Russell's current sound is a stark contrast from his acoustic musical roots in rural Ontario. Living off the grid, (no running water, telephone nor electricity) Russell was surrounded by artists and creative thinkers. His musical inspiration was rooted in live performances, late night jam sessions, and battery operated sound systems that wore out his Led Zepplin, Simon and Garfunkel and Neil Young records. At the age of 6, en route to California, during a mother-son winter sojourn, he had his first guitar lesson from a biker named Val who inspired him to be a musician. No looking back. Shortly thereafter, he wrote his first song.

In high school, Russell worked with several bands, playing local hotspots as well as touring the festival and club scene throughout Ontario and Quebec. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with honours in Music from Toronto's York University. After university, Russell released his first self-titled solo EP which led him to form the Russell Leon Band. In 2007 the band and released If Red Was Green as well as an independent music video The Beginning of the End. The Russell Leon Band has opened for some great acts including Corb Lund, the controversial Ike Turner and ironically Leon Russell. Russell won a "Songs from the Heart" award at the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals in 2007 and the Band was runner-up in the "Best Live Band" category at the 2009 Toronto Independent Music Awards.

From humble beginnings to a whirlwind of musical endeavours Russell considers this new record a great accomplishment. It's an honest reflection of where he is at musically and embodies a lifetime of musical cultivation. It's the kind of record where on first listen you can feel the passion in the writing that only a true music lover could emulate.




Open Tuning Festival (main stage)
Vermont Square Park, Seaton Village
6:30 pm Free



The Dakota Tavern
249 Ossington Avenue
Doors 6:30 Show 7 pm 19+
$15 (+HST and fees) Advance $20 Door



Silver Springs Music Festival
Silver Springs Retreat - 354466 Osprey Artemesia Townline
Flesherton, Ontario





Select an album above for full stream and to learn more.


State Of Mind

State of Mind is a celebration of Russell's musical reinvention. This 10-track recording features songs that range from the up tempo party track of "Boomerang" to the pulsing reflective moments of murder-ballad "Power of Love". Lyrically, this is Russell's "fly on the wall" record.


If Red Was Green

Russell's craft reflects grass-roots folk, rock, funk, blues, reggae, world and classical music. His lyrics are conscious and real. Russell's second recording, "If Red Was Green" features eleven original songs that take the listener on an ride through a range of musical styles and emotions.



Russell's First recording is a homage to his acoustic musical roots in rural Ontario. Living off the grid without running water nor electricity, as a child Russell was surrounded by artists and creative thinkers. His musical inspiration was rooted in live performances and late night jam sessions. Russell Leon's self-titled debut EP "Russell" demonstrates this upbringing and his idealistic/optimistic outlook on life.




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