A Runaway Snapping All Ties. July 27th.
New Live EP to be released in just under a month! – RELEASE DATE MAY 13TH
Recorded Live at the Lizard Lounge, Cambridge
1. Memphis Ferry
2. Two Roads
3. Leave (from the musical “Once”)
5. Cafe en San Juan
featuring Brandon Brooks on cello and Mike Yarsky on guitar
I am so lucky to have found Brandon from the band AERS to help me out at the last Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge in February.
this came out so much better than I anticipated. THANK YOU! (and thank YOU for listening)
As many stories start, this one started with an email from one of my favoritest people in the world, a brilliant and talented colleague of mine, whose blog about all things music and religion and life you can read here. The email was an open call for “Once,” the broadway musical. The adaptation of pretty much my second or third favorite movie ever – the one I watched for the second time 5 minutes after watching it the first time.
of COURSE I was going.
and so I went. and I played my song, “On The Floor.” It’s a totally rocking, upbeat song (the video behind the link shows off the amazing Mark Whitaker on banjo as well) which proves that I kinda sorta definitely know how to play an acoustic guitar.
I figured that I was in this weird place, not tall enough, but too tall. Not old enough but too old. Not fat enough but too hefty. I wanted to show that I could play, because I REALLY wanted to be invited onto that stage.
I played my song, left hand dancing over the strings, right hand strumming for dear life, sang for about two minutes and was met with “tomorrow maybe something a little less energetic.”
A call back. This was good news.
I actually had tickets to the show that night, and thought the music and singing was great. I even loved the idea of having a bunch of un-amplified acoustic guitars on stage to give the music a real natural feeling. It would be an interesting next morning.
Sunday I went to the callback. I played. I sang. I read the lines they asked me to prepare in a quite authentic Irish accent, and even got more laughs in the room than the guy who did the part the night before got in the theatre. There were four times as many people as the first audition – people videoing the tryout, actors playing the other parts in the script, casting director, and who knows who else. I got the “thank you for doing all this” when I left. hmm.
I haven’t heard anything, so I’m thinking that means “thanks but no thanks” but I know that if I hadn’t tried I would’ve kicked myself for missing it.
Although, you never know.
for a little taste of what “could be” here’s my version of “Leave” – a song from the show/movie – recorded at the Lizard Lounge open Mic Challenge. Thanks, Tom Bianchi, again, for the recording.
I got a new Old Song…really really old. like 6,000 years old old. I took the lyrics from an Egyptian poem, put some old school rock and roll to it and BAM.
I – I mean WE, sorry Nick and Dave – was/were the promo/banner pic on the Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge’s newsletter this week.
It’s an honor to be thought of so highly but even cooler to actually know Tom Bianchi, the brainchild behind and host of the greatest open mic ever.
You can check out more about Tom – host, emcee, bass player extraordinaire and all around nice guy HERE
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!”
so, I won.
After 20 or 30 something tries at the Lizard Lounge Open Mic Challenge, I won. It was the greatest thing. I am still awestruck and psyched and honored. But the thing that makes it the best is HOW I did it.
Last night at practice for Box of Records (the cover band I play with) the guitar player (who is also the guitar player when I play my music with a band) said something along the lines of “I dont know HOW but you always get people to sing along. It’s really cool”
This past Monday, I did just that.
I got up to the mic. And put my iPad on the piano. And pointed at it and said “that, over there, terrifies me, so I’m going to play something else first to get my confidence up” :-p
So i started with “We Were There” and was rocking out and bouncing around all over and it sounded really good. Then I sat down to play “I Wish” at the piano and was terrified and it ALSO was really good, despite me not having touched a piano more than once or twice since April…someone sitting next to me said “holy s#!t you NAILED THAT”
At the end when the judge announced the finalists he announced me first and said he loved my energy. I usually hate when people say that. Somewhere in the back of my mind it means “your song is terrible” or “why dont you play guitar better” but this time I figured that the reason I’m up here is cause it’s fun. And I want everyone sitting in front of me to have fun too.
I was reminded of this as I was just listening to the amazing Irish band The Wolfe Tones who never cared how precise they were, just that they and the audience were having a great time. And, to paraphrase my favorite new singer, Frank Turner, I asked everyone there “do you want to join my band?” I ran through the chorus quickly closed my eyes and prayed for the best.
I played Goodnight is not Goodbye and by the third chorus had the whole place singing in harmony with me…it was pretty great. And then it was announced I won.
It was a little surreal. I was a little too goofy thanking everyone who was there, shaking hands, all of a sudden i was a minor celebrity. But I kept thanking everyone else for making me sound good, and hoping they had a great time for those 15 minutes or so during which I was the focus of the lights and the sound system but I was listening to them.