Playing With Spoons

Scotty and Jimmy Russell
Tennessee Club London October 11, 2002 (R. Garson photo©)

My name is Jimmy Russell. These days I am lucky enough to be Scotty's drummer here in the UK and Europe.  Gail wrote to me and said I might give you a little piece to include in the scrapbook. I hope it's not too long.

There have been many great moments from rehearsals and various stage performances in Europe the UK and the US . Wherever the sound is good the band is kickin' we are sure to have a great time. Apart from his luxurious rhythm playing, I love when Scotty takes a solo. You never know quite what's coming, he's bit of a magician so he likes to keep ace, or a dove or two up his sleeve. He will have that wry grin on his face and just throw one at ya ! He is a truly amazing musician as just about every guitar player will testify. It is no accident that his easy southern manner coupled with a bit of devilment and a real love of his instrument managed to get into the vinyl grooves on possibly some of the greatest recordings ever made. People will always talk about Elvis and his explosive impact, but make no mistake the rocket fuel was in plentiful supply from Scotty, DJ and Bill.  

Scotty and Jimmy Russell
Tennessee Club London October 11, 2002 (R. Garson photo©)

I was dumbstruck when Scotty and Gail invited me to Nashville in June 2001 to do " Some recording " Gail put me and Pete up in her beautiful home which is set in among the trees on a Nashville Tennessee hillside. After settling in we drove over to Scotty's place, a little piece of 'old America' a simple wooden house just off the beaten track where we were greeted by this guy whose humility and generosity never fails to astound me.  We were quickly shown around his studio which takes up a large part of his home. The walls are heavy with awards and trophies from around the world. Even if he has never really received anything like the recognition he deserves. You still get the sense that people in the know, will always honor his talent. For this consummate musician fame does not enter into it, he is far more interested in guitars. There are of course some fabulous Gibsons going way back. He treasures them and was keen to share this harem of curvy beauties with his guests.

After a Good Dinner
Photo courtesy J. Russell

Later after a real southern portion of hospitality (catfish cooked the traditional way by the best hostess in town) Pete and I sat back convinced it just couldn't get any better, Scotty disappeared only to arrive seconds later, guitar in one hand, bass in the other. It's not surprising knowing Scotty that he always has a little amp under the kitchen table. I can tell you it took me no time at all to get my hand into the cutlery drawer to find the best sounding pair of spoons I could muster. From then on until till late we ran through every tune that came into our heads. A little band doesn't need much to make a great sound when it has this country gent providing a pickin' kicking rhythm on his guitar of choice. The simplicity of this kind of music is so far from the sterile computerized perfection we hear on radio, about as far as Nashville is from Lewisham London S.E.13.

With my south London senses pretty well used up in blissful euphoria, I found myself thinking, I should be recording such magic, but I could not have captured the  grins, the warmth of our host and hostess who did us so proud, the beautiful Tennessee night. Maybe great moments like these can only exist in the memory. I know when I'm a grandpa I will probably say for the umpteenth time " Did I ever tell you about the time I played the spoons with Scotty Moore".

Jimmy Russell
May 5, 2003

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