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Russ Kunkel

Russ Kunkel
Birth name Russell Kunkel
Born (1948-09-27) September 27, 1948
Origin Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Genres Rock, pop, country
Occupation(s) Drummer, session musician, producer
Instruments Drums, percussion, timbales, congas, tambourine, cowbell, shaker
Years active 1960s–present
Associated acts The Section
James Taylor
Jackson Browne
Lyle Lovett
Carly Simon

Russell "Russ" Kunkel (September 27, 1948) is an American drummer and producer who has worked as a session musician with many well-known artists, including Stephen Stills, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Stevie Nicks, Carole King, Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, Glenn Frey, and Carly Simon.


  • Life and career 1
  • Equipment 2
  • Personal life 3
  • Partial discography 4
    • Performer 4.1
    • Soundtracks 4.2
    • Producer 4.3
    • Other 4.4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Life and career

Kunkel was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the 1970s, Kunkel worked so frequently with bassist Leland Sklar, guitarist Danny Kortchmar, and keyboardist Craig Doerge that they eventually became known as "The Section" and recorded three albums under that name between 1972 and 1977.

Kunkel had a cameo as doomed drummer Eric "Stumpy Joe" Childs in the 1984 film This Is Spinal Tap.

In 2010 Kunkel joined the Troubadour Reunion Tour supporting James Taylor and Carole King.


Kunkel endorses Yamaha drums, Paiste cymbals,[1] Evans drumheads and Pro-Mark sticks. He has previously used Premier drums, Pearl Drums and Remo drumheads, but prior to switching to Paiste in 1983,[2] it is likely that he used Zildjian cymbals up to that point.

Personal life

Kunkel's first marriage was to singer Leah Kunkel, younger sister of Cass Elliot, and together they raised Elliot's daughter, Owen Vanessa as well as having their own son Nathaniel, now an Emmy Award-winning sound engineer.

Kunkel's second marriage was to singer Nicolette Larson (best known for her hit single the Neil Young-penned Lotta Love) in 1990 and they had a daughter Elsie-May Larson-Kunkel. Larson died of cerebral edema on December the 16th, 1997 at the age of 45.

After almost seventeen years as a widower, Kunkel remarried to Shauna Drayson Hayward, the widow of Little Feat's original drummer Richie Hayward on January 3, 2014 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Partial discography






  1. ^
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External links

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