Russ Lawton grew up in the Boston area where he began drumming professionally and studying with Gene Roma.
Early in his career, Russ toured with the Afro-fusion band Zzebra, formed by Osibisa's Nigerian-born percussionist Lofty Amao.
Russ has been touring and recording for the past 23 years with Trey Anastasio, front man of the band Phish. Collaborating with Trey includes co-writing songs from Phish's Farmhouse CD (featuring the Grammy-nominated song First Tube), Trey's first solo CD, entitled Trey Anastasio, the live Plasma CD, and Live at the Warfield Theatre DVD with Trey and Carlos Santana, as well as his latest releases The Horseshoe Curve, Tab At The Tab Live in Atlanta, Traveler, Paper Wheels, TAB at the Fox Theater Live, and Burn It Down.
Russ has also appeared with TAB on the following television shows:
- Last Call with Carson Daly
- The Conan O’Brien Show
- Late Night with David Letterman
- The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
- The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon
Russ also tours with his fellow TAB band-member, Ray Paczkowski in the Vermont Funk duo, Soule Monde. When not with Trey or Soule Monde, Russ plays with a variety of other musicians whose repertoire includes blues, funk, country, and rock. Other notable work includes the music for the independent movies Mud Season, Mike Gordon's Outside Out and Left Hand Path, LaMP, a supergroup featuring Scott Metzger (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead) alongside Russ Lawton and Ray Paczkowski - and too many others to list. You can check our Russ's full discography here.
Russ bought his first Gretsch drum kit in 1972 and has played them exclusively. He also plays Zildjian cymbals and Vic Firth sticks.