cut in April 1973. But two months later, in July 1973, Eddie Jobson leaves (to go to Roxy Music) and the band went separate ways.

Many years later, a 'new' album, Lovechild, was released, with sessions from that period.

Then, Jim Russell started playing sessions, but he was soon to join other bands.

Around 1974, Kirby Gregory and Elmer Gantry formed a tight band called Stretch. I must say that I've found it an almost impossible task trying to get proper info about the lineups, so I must admit that what I'm writing it's just "MY* guess. I think the original lineup was:

They toured supporting Rainbow.

Roshi probably left soon:

At some time, Paul Martinez was replaced with bass virtuoso Steve Emery: Their first album is a good one, Elastique, containing a hit called 'Why did you do it?' (featured in the film Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels). And then, Jim, Russell left the band in 1976.

Can't judge a book is a later album containing live takes for John Peel radio program.

In 1978, Jim contributed to Tender hooks, an album by Gay & Terry Woods (ex-members of Steeleye Span and Woods Wand). Other musicians are: Phil Palmer (guitar), Kate McGarrigle (vocals, keyboards), Pat Donaldson (bass, vocals), Keith Donald (sax), Neil Toner (mandolin), Fran Breen (percussion), among others.

In March 1978, he also backs them for live concerts:

4 live tracks have surfaced many years later in a live album, called In concert. Released in 1995, it contains 4 tracks recorded with the above lineup (plus 6 tracks from a concert in 1976, with the Woods plus Dave Pegg on bass and Dave Mattacks on drums).

Around 1978, Jim starts playing with singer Ian Matthews (of Matthews Southern Comfort fame) in his album Stealin´home. The album was recorded with Bryn Haworth (guitar), Phil Palmer (guitar), Rick Kemp (bass), Pete Wingfield (keyboards) and Jim Russell (drums, mispelled as Jim Russel), with guest contributions by Mel Collins (sax on 2 tracks), Duffy Power (harmonica on 1 track) and Simon Morton (percussion), with strings arranged by Robert Kirby.

Ian Matthews then assembled a slightly different live band for the 1978 tour:

They also released a 12" EP called Shake it, with tracks taken from the above album.

Ian Matthews' next album was Siamese friends, recorded with Bob Metzger (guitar), Mark Griffiths (bass, guitar, vocals), Joel Tepp (harmonica), Mick Weaver (keyboards), Mel Collins (sax), Craig Buhler (sax), Jim Russell (drums), Simon Morton (percussion). But, I think Jim Russell wasn't in Ian´s next tour in February 1979 (who was the drummer then?).

I once read that Jim was also a member of a short-lived band, called Joe, with Gordon Haskell:

Don't have more details, but they all appear together in some tracks of an album by a Japanese female singer, Momoe Yamaguchi.

Around 1979, Jim joins another great band, The Inmates:

Jim left the band around 1982 or so.

In 1982, Jim starts working with Pete Shelley (ex-Buzzcocks). He plays in his album XL1. But, he also played with Shelley in some of his live appearances.

This was the lineup for his 1982 tour:

And this was the lineup for live radio recordings (in February 1983; same people in June 1983): In 1984, he's backing The Associates, a pop duo. I don't know the exact lineup: Some live tracks with Jim have been released in the album Radio 1 sessions, vol 2: 1984-1985.

Then, we have another band, this time called The Fugitives. They were formed in 1988:

The drummer seat was often alternated between Jim Russell or Alan Savage, depending on their availability.

New band: Electric Bluebirds. I don't know the year, but this was the personnel list:

They played tex-mex and cajun style.

Around year 2000, Jim Russell starts working with guitar legend Scotty Moore. He was the legendary player in Elvis Presley first recordings. When Scotty tours UK, he gets the same players to back him, usually The Grundy-Pritchard Band. This was their superb lineup for 2002:

Jim also plays in the album Western union, credited to Liam Grundy & Pete Pritchard. It features Scotty Moore guesting on guitar, plus contributions by Kevin Woods (guitar), Melvyn Duffy (pedal steel guitar).

Los Pacaminos is a country-oriented band formed by lead singer Paul Young (the one from Q-Tips, not the late Paul Young from Sad Cafe and Mike + The Mechanics). Many great players have been members of this band: Paul Young (vocals, guitar), Drew Barfield (vocals, guitar), Jamie Moses (guitar, vocals), Robbie McIntosh (guitar), Melvin Duffy (pedal steel guitar), Steve Greatham (bass), Tex Comer (bass), Matt Irving (keyboards). Jim Russell played with them for a while (being replaced later by Mark Pinder). I don't have info about the exact lineup with Jim; probably this one:

They released the self-titled album Los Pacaminos. In 2003, another different lineup (bassist Dave Levy) with Jim is: Last (?) project by Russell is a very exciting one. Called Los Pistoleros, please notice the all-star lineup, with my much-loved BJ Cole on pedal steel guitar: After several drummers (among them: Pete Thomas or Alan Coulter), Jim joins them. They recorded an album (with Bobby Irwin on drums, although it also features Jim).


Apart from being a drummer, Jim has also acted as engineer in many recordings. I'll try to compile soon a list of his credits in this category... Albums by The Go-Go's, Elvis Costello, Presence, XTC, Madness, Level 42, The Go-Betweens, etc.


1. I've always wanted to make a rock family tree of Stretch, but it's a really difficult task. Has anyone good info about the different lineups, please? This was the list of members, as far as I know:

So, if someone can help me sorting out the facts, please write me an email message.

2. Two related bands pre-Stretch were: Armada (with Elmer Gantry, Kirby & Steve Emery) and Legs (with Elmer Gantry, Kirby & Steve Emery). Was Jim Russell a member of any of those bands too? More info needed, please!

3. Was Jim Russell a member of The Wild Angels?

4. Was there ever any intention to form a live "Danny Kirwan Band"?

5. Was Jim a member of Human League (maybe around 1986)? I'd say it's not his style, but there are some common points: Human League's producer was Martin Rushent, and Jim played in several albums produced by him.

6. Has Jim played with Peter Green? When?

7. Does Jim appear in any album by Scotty Moore?

Albums with Curved Air: Albums with Stretch: Albums with Gay & Terry Woods: Albums with Ian Matthews: Albums with The Inmates: Albums with Pete Shelley: Albums with The Associates: Albums with Gordon Haskell: Albums with Liam Grundy & Pete Pritchard: Albums with Los Pacaminos: Albums with Los Pistoleros: Sessions:
Related links:

From the always interesting Alex's Picks (by Alex Gitlin), we have:

From the superb site Knights in Blue Denim: The British Blues Scene '68 - '70 (by Christer Fridhammar & Vanja), we have: Other links:

Thanks section

Very special thanks to: .

Special thanks to: .

Thanks to: Alex Gitlin, great fan of Stretch, for all his help with info and albums.

If you can contribute (with additions, corrections, opinions, etc.), please, send me an e-mail message at mterol@myrealbox.com

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Page created by Miguel Terol on: 19/July/2003. First published on: xxx. Last modified on: 19/July/2003.
(This page is part of The Musicians' Olympus)