A Year Ago...

Stoli and I last year before my move:
(He staged a peaceful departure protest in my trunk. Hong Kong would be proud.)  

I'm finding it hard to believe it was exactly a year ago that I moved to Nashville as an Artist in Residence with ArtPeace Studios. How the time flies! The year that followed my move saw the most expansive developments in my craft as a songwriter, musician, producer, and human. I thrived where before I had coasted. I challenged where before I had accepted. I embraced where before I had resisted.

Today I'm sending the largest 'thank you' I can muster to my good friend, Liliana Kohann for taking me into her musical paradise and home. She has nurtured my spirit in ways indescribable, chiefly through teaching me to accept my creativity and the freedom it promotes without shame. 

I heard this on the radio yesterday from Elizabeth Gilbert's TED talk:
"Saying 'creative people' is redundant. We ARE creativity. And we've done it a disservice to bifurcate it." 
Wishing you joyful acceptance and exciting fulfillment in your creative work today, whatever it may be.


Live @ Bowery Poetry, 8/24. Laffy Taffy/Flawless

A mashup for the ages:
"You wish I was your pound cake."


Bowery Poetry Club. Aug 24. 8:30pm.

New York City! 

I'm playing the Bowery Poetry Club (308 Bowery) on August 24th (8:30pm). It's going to be one hell of a show, folks. Come one, come all! Get your presale tickets now! 

Leading the band for the evening is the ever-wonderful, Andy Nye
Also featuring special opening guests: Adam Wesley Brown & Ryan Vona (from the Broadway play, Once).

Buy your tickets HERE
Attend the Facebook event HERE 

See you there!!



Questions? Comments? Concerns? 

Email: Carolyn@russellwagoner.com


Monday, July 13 Bowery Poetry 9pm

Hello, friends!

I'm a featured guest tomorrow at the Bowery Poetry Club. The Poet in New York is a wonderful experience; I'm so excited to contribute a few songs to a night of exquisite poetry. click HERE for more details on the Poet in New York. 

Don't forget to follow @BoweryPoetry on twitter. 
Last week I ended up giving an impromptu performance after the show. The patrons are kind, the staff is beyond hospitable, and the drinks are bountiful. Come on out!!


Last week:


We'll be playing a different NYC park every Sunday! 





My artist in residency period at ArtPeace Studios in Nashville has come to a close. After 8 illuminating months residing in the studio’s drum room, waking each morning to a 9ft grand piano and views of a lake through soundproof windows, I’m left with gratitude for the past and excitement for the future...

Here’s to the next great adventure as I settle into my apartment in New York City!! The team is here—and we’ll be working hard for you.


Live on WXJM 88.7 4/20 !!

You really, really, REALLY shoulda known... :)



Live @ The Douglas Corner

This video of me performing "September" live is unpublished on YouTube! You're the select few with access to view it now.
I'll be posting more secret live clips/studio teasers to my YouTube channel. But after this one, you''ll only be able to access them via my mailing list (sign up to the right!). Let's connect.




The hugest Thank You to my friend, Elly for giving the best gift of all time!! It had already been a very Beyoncé Christmas with the release of her new album and my attending the Mrs. Carter World Tour Dec. 18th in Washington D.C. ... Then imagine my surprise when Bey's autographed copy of the "Rise Up" sheet music (from the movie, Epic) was underneath the tree. I was blown away by your thoughtfulness, Elly. Major love for both of these ladies! 

Watch and share, please! 
And tag @Beyonce in the Instagram post (@RussellWagoner)
XO, R 


Back in Nashville (Burr).

I'm back in Nashville, and keeping busy trying to stay warm.  
I'll be back in the studio soon! You'll have the details when I do. 

Oh, and I'm trying something new...
Hold for disaster notice:


Happy Holidays XO

Loved answering your xmas song requests on Instagram. 
Get at me!! @RussellWagoner
xo -R


Nashville Conquests (First Songwriter's Night)

My view waiting to perform at the Bluebird Café. click "read more" for the whole article!! 

Well the other day, I did it. I’m not sure why it wasn’t so scary all of a sudden. Maybe it was the meditation, or the journaling, or perhaps the sun was shining a little brighter that day. But this past Monday, for whatever reason, it felt just a little bit easier. And I jumped at that. I played open mic night at the world famous Bluebird Café. I was number 11. I didn’t tell anyone I was going to do it. I didn’t allow any recordings (just incase I got up there and decided that faking a seizure would be less awkward than singing an original composition). And in that moment, walking over to the keyboard, right before I opened my mouth to introduce my song, I felt it. I felt the same performance anxiety I’d felt up until four years ago. It was like everything within me fell quite suddenly into place...

Presenting: R3

Here it is, my friends!! Your feedback is my life. xo -R
Stream via Spotify or Soundcloud.
Available on iTunes HERE. 

Pre-Order Time, Yahbish?

It's here! 
Pre-Order R3 now and receive "Anyway" right then and there.
Badabingbadaboom. That easy.

I adore you.
xo -R

Click HERE:


R3 Teaser Video-- She's On Her Way!

I can't believe that iTunes Pre-Order is in 6 DAYS!!
Time flies, mates. It's like my newborn is, quite jarringly, headed off to University. I couldn't be prouder.

Check out this teaser video when you have a second.
It features a brilliant spoken-word-remix of selections from the R3 Text Interludes by the one & only, Andy Nye.
The footage is courtesy of Nathan Neeley, featuring myself & Marta dancing the "Anyway" choreo together!
Album art is the brainchild of the legendary Julian Ali.  

ENJOY! xo -R


At long last! The first single from R3. 
Please take a moment to give me some feedback!

Release date: September 1st
iTunes pre-release: August 25th.

Tonight. 7pm. You Me & A Story.

Tonight at 7pm I feel as though I'm releasing a child into the world. The first single off of my mixtape, R3, is going live and I couldn't be more happy to start sharing this collection of songs and stories with you. 

"I spent years gazing into my soul searching for the reason why one person couldn't love me. Tonight it finally hit me. I should have, instead, been gazing out into the world searching for one person who could." 

These are the first words of R3-- and the entire collection, music video included, takes you through one of the most personal journeys a person experiences in a lifetime. Love is tricky. It operates at the intersection of technique and abandon, of what we're told and what we feel... that truth is at the core of "Anyway." That truth is at the core of Marta as a contemporary dancer. 

At the end of the day, all we have to gage our position in this world is what we know to be real and true in our hearts. "Anyway" begins the sharing of my most honest collection of music. Tonight please take a moment to watch and listen. And please give me any feedback if you have the chance-- connection is the reason I do this. 

Tonight it's just you, me, and a story . Let's do this.

xo- R


This one was such a labor of love... I'm sure that's the tackiest thing I've ever said about a piece of music, but on this arrangement, it happens to be true. I poured a lot into this one! Let me know what you think!


Buy One, Get One

Your new music for the weekend. xo-R

CLICK THE PHOTO to buy Dead Flowers from iTunes: 

Your FREE download via Soundcloud of Dock of the Bay:



And what would it all be without a Behind The Scenes video? 

Because I Can


Summer 2013 Weekend Releases

CHECK IT OUT!! I've got a bunch of new material coming out this summer. You don't want to miss it!!

Recent Photo Shoots

I recently had a photo shoot with Master of the Camera, Julian Ali. He shot the album images for R3 (my new mixtape, if you're just joining us). I'll be releasing the R3 images soon, along with a timeline for the entire collection's release. Until then, though... teasers from one of our shoots. He brought out the dancer! xo- R

"Resentment" Beyoncé Cover

Check out some photos from our recoding session on the "look" page, but here's the final video. 
A great response on YouTube--even a few offers to feature. Cheers!



Credits on YouTube page.



I've got a new mixtape in the works!!

The release date is not finalized, but we're looking at May/June 2013. It will be available via the usual channels (Itunes, Spotify, YouTube, etc.). There may even be a limited edition hard CD! 5 songs. 

This is my most courageous work. I cannot wait to share it with you.


RIP, Aaliyah

I never really do these- but for Aaliyah, I'll make an exception. 
Unedited and straight from my home to yours. RIP, darling:

Happy Holidays!

Can't Waste Another Christmas REMIXED from last year's release!  

Your new favorite song this holiday season :) Give us a share? 
You are LOVED.

The Certainly Uncertain Future


“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
-Steve Jobs

It seems to me that the post-grad-practicality-panic, plaguing students for generations, hits the artist with a particularly emphatic punch. More than anything now, we need time: time to dedicate to our life’s work, time to bolster our 10,000 hours, time to perfect our respective masterpieces. But when the final finals have been aced, the gowns donned, and the caps thrown, is there really a future in music? Is there a future in metalwork? In blown glass? Or revivalist Neolithic pottery? My answer to you is, resoundingly: Hell yes, there is. If you’re willing to fight for it.

As the entrepreneurial guru, Steve Jobs so adeptly points out, the future is certain only insofar as it is uncertain. Nevertheless, we all have that friend: she’s had her career planned out to the T since she was color-coding crayons in the recess hours of preschool; she’s had a job lined up for the immediate post-grad future since her second semester of undergrad; and she’s currently engaged in a feline trial run for her first three children, who’s father she’s yet to meet, but whom she’s named nonetheless. Statistically, though, it’s worth noting—and this has been proven—that a renegade Jamaican bobsled is just as likely to flatten her on a family skiing trip, as it is to do the same to a lesser-prepared-plebian-user of the Googledocs calendar (i.e. me).

Bottom line: life makes waves. It has a way of finding the routine surfer and dashing him upon the rocks of spontaneity and crisis. The fluid ability to navigate uncertainty with grace and dexterity is infinitely more valuable than the stalwart capacity to resist it by all means necessary. It is this very uncertainty, in fact, that so often proves a breeding ground for innovation and entrepreneurship. The quick thinkers, the reactors, those who not only survive uncertainty but who seek it out and are better-equipped for their contact with it, are those best position for future success. In other words: Don’t be the surfer. Be the Jamaican bobsled.

If my own experience bears any relevance to your own (and aren’t I pompous for suggesting it would?), higher education was a necessary step in the artistic process. I am on the cusp of graduating with a degree in cultural anthropology, modern foreign language, and theatre arts. I’ve engaged these academic disciplines all the while balancing my career as an independent singer-songwriter in pop/soul. I am a student of the sociocultural human experience with a carefully nurtured awareness of the sacred relationship between art and culture! In other words: I am unemployable. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

I truly believe though—from the bottom of my heart to the frames of my hipster glasses—that my university experience allowed me to create more meaningful art. It informed me, it acculturated me, and it exposed me to areas of my mind I’m glad I prodded out of their pubescent predispositions. I am a richer thinker for what I’ve studied and that has given me the burgeoning hints of true confidence. It puts me on the path towards sharing my art unabashedly with the hopes that it is worth listening to. I’ve learned to create something that listens as intently as it speaks.  I couldn’t have done so without higher education.

But now what? I’m a better artist for my education, but have I wasted away my peak years of artistic relevance? Have I squandered my youthful sex appeal on academia? Am I to be the washed-up-has-been smoking away my middle ages in a Parisian café preoccupied by notions of my previous capacity to “be somebody”? Or— perhaps equally plausible—am I an over-anxious 20-year-old who’s yet to peak, who’s previous attempt at sex appeal coincided with a three month stint in an eye patch and braces… and who’s obsessing over the possibility of missed opportunities because its easier than confronting the stunning one presently staring me in the face? Staring US in the face.

We have a large opportunity to fight for the future of art and artists alike. It is now, when over-prepared-Pamela clings to her 9to5, that we muster the courage to dedicate ourselves to art worthy of its sacred place in the human experience. We stay perpetual students of our craft, drawing upon age-old traditions; we apprentice, we work our way up, and my GOD do we intern! We prove to coming generations that art holds its relevance in a depressed economy. That the oldest known forms of human expression aren’t quenched by the very society it binds together with its insights. Most importantly, when it feels as if the world is leaving us behind, and it becomes more tempting than ever to jump on the line of endless subway cars waiting to carry us off to practicality, we remind one another that there is a greater purpose to what we do.

And if, dear reader, you don’t believe that— if you doubt the relevance of art in the shadow of sustainable income and practicality— if you feel like it’s not worth fighting anymore—hop right in front of that bobsled. Life will be tough regardless. Crisis will find you regardless. And in that pivotal—make or break—moment, one thing supersedes all else in importance: you’ll want to look at your life and see something worth fighting for. Your art is worth fighting for. 

New Cover- Mr. Sandman (Andy & Russell)

It's a gender-fender-bender-mender-big-spender. 

Our Story Project: From the Team

Here's your chance to hear directly from the dance team behind "Already There!" 
My two beautiful dancers and my extremely talented choreographer share their thoughts on this creative process:

For as long as I can remember, dance has been the only way I know how to truly express myself. There is something so honest and beautiful about the combination of movement, emotion and music that reveals so much about someone. I believe that there is always a story there, even if you have to search for it. Personally, I create stories for myself every time I dance, usually relying heavily on the music and lyrics to help determine what my performance will be like. When Russell asked me to dance in his music video, to help him tell his story, I was flattered as well as extremely excited. Upon listening to “Already There” for the first time, I was immediately inspired by the lyrics. To me, the song is about a struggle. A fight that you thought you were done fighting, but still it manages to return to haunt you, and suddenly a familiar flood of memories come rushing back. Everything about the song and the choreography depicts perseverance to overcome this struggle and finally stand up for yourself. This was not hard for me to relate to a specific person in my life, and my interpretation drove my emotion and performance; but maybe for you it was different. I encourage you to share this with us, especially if the music spoke to you as much as it did to me. I hope you watch the video again with a renewed perspective, and are able to see me attempting to portray my interpretation through the art of dance. And I hope you enjoy watching me dance as much as I enjoy dancing for you. This project meant a lot more to me than one might understand, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity. Thank you for letting me share my story with you.

- Marta Vucci, featured dancer

The first time I heard ‘Already There’ I was overwhelmed with excitement and eager to get knee deep in choreography. The song is really ambitious and I knew it would make an impression on listeners. Not only does it showcase Russell’s talent as a singer and pianist but also as a songwriter. His ability to share his vulnerability through words is evidence of his commitment as an artist to truly inspire. Russell is able to tap into the most difficult parts of the healing process, acceptance of betrayal and confrontation of emotions. I wanted the choreography to embrace the strength that is born from suffering and to reflect the moments of hope throughout the song, “know my grave’s not yours to dig”. 

Russell is submerged in ‘hell’, yet he is surrounded by beauty. In dance, pain can be beautiful and this is visible throughout the piece. The featured dancers, Amanda and Marta, are elements of Russell’s state of being; scorned elegance and sheepish pride. They are the chaos in his mind and he is the voice. 

I have worked with Russell for quite some time, molding him into a technical and attentive dancer. Watching him perform “Already There” was different. It was effortless; the connection to the song was so strong the technique became secondary. The story unfolds through movement and the chilling ending illustrates the circular existence of suffering in life.

- Kaitlyn Burrows, choreographer

The creation of the “Already There” video allowed me to express myself creatively in a way I never thought possible. This project was truly a blessing and a joy to be part of. The ability for me to dance on such a gorgeous stage is my most fond memory of the project. To me this video/story is not about being some where terrible, like hell, its about being trapped in your own mind and feeing terrible about it. If you are not at peace with yourself, nothing else matters. Being a part of this team has made me feel truly special and loved as a friend and as an artist. I am so proud of the success this video has had and I can not wait to be a part of Russell’s next Video whether that means dancing or promoting I will be along for the wonderful journey!

- Amanda Saccone, featured dancer

Our Story Project: Submissions 2

Two more posts for the Our Story Project! One from a dear friend, another from an anonymous fan/friend. 
Stunning depth to both of these:

The Journey of the Individual 

The song “Already There” has a special ambiguity woven in its words and that is even portrayed in the images of the music video. The song itself is full of emotion and thoughts that we all as humans have felt in various situations of the journey we all make. But what brings the song to be  even more relatable, is that its words and notes come from a personal pain within the artist. To make a more detached opinion of Russell’s work is a bit difficult, because I have known him for some time now. Nevertheless, my love for my friend is easily separated from the love of his work, for he has grown substantially as an artist. One of his greatest accomplishments is the ability to communicate a story to the audience that is not so specific as to paint a picture within the audience’s mind, but to let the audience feel a connection and create their own.

The song and the video both, to me, take us on the journey of the individual. For the no matter what is done to the artist on the outside, it will always come down to the battle on the inside. Which I feel was beautifully represented by the dancers in the video. The voices in one’s head are not always vicious and dark. On the contrary we most often dance with them and love them as if they were our own voice. In the end, it does not matter who hurt us or what was done, what matters is only what we make of the situation and ourselves. How we carry on, with candles lit or not. 

-Eden Isaac Volbrecht

Never Giving Up

"Already there" evokes different feelings in me; especially the feelings of loss, grief and rage. Connected to my experiences in life, the song mainly expresses my fear of loss. It reminds me of finding out my dad is suffering from cancer.

"I feel helpless.[…] I feel empty in the depths of my own soul. I feel lost. And I feel scared.[….] I was happy. I was fine.[…] I feel rage and I feel pain.“ 

These lyrics exactly describe my feelings throughout this time; this "being in hell“-situation. Learning to deal with it was hard. Finding out my dad is suffering from cancer evoked pictures of his earlier heart attack. I felt rage. Life seemed to be unfair. Why is life always choosing the same people? Are those people stronger than others; stronger to carry these burdens? I realised that having a family - a familiy that loves you with all your heart - cannot be taken for granted. I learned that this is the moment to grow up. I learned to live every day as if it were my last. And I learned to appreciate what I have in my life. Take your chances and never regret something that once made you smile! 

My dad is a really strong person and always knows how to keep us laughing. As strange as it may sound, the situation helped my family to grow together even more. I often try to remind myself of the following words: “Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”  

Furthermore the song reminds me of being well-natured to everyone; trying to please everyone; but not to get back the love you deserve. Always remember: "What goes around comes back around“. The song exactly expresses what I feel and think - related to different situations in my life. Thank you, Russell - your expression underlines these true words.


Our Story Project: Submissions

Wow! Just wow. These are so thoughtful, diverse, and eloquent. Thanks to everyone who submitted. 
I've so enjoyed watching the video through each of these lenses. Read and watch! It's truly an amazing experience and speaks to the power of collaboration and art. Below are two wonderful anonymous entries. More to come!! 


Stolen Time
“Already There” was a video unlike any other I’ve experienced; the song betrays no great detail, and yet tells a distinct story. Perhaps unlike other writers or viewers, I didn’t have to watch the video twice to go looking for meaning. It jumped out at me immediately.

Love was too obvious. Death, too contrived. 
No- for me, the meaning of this video was perfectly subtle and yet stunningly obvious: This story is about time.

Somebody clearly stole time from the protagonist of this video. He is living in limbo, lying in wait. Having survived great suffering against all odds, he is silently waiting to make his move: “Thought you’ll sleep the whole night through, wake knowing that I’m coming for you.” It may be days, months, years until revenge is taken, but it will be taken. Time will be his again. The only trouble is: the longer he waits, the weaker he gets.

The two dancers represent the past and the future, his only company in limbo: 
The brown-haired dancer embodies anger of the past. Her first movement takes place on the lyrics: “I wonder, wonder. Was that all a dream?” She is his disbelief and his indignation. Follow her movement though the video—she is angry, hurt, sad, and in pain. She is a constant reminder of fresh wounds.

The red-haired dancer is the protagonist’s fading hope for the future. Her movement is stronger, perhaps signaling the moment the protagonist will spring forth and take revenge. We also see a bit less of her, which signifies the protagonist’s curiosity about the future and his fading hope that he will ever escape hell.

The piece is cyclical. It begins exactly where it ends: at the spark of life. It’s as if hell has been but an instant in the protagonist’s head, prolonged for a lifetime of reflection by time’s meddling hand. He must live a thousand years within each second. As he lives in this stolid state of lonely reflection, his past rears up and his future escapes him. He is but a toy in time’s perpetual game—forced from position to position and memory to memory. 


The Closing of a Chapter

            The overlapping images in Russell’s music video “Already There” potently capture, for me, the experience of being caught in the grueling bind of escaping a detrimental relationship while still feeling irrevocably bound.  Cutting ties with someone who was once a loved one, or pushing back against someone who has been only partially conscious in their act of exploiting you, can be one of the most conflicting, fragmenting experiences that I have known, and that sense of disruption invades the body, senses, and all thought. 

            The embers of a candle wick flaring back up in a surreal and unprompted way evokes the volatility I have known in feeling both magnetized and endangered by a person I am pushing away, and as my pushing hurts them, my impulse to comfort them flares up again, and on this goes.  

            Bodies move in halted time, reaching in slow motion and then spiraling out and away in choreographic episodes.  These sequences conjure the interruption and stretching out of time during such a period of emotional tumult.  It is pretty extraordinary how emotionally colored our perception of time can be.  The periods of our life where we wait and reach out in suspense slow down, and uncertainty pervades, as everything seems to pass us by, moving at a speed that we can’t translate to our own protracted life.  When joy and renewed vigor return, life flies past in a transported, rapturous blur.  In an ideal world where we could declare that we are truly and unequivocally present and in control of our own attentional perceptions, we would stretch that joy and safety to create a sprawling space so that we could never say we took the good for granted.  But nature has another way, as emotion and struggle dictate the tempo of our lives, and we have no choice but to move forward to the given rhythm. 

            When I ended a relationship for the first time, I did not know how to express the hurt I was feeling in the face of my former partner’s anger and horror at my ability to hurt him.  Our empathic channels were broken, and I had to grapple with the reality that I had done the breaking.  He threatened me with how much I had devastated him, and the counter argument of my own feelings of devastation within the relationship held no weight.  Suddenly the authenticity of any of our intimacy was questioned, and the present feeling of entrapment burned my capacity for hindsight.  Had I been lying when I gave my love to him?  Who was deceiving whom, and how much had we each been deceiving ourselves in isolation the whole time?  In order to escape the scorching interrogations and anarchic struggles of this break up, I had to pull myself back, extinguish all the fire, both passionate and enraged, that I felt for this person, and start again.  The final moment in “Already There”, a barely committed blowing out of a candle, captures that liminal space of acceptance, the closing of a chapter, which was once seen as a sanctuary and has become a bottoming out.  It takes consummate willpower to resist being pulled into the never ending cycle of temptation and abuse, but there is a dark tranquility in extinguishing a flame.      


The Our Story Project

Truth is, I know some inspiringly intelligent people (don’t tell them I told you so). I’ve been so blessed to work with, be inspired by, and be supported by the richest of minds and the strongest of hearts. My fans, friends, and family enrich my life beyond any possible measure—emotionally, professionally, and intellectually.

Already There, (released July 7th) has sparked beautiful dialogue among these people—dialogue I’d like to record and perpetuate. The video is rooted in compounded meanings as a work of artistic collaboration, and has grown to mean many things to many people.

Behind the scenes, with featured dancer: Amanda Saccone

Through the Our Story Project, I’ll be releasing short testimonials written by those involved with the making of Already There. I’ve given my bit (see here). Now you’ll get the chance to hear from choreographer, Kaitlyn Burrows; featured dancers, Amanda Saccone and Marta Vucci; and Wicked Cinemas Director, Dharmesh Tailor. The numerous dimensions of what started as a fledgling song are soon going to be explored.

To bring this project to life, I need your help. I would be honored to hear what the Already There experience means to you. Let’s take your story and make it part of our story. Be fanciful and let your imagination soar or be real and tell me about a connection to your own life. What do the images, movements, and emotions of this piece say to you? What story unfolds in this 5:37 journey?

No less than 5 responses will be featured on this website alongside the writing of those involved with the piece.
Let’s keep the conversation alive. Let’s keep our story growing.

Email your Our Story Project response to russell@russellwagoner.com by August 20th.  
Don’t forget to specify whether or not your story is to be listed as anonymous. 
All submissions should be 300 words or less. Understand that by submitting your writing for consideration you are agreeing to allow its use in the public domain of this website and others.

Already There- Official Music Video

At last! Here it is—my very first music video: Already There.
This project was a labor of love, and I thrill to share it with you.

I ask that you watch Already There through an interpretive lens. Create a story for the images and emotions that strike you. Soon, I’ll be releasing details on an upcoming project where the creative story you interpret will be of paramount importance.

Quite fondly,


Already There Lyrics


Already There

I feel dirty.
I feel wrong.
And I feel I’m not at all where I belong.
I feel helpless.
I feel cheap.

Just a washed up promise I just couldn’t keep.
Oh yeah, I wonder wonder-
Was that all a dream?
Is life as cruel as it sometimes seems?
Oh, I wonder wonder-
Am I OK?
Or just a shell of yesterday?

I feel hard
And I feel cold.
I feel empty in the depths of my own soul.
I feel lost.
And I feel scared. 
You said ‘go to hell’
But I’m already there.

I was happy.
I was fine.
I’d made peace with the pieces I had yet to find. 
I was right.
I was a man.
But you knocked me down to where it all began.
And I wonder wonder-
Was that all a dream?
Is life as cruel as it sometimes seems?
Oh, I wonder wonder-
Am I OK?
Or just a shell of yesterday?

I feel hard
And I feel cold.
I feel empty in the depths of my own soul.
I feel lost.
And I feel scared. Oh. 
You said ‘go to hell’
And then you sent me there. 
Yeah you said, ‘go to hell.’
But I’m already there.

I’ll be ok.
If you knew me yesterday. 
You’d know I’ll be back again.
Don’t say goodbye yet old friend.
Sleep with what you did.
Know my grave’s not yours to dig.
Though you’ll sleep the whole night through.
Wake knowing that I’m coming for you.

Oh, I feel rage
And I feel pain.
And the worst of all, you’ve made me feel ashamed. 
I feel hurt. 
I feel abused. (no no no no)
I feel left alone, and yet I feel so used.

So I feel hard 
And I feel cold.
I feel empty in the depths of my own soul.
I feel lost. 
And I feel scared.
You said ‘go to hell’
But I’m already there.

I’m already there.  

"Already There" Inspiration

“I’ll be ok. 
If you knew me yesterday,
you’d know I’ll be back again. 
Don’t say goodbye yet, old friend. 

Sleep with what you did.
Know my grave’s not yours to dig.
Though you’ll sleep the whole night through,
wake knowing that
I’m coming for you.”

I wrote Already There March 2011 in reaction to a particularly life-altering event. Demons arose, battles were waged, and out of the carnage emerged the greatest song I’ve ever written. Hauntingly vicious and overwhelmingly devastating, Already There is a story unlike any previously told in pop/soul music. 

This orchestral ballad speaks of loss, fear, and emptiness. But channeling my omnipresent theme, Resurgence, it also explores a particularly unique moment of human reinvigoration: revenge. You may “sleep the whole night through.” But wake every morning knowing that one day, someday, I’m coming for you.

 Already There is unlike anything I’ve written before. This is my first song using the decade of classical piano training I’ve carefully nurtured. This will be my first music video release. Also, this song is among the first I’ve self-produced. This project marks a lot of firsts.

Most notably, Already There gave me the first opportunity to use my years of contemporary dance training in conjunction with my musical endeavors. This video features breathtaking choreography by JMU Alum, Kaitlyn Burrows, as well at two featured JMU dancers: Amanda Saccone and Marta Vucci. The fresh eye of Wicked Cinema’s Dharmesh Tailor brings our story alive.

Already There is an experience rooted in compounded meanings and collaboration. That’s to say: I provide my original message and music as a base. Kaitlyn, my beautiful choreographer, interprets and retells that message through movement—further expanded in each dancer’s personal expression. This new, deeper story is bolstered by Dharmesh (Director at Wicked Cinemas), who infuses the work with his own meaning. The breadth and depth of this experience are always growing. Already There means many different things to many different people.
Which brings me to you.

On July 7th, you will (please) sit in front of your computer, load the Already There YouTube link, change the video quality to HD for enhanced viewing, and experience our deeply collaborative work through your own lens. I encourage—in fact— I implore you to project your own meaning, your own story, onto our labor of love. Discuss, question, and give us feedback. What does this mean to you?
We want you to be part of our story.




"It All Falls Apart"


Andy Nye, a man I’ve often described as my musical soul mate, has released his first EP of Folk music. Decadent in its simplicity, Andy’s music rediscovers the power of one guitar and one voice. I’m featured as the vocalist on this independent project- a 5 song EP, “It All Falls Apart.” Make sure you tune in for this one!


(Andy, adept with many instruments)

It was a joy to embrace an indy recording environment. There’s something lovably stress-free about moving at your own pace in a friend’s basement studio. My voice definitely reflects the lazy summer afternoons during which this music was recorded. It’s organic, simple, and honest. PLEASE give us a listen! Itunes link:

New Website


Welcome to Russell Wagoner's brand new website. If you're looking for information on the up-and-coming R&B/Pop musician, look no further!! This site features a blog, social networking links, a live twitter feed, photos, music, performance dates and more. 

This is the first post of many, so stay here and stay updated!! Like it on facebook to help get the word out. 



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