Farewell Tribute for Uncle Russell Givens
3.14.2008 – 20th Century Theater, Cincinnati, OH
Benefiting the School for the Creative and Performing Arts
Uncle Russell’s Kinfolk, Ricky Nye, Scotty Anderson, Beckah Williams, Danny Adler, Lance Boyd, G Miles and the Hitmen, Them Bones, Philip Paul and Ed Connelly (Kings records session players!!), Other local Blues and R&B Greats!
20th Century Theater
3021 Madison Road
Cincinnati, OH 45209
More about Uncle Russell:
CITY BEAT/ Spill It
Farewell, Uncle Russell
Posted by editor, Mike Breen | 12/05/2007, Tebbe Farrell, author
Bass player Russell Givens, affectionately called “Uncle Russell,” born, Oct. 17, 1937, passed away Nov. 9. His music and life will never be forgotten. He was called “the best bass player I ever heard” by the great B.B. King, who had Russell in his band. Givens played with a number of Jazz and Blues greats over a span of 50 years.
Givens’ band, The Kinfolks, was well known in Greater Cincinnati. He played with local Blues legends H-Bomb Ferguson, Albert T. Washington, Big Ed Thompson, Big Joe Duskin, Pauline Creamer and Otis Candy Finch and also Jazz player Jug Green, who was in Gene Ammon’s and Sonny Stitt’s
band. Nationally, he traveled the Blues, R&B and Jazz circuits with a smokin’ style and swingin’ grace. He played with Howlin Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Lou Rawls, Hank Crawford, Lynne Hope, Caldonia Reynolds, Gene Allison, Bobby Humphries and Amos Milburn.
Givens had a strong Funk style undercut by a Jazz backbeat and Blues shades of north and south. A true master of the bass, he had an unforgettable sound and smile, which slowly came across his face whenever he played.
His last gig was at the legendary Kingston Mines club in Chicago in October with The Danny Adler Band. Adler, creator of “Roogalator” and “Cincinnati Fatback,” played with Givens off and on for many years. Givens passed the torch on to some younger Blues players at the Kingston Mines that night. They said, “Guys like him are the reason we wanted to do this.”
We were lucky to hear Russell Givens and should be grateful that his recordings have survived. The
saints came to pick him up, and we dance to his rhythm as they march him in. (Tebbe Farrell)
Author Tebbe Farrell served as H-Bomb Ferguson’s manager in the 1980s.