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Russ McKinnon


Talented, creative, and one of the true gentlemen in the music business. These are the words most often used to describe Russ Kunkel by the many musical artists who have worked with him over the past three decades. Although the renowned drummer says his big break was a matter of being in the right place at the right time, it has been Kunkel's combined talents and skills as performer, producer and songwriter that have kept him in demand by the top names in rock 'n roll. Russ McKinnon, one of SABIAN's long standing endorsers hit the UK to perform at Blenheim Palace and record a BBC TV Special with crooner Barry Manilow. Having graced the rhythm seat for artists like Joe Cocker and legendary funk monsters 'Tower Of Power', Russ McKinnon continues to be one of the hard working drummers with a talented versatility to cope with every eventuality.

Caught in rehearsal at Phoenix Sound Studios in Wembley, Middlesex, with a horn section, string section, keyboards, bass, guitar, drums, percussion and backing vocalists it was important for Russ to be heard clearly and blend with the intricacies of powerful arrangements - from ballads to the upbeat songs, Russ's cymbal set-up complimented every element.

There was a mixed selection from the SABIAN series HHX, Hand Hammered, AA and AAX - proof that with careful selection that a complimentary balance of cymbal sounds from the SABIAN's different cymbal series can be achieved in one set-up.
His choice of cymbal voices married with his own disciplined treatment of them did boast their musical qualities. The 20" HH Bounce Ride with it's distinctive sticking tones and complimentary wash, 14" HHX Groove Hats with it's dark and unmistakable slush and the roar of the 18" Hand Hammered Chinese were statement-like.

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