Tag Archives: guitar

My newest enemy

It’s been a lover, a best friend, a comfort.

Right now it’s almost an enemy. Asking me to tell secrets to the one guy you never tell secrets to.

Making me say things i’m not totally ready to say, so that people can hear things i’m not ready for them to hear…

Hopefully we get this figured out soon.



It’s Tuesday…for now…(songwriting story #1)

so I had this idea – every Tuesday I’ll write a blog when I get home from band practice about a song, the story in it, maybe even what the lyrics mean. It could be a very cool idea. Almost everyone loved “Storytellers” right? 



So, here’s one of my favorite stories, (we will be opening with this song on Sept 8th at The Burren – plug plug plug), for the song “Fortunes, Forecasts & Lucky Charms” which you can listen to HERE


it’s a great song. I played everything on the recording but the drums (handled perfectly as always by Frank Colagiovanni) but the better story is how the songs came to be.

You know the movie Robin Hood? No, not the Kevin Costner one. The Disney one? with the animals and Robin Hood’s a fox? And Marian is a FOX, if you catch my drift…huh huh (no, she’s really a fox too).

Anyway, it’s brilliant. And has been my favorite movie since I can remember being able to pick a favorite movie. So, one night, my friend Zak Ward (who is a fantastic musician, songwriter, singer, etc – check out Son of the Sun (dot) com) and I were out way too late at the now-closed All Asia Bar in Cambridge, and decided it was a great idea to put on Robin Hood when we got back to the apartment.

And there’s that scene where Robin Hood and Little John dress up as fortune tellers in order to rob Prince John, and Little John shouts “FORtunes, forecasts & LUCKy charms” and we thought it was hilarious. Zak said “That’s a fantastic name for a song” and ten hours later, I wrote this one. 

it’s kind of a love song, and I always thought the video should be in a bric-a-brac shop in LA. 

What does the song make you think of? How’d I do with the title? What’s YOUR favorite character from Robin Hood?

how do you write a song?

does anyone know?

do you just strum some chords and hum along? do you get an amazing poem and smush, caress and cajole it into submission? 

it’s a delicate process. 

Sometimes songs just happen. Those are the best kind. A phrase, a memory, a thought elicits a response and it’s like a light bulb going on. In a blaze of glory, the writer LEAPS out of bed, grabs a notebook and a guitar and gets to work.

Sometimes songs need to be pulled and dragged kicking and screaming into the world. A title, or a guitar riff, or a few lines of lyric sit there waiting. and waiting. and waiting. Finally, days, weeks, months, YEARS later, the song is finished.

But is a song ever finished? Every performance of the song changes it ever so slightly. Add another musician to the mix and it takes on another color of the same palette or can even go in a totally different direction. I mean, there are only a (small) finite amount of notes, but an infinite amount of ways to play them.

There are even a few lines in songs that after I write them and then sing them, I think to myself, “self (cause that’s what I call myself) WHO wrote this? this is awesome!”

for instance:

“I got this lyric about you/that would make a great tattoo/but now it’s just a decent rhyme”

or “you are light”

or “later on we’re gonna have to pinch ourselves/to convince ourselves we were there”

Some people consider themselves poets, some people consider themselves musicians first. I consider myself lucky that these songs that came from the ether are able to make their way into the world through me. I hope you like them too.

Thanks Tom! (new press)

finally getting a chance to put this up – from the official July 1st, 2013 Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge Newsletter, by Tom Bianchi , the amazing host:

you can also find it here

“Dann Russo, who has been a regular at LLOMC for quite a while now is always a power house. Dann brings the rock and roll… and in a room that tends to lean toward the ‘pin drop silence’ performance when it comes to our Monday night winners, Dann has hit our final three many times, but not crossed the line just yet. Tonight he brought it with the power and energy he always does. Spot on rock and roll, rock solid and energizing… tonight was Dann’s night! For our 343rd LLOMC winner Andrew Delcid went with Dann Russo!”

thanks, Tom!

when it rains, it drums.



this is usually the problem. In fact, I’ve played in and with a number of bands merely because I know how to play bass (pretty well, I must admit), but, as many musicians can tell you, everyone’s looking for a drummer.

I think it starts out in high school, when everyone has a little extra money to spend and convinces themselves that the way to “that special someone’s” heart is by playing his or her favorite diddy on a beat up old acoustic they found at a garage sale…then at college it’s a way to show off how DEEP someone is by putting some poetry by a long-forgotten French Huguenot (or, if they’re really fearless, their OWN poetry) to a tune and inviting people over to their dorm to “hang out.” For the most part, following this paradigm, bass players say to themselves “self, (cause that’s what they call themselves) let’s start a band and play the bass cause that guy/girl over there is SO much better than we are at soloing.”

But drummers…

Drummers are a whole different animal whatsoever. Maybe it’s the waiting around for everyone else to tune. Maybe it’s the “omg cant you keep time?” they think about other members of the band. Maybe it’s the fact that they have to lug around a huge bag full of hardware, at least four huge drums, plus a cymbal bag and have to have some sort of vehicle to fit it in…but drummers are always the toughest piece to find when forming a band. Until now…

it seems like EVERY one I know plays drums.

The drummer who has played everytime I’ve played my songs with a drummer for the past 16 years has always played drums for me. Wait. that’s kinda redundant. But he has. and he’s really good. But he has two kids and works and isn’t always available so I’ve been playing some shows with a percussionist, not with a full drum kit behind me. And for the most part it’s been working just fine.

However, in the past month, the drummer who plays for the cover band that I play with said “if you ever need someone…” Two other people have come up to me and said, “hey, I know a guy if you need a drummer…” Even my hairstylist (yes, I have a hairstylist – I’ll tell you about it later) said “you know, I play drums if you’re ever looking for someone…”

so I seem to have a surplus of riches. I guess it’s a good problem to have. The only issue is who/when/where/how and figuring that all out.

Consequently, anyone need a drummer?


You know, I’m actually pretty decent myself behind a kit…