(Duplicated CD, Extended Play)
A true native Wisconsinite, Neara Russell was born in a pickup truck, raised on cheddar cheese, and homeschooled in a rural log cabin between cornfields and cow fields. Her parents encouraged her to sing, dance, act, and play piano in an accelerated curriculum of music and academics. By the age of five, she was comfortably performing on stage. At seven, she started serious music studies with her father as teacher. She accompanied choirs, sang in musicals, and earned a wall full of awards with piano, voice, bass clarinet and xylophone. When a statewide contest for composers caught her eye at age thirteen, she wrote her first classical song. Soon after winning the contest, original rock songs came pouring out. Her parents' living room became a sonic laboratory, where she twisted words with keyboard riffs and experimented with production techniques at all hours. Her exceptional talents grabbed the attention of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where she was chosen from a field of 3,700 applicants nationwide to receive a full-ride Presidential Scholarship at age seventeen. As a piano/voice and composition honors student at Berklee, Russell has unstoppable momentum in both classical and rock genres. She has composed pieces for the Boston String Quartet, Madison Youth Choirs, and Berklee Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble; performed in clubs, coffeehouses, student showcases (including concerts in the 1200-seat Berklee Performance Center), corporate events, television shows, and a sound sculpture; and contributed her musical signature to countless recording sessions. Through her diverse accomplishments, Russell has one defining focus: rock music, which she composes, produces, and records herself. Her live show features Russell as lead vocalist/keyboardist and musical mastermind.