Russ Kunkel

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Russ Kunkel
Birth nameRussell Kunkel
Born (1948-09-27) September 27, 1948 (age 70)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
GenresRock, pop, country
Occupation(s)Drummer, session musician, producer
InstrumentsDrums, percussion
Years active1960s–present
Associated actsThe Section
James Taylor
Jackson Browne
Lyle Lovett
Carly Simon

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

Life and career[edit]

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.

In 1968, Kunkel married singer/songwriter Leah Cohen Kunkel, sister of Cass Elliot (born Ellen Naomi Cohen) of The Mamas and Papas. Following Elliot's death in 1974, Leah was given custody of Cass Elliot's daughter, Owen. The couple also raised their son, Nathaniel, an Emmy Award winning sound engineer.

In 1990, Kunkel married singer Nicolette Larson ("Lotta Love"), and the two were married until her death in 1997. The couple's daughter Elsie May Larson-Kunkel was born in 1990.


Kunkel endorses DW drums, Paiste cymbals,[1] Evans drumheads and Pro-Mark sticks[citation needed]. He has previously used Yamaha Drums, Premier drums, Pearl Drums and Remo drumheads, but prior to switching to Paiste in 1983,[1] it is likely that he used Zildjian cymbals up to that point.[citation needed] In addition to drums, Kunkel has been credited with playing tambourine, shaker, cabasa, congas, timbales, snare drum, castanets, wood block, hi-hats, cardboard box, cowbell, cymbals, marimba, bongos, bells, timpani, cajon and percussion.[2]

Partial discography[edit]






  1. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2015-07-12.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^

External links[edit]