Listen Up! Russ Hewitt's Chasing Horizons is a Musical Gift

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

EVERY time the extraordinary musician Russ Hewitt releases a new CD, I am overjoyed at the musical gift he has given the world. His latest CD, Chasing Horizons, is gorgeous, soulful, and utterly addicting. I think you will feel the same, too.

Listen Up! Russ Hewitt's Chasing Horizons is a Musical Gift

You've read our interview with him for his third CD, Cielo Nocturno, in which I noted, "He's thoughtful, interesting, a songwriting genius, and truly, an intercultural educator (read his last answer!)." With this album, he's expanded those—and, in turn, expanded the depth and richness of his music (read this stellar review!).

I love how each song is so incredibly beautiful, touching the heartstrings while making me think, and dream. I love that this is SUCH a global project, with renowned musicians from around the world, and panoramic musical visions that only Hewitt could write, play, and share with us. We are all so very, very grateful.

Russ Hewitt. From Listen Up! Russ Hewitt's Chasing Horizons is a Musical Gift

Highly (highly!!) recommended. 

We were lucky enough to catch up with Hewitt, and ask him about his new album, songwriting inspiration, the musicians involved (such talent!), and more. Here's what he had to say...

Listen Up! Russ Hewitt's Chasing Horizons is a Musical Gift

Please tell us about your new album!
Four years in the making, I finally released my magnum opus. Ha! I spend a long time on the songwriting as it is, then you throw in the pandemic, and I ended up with the largest gap in between releases. I've been busy all of this time playing gigs and studio work, but it takes a mental shift and time to write original music. I've been calling my new CD, Chasing Horizons, a rhythmic fusion of: samba, montuno, milonga, rumba flamenco, guajira, 5/4 groove, 9/8 groove, 7/8 groove with a touch of exotic modes. I have an incredible list of musicians that have joined me on the project, and with this being my fourth CD, I'm very happy with the progression I've made as a songwriter and composer. I wrote the songs like I've always done; alone with the guitar coming up with the chord progression and melody. The song continues to build once the producer gets involved and the other instruments and musicians are added.

Listen Up! Russ Hewitt's Chasing Horizons is a Musical Gift

What was your songwriting inspiration for this album?
I wanted to continue with my Latin world theme, so I added in new rhythms as well as revisited and refined past ones. The inspiration comes from life experiences; the more you do, the more you can pull from. On the technical side of things, as an instrumental artist, my goal is to create music that taps into some kind of emotion: happy, sad, reflective, etc. Almost like a musical canvas that allows the listener to imprint whatever they want over it.

What musicians are included?
The same backing band from all of my recordings has returned again, which features Walfredo Reyes Jr. on drums (Santana, Steve Winwood, Chicago, Frank Gambale); Bob Parr on bass and keyboards (Cher, Brian Setzer Orchestra, Barry White); and Rafael Padilla on percussion (Miami Sound Machine, Shakira, Gloria Estefan). This album also features a lot of guest artists: Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme, Rihanna); Marty Friedman (Megadeth, solo artist); Jorge Strunz (Strunz & Farah); Ardeshir Farah (Strunz & Farah); Bucharest All-Star Orchestra (Romanian National Symphony Orchestra); and Tri Nguyen on the Vietnamese zither.

I'm very blessed to have this many top notch players willing to record with me. It's amazing to watch them work and hear their contributions to my songs. It also makes me step up my game and keeps me on my toes!

What might people be surprised to learn about this album?
That we mix this album like you would a rock album. What I mean by that is we start the mix with the drums, followed by bass, percussion, rhythm guitar, and then any little extra things. The melody and solo guitar will then go on top. Usually when it's a guitar-oriented project, the mix starts with the guitar, and then everything below it at a much softer volume. But because of the rhythmic nature of the music, we wanted to get people to move and shake. Ha. Of course, depending on the song and the intent, we modified the mix accordingly.

Listen Up! Russ Hewitt's Chasing Horizons is a Musical Gift

How can people find your music?
I am on all of the streaming outlets (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Pandora, Tidal, Deezer) along with having a YouTube channel (RussHewittMusic). For purchase, Amazon Music or Bandcamp.

My website is

All photos courtesy and copyright Russ Hewitt, with permission