Russell Jackson at the King Eddy

Legendary bass player Russell Jackson is bringing the blues back to the historic King Eddy on September 30.

About Russell Jackson

Born in Memphis, Tennessee in 1954, as a young man, Russell Jackson went to Chicago to pursue a career as a bass player. He developed his craft in the highly competitive blues scene, and was finally rewarded when he was hired by one of the city’s great blues artists, vocalist Otis Clay. While playing in one of the local clubs, he was spotted by none other than Mr. B.B. King and as a result of this encounter, Russell was invited to join the B.B. King Orchestra as the full-time bass player. This opportunity lead to a fruitful seven-year relationship, and the opportunity to travel around the world with the ‘Ambassador of the Blues’, as B.B. King was known. During this time, Russell studied the manner in which B.B. King conducted himself as a band leader, which Russell would later apply in his own distinguished career.

After his time with B.B. King, Russell went to Los Angeles to formalize his studies at the prestigious Dick Grove School of Music. Russell uses a number of approaches to playing – most notable is his use of his thumb on the bass strings. This technique is commonly used by present day funk bands but Russell was the first to employ the technique in a blues context. While Russell became extremely proficient with the electric bass, he is noted for his talent on the stand-up bass. Russell is a disciple of the legendary Willie Dixon and continues to champion the tradition of the stand-up bass.

Following his graduation in the 80’s, Russell relocated to Austin, Texas, where he worked as a recording session player and band member behind Katie Webster, Lucky Peterson, Kenny Neal, Matt Guitar Murphy and Luther Tucker. This is when the Silent Partners were first formed, with Russell on bass, guitarist Mel Brown (Bobby Blue Bland Band), and drummer Tony Coleman (B.B. King Band). The trio recorded an album If It’s All Night, It’s All Right (1989), on the famed Antone’s record label. The Silent Partners were later joined by Andrew Jr. Boy Jones (Freddy King Band). With this lineup, they became the number one backup band and the top studio musicians in Austin, Texas. The band also had a strong tie to harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite, as Russell performed with him in the mid-1980s and then Jr. Boy Jones backed Musselwhite into the early 1990s.

In 1990, Russell moved to Vancouver, B.C., where he put together a well-groomed band of young artists, touring regularly across Western Canada (with numerous stops to perform at the iconic King Eddy).

In 2014, Russell moved back to Austin, Texas, and with his dual citizenship he has been able to travel around the world as part of the Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne Band, with Shawn Holt & the Teardrops (son of the late Magic Slim) and once again became a busy session player.

Russell released The Alley Man (1991), Becoming Blue (1999) and Have Mercy (2007), and appears on a number of distinguished artists’ albums; Donald Ray Johnson’s Pure Pleasure, and as Kenny Blues Boss Wayne’s preferred bass player, a series of the pianist’s albums, Let It Loose, Rollin’ With the Blues Boss, Jumpin’ & Boppin’, Inspired By the Blues, Go, Just Do It! and Blues From Chicago to Paris, the 2020 release a tribute to Memphis Slim and Jackson’s hero, Willie Dixon.

In 2021, the Silent Partners came together once more to create a sound that would be a foundation for many artist’s recordings and tours. The current Silent Partners features Russell, Tony Coleman (drums) and Memphis based guitarist, Jonathan Ellison – all three are fine singers and songwriters. They made their Canadian debut at the Calgary International Blues Festival, where they also launched their brand new album, Changing Times (2022).

In 2016, Russell Jackson was inducted into the Edmonton Blues Hall of Fame in the “Legends” category.


Seating Disclaimer: To accommodate as many live music fans as possible, we offer both seats and standing room at our shows. Seats are first come, first served. We recommend arriving early if you’d like to be seated during the performance.

Sound production equipment for the King Eddy provided by PK Sound.

Event Details:

Date: September 30, 2022

Time: 8:30 pm

Price: $20

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