Love Me Tender
Russell fell in love with the Hammer Dulcimer in 1979 and built his first instrument from an old, discarded piano while teaching science in Southeast Oklahoma. After building numerous experimental models and winning the National Hammer Dulcimer Contest in 1981, he pursued building and playing the Hammer Dulcimer as a career by traveling throughout the US performing, teaching and learning from others. By 1991 Russell had built 1000 instruments and recorded 6 albums. He also started Master Works to carry on the tradition of building beautiful handcrafted instruments. Known for his relaxing, intricate playing style, he continues to record and perform music while seeking other dulcimer artists to join him on the WNS label. When asked his personal motto, Russell states, 'To be a master of my work and to be about the work of The Master.'