Northern California guitarist Russel Lea has been writing songs and playing guitar since 1970. He has been performing his music in coffee houses, weddings, and craft shows since the age of 17. After taking about 20 years off from performing to help raise his children, Russel is now writing and performing again. Russel states that "I have always been drawn to the sound of the acoustic guitar, and once I discovered open tunings, it was like having an entire orchestra in my hands." He has diverse musical influences from folk rock to jazz to new age; including CSN&Y, Jesse Colin Young, Joni Mitchell, Oregon, Shadowfax, Alex de Grassi, and Michael Hedges. "Pathways" is Russel's first solo recording, and was released in July 2006. The album, consisting of five solo instrumental tracks and five tracks with vocals, features Russel's acoustic guitars on all tracks with the addition of Henry Nagle's excellent 12 string pedal steel guitar on the opening track " First Rose of Spring " and on the country flavored ballad " Salt and Lemon". Russel is currently writing music for new project titled "Sacred Mountain", which will feature solo guitar performances inspired though his work as a Reiki practitioner and from the beauty of our mountains, redwood forests and the rugged north coast.