We had the good fortune of connecting with Rene Russell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rene, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Courage, Choice, Change, and Truth. If you have the courage to make the choices that will affect changes yourself, others, the world, then you are living your authentic life and that is your Truth.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I consider myself a spiritual seeker as opposed to a religious follower, I am also very flawed and I fall down a lot, metaphorically speaking. (ha, ha) My musical journey has always been intimately intertwined with my spiritual journey, I can’t separate them. I use my music to tell the stories of my search for myself, my place in the world, my frailties, my triumphs, my fear, and my ability to keep moving forward in spite of it all. My life is my storyboard and I have 60 yrs. of experiences and insights to share with the world. It has been a roller coaster ride, it’s been exciting as well as heartbreaking at times, but that’s the way things “flow”, and I would not change anything because then I would not be who I am today. As far as my career is concerned my advice would be to never give up on yourself, don’t let failure get in the way, use it as inspiration, but most importantly gratitude and grace.

My mission in life by way of music is to connect with people on a level that not only lifts us up but proves that we have the power to change the world we live in by changing how we think and act in it. Our intentions are powerful and create the reality we live in. My goal is to shine a light in the darkness, on hidden truths and things difficult to talk about, to share my experiences, and be an example.
I am very proud of the new album, “Dream The World Anew” coming out on May 21, 2021. These 9 songs were written between March and May of 2020 while the world was in lockdown. This album speaks of taking responsibility for the Earth and how we treat Her, for our actions, and making conscious choices that will move us forward, it’s about raising our frequency to one of love and unity instead of hate and polarity.
These songs ask us to have the courage to look at ourselves honestly, to change the way we look at the world now and ourselves in that world. We are not helpless, we are co-creators of our reality and we can be whoever we choose/believe we can be. When we take back our power, we start to live our authentic lives and ‘dream the world anew!’

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to the beaches, of course, Isle of Palms, hang on the beach, lunch at The Refuge-great food. Have some drinks and catch a band at The Windjammer, right on the beach. I would take them to Sullivan’s Island for another beach day but also for happy hour/early dinner at Poe’s Tavern. Then to the “edge of America” to Folly Beach and maybe spend the night there. There are so many pubs and restaurants to visit with music and the beach bar at Blu, also the Sand Dollar for sure for a band!!
Charleston has so many restaurants it would take a year or more to visit them all, so we’d spend a couple of days downtown exploring the shops and restaurants. I would make sure we went sailing on The Palmetto Breeze, a giant catamaran that holds 100 people, and sail out in the harbor and see the city from the water and hang out on Shem Creek that evening for dinner at Nico’s or Tavern & Table, and live music at Red’s or Saltwater Cowboys.
Some of my favorite places to dine in my neighborhood are Opal, Crave Kitchen & Cocktails, Basil, and I might even be playing at Woodward Tavern one night.

For some nature action, we would have to visit Caper’s Island, a nature preserve near Bull’s Bay. Also a visit to Magnolia Plantation or Boone Plantation depending on the time of year. There’s just so much to do and see in Charleston, including Spoleto, we have a beautiful Aquarium here as well. One of my favorites is to visit the Birds of Prey Center when they have the Owls fly. It’s stunning. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
That’s a really hard one to pin down, but here are the most recent people/organizations who, in the last few years, have really helped me see my potential. 
In 2017 the TEDxCharleston organization selected me to play 2 of my songs. The theme that year was ‘Shake It Up’ and it was a great experience playing for 900 people in the awesome and beautiful Charleston Music Hall! And, this is where, in hind-sight, the synchronicities began, that is where I met Sandy Morckel and Frank Sonntag who were working with TedxCharleston and who would later invite me to write a song for the homelesstohopefund.org and perform it at their annual gala at the Galliard Center in 2019 with my band, which we did and had a great time. The song I wrote is called “What Kind”, and it is still on their website! ( Frank is now working with the band as our local liaison/manager)

That brings us to Chris Blackwell, who is my producer, mixing/mastering engineer, and multi-instrumentalist. He plays drums and lead guitar in Rene Russell and the Bottom End, and he is the mastermind behind our sound. He is also the person who convinced me not to quit playing music and focus on my original songs back in 2016!

So, here comes more synchronicity, Chris was already working with Jamie Lupini, AKA Jamison Alley, producing her songs and playing guitar in her band, and in September 2020 she volunteered to play bass in our band. By that time Chris and I had already recorded the new album, “Dream the World Anew” and he was working on mastering, but when we heard how well the 3 of us sounded singing together and how easy and graceful the harmonies were with her in the mix, we decided to re-record several of the songs so that she would be on the album as a vocalist as well as the bassist!
So, now, it is 2021 and we were in the midst of releasing the 1st singles from the album, and a video, and we were looking for a venue to have our album release party. It turns out that Jamie knew and had played for Michele Brusseau at The Pub on 61, in West Ashley.
This is a great neighborhood pub that is open and accepting of everyone and supports and fundraises for all kinds of causes, whatever the community asks of them, they are ready to help. They have live music and a great stage, so we asked and they said yes!
So now we are having our album release party at the Pub on 61 on May 23, 2021, on a Sunday afternoon from 4-7 pm.
So how’s that for synchronicity? It’s really pretty beautiful and it all just came together, and that’s where the Grace comes in!

In closing, I would have to say that everyone I’ve met/known on my journey in the past 40 yrs deserves a shoutout and I am grateful for each and every person, no matter the outcome of our relationships, so sometimes it just takes a little hindsight and perspective to appreciate who you are and how far you’ve come.

Website: https://renerussellandthebottomend.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/renerussellandthebottomend/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rrandthebe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReneRussellandtheBottomEnd/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGT2Axcyb28he1lF9YWVazw

Other: https://biglink.to/renerussell https://open.spotify.com/artist/1tGtB3UMQ5gVn5sdNnyfGf

Image Credits
Annelise Sarah

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