Tag Archives: music

heading out in a week? (the first in a series)

a week and two days from now I’ll be heading out for a day in Dublin, and then 10 days across the North East of Spain.

A colleague asked if I was going to blog about it. I think I just might.

and I’m bringing my guitar with me 🙂



noun, verb, adjective, adverb…all at once.

so i have this visceral memory of my dad saying “shhhhhh” and holding up one finger in the air when I was trying to talk to him at the point when the needle hit the little bit of circular wax that meant Simon and Garfunkel were about to fill the living room with harmonies I would dream of for the rest of my life…

and since then I’ve always been a student, a disciple, an apostle of music. Not just popular music, but the feeling of music…

a Noun is a person place or thing. a Verb is something you do. an Adjective describes that thing. an Adverb tells how something is done…

Music? does it all. I dare you to listen to Bruce Springsteen’s “Rosalita” and tell me that it is not noun, verb, adjective, and adverb all at once.

sometimes I feel like I’m living on this different plane where music is a drug – no – an existence – that takes the monotony of regular life and what you’re supposed to do to what your soul is yearning to do…

won’t you let me know you’re with me?

JP Music Festival!

totally psyched to be playing today at the JP Music Festival on the BUS!


There will be a trolley making stops in and around Jamaica Plain to take people to places to eat (and, ostensibly, their cars)


it’s the biggest party of the day! and I’m playing from 3-4. pm. see you there!



New Sounds – RIP Amy Winehouse


It’s one of those things, when you find out more about an artist after they die. I thought originally (mostly due to the media supersaturation) that Amy Winehouse was “eh” and that her songs were super popular because of the media and vice versa.

Recently, I’ve started listening more and more to those songs and WOW are they good.

I hate this phrase, and I hate saying it, but this is a shame a talent like this was lost so young (at the musical-mythical age of 27 no less).

so here’s my attempt at a tribute. Wherever you are, Ms. Winehouse, keep on keepin on. Rock.



this keeps me keepin on, right here.


what’s your favorite song by one of your friends?

It’s an amazing thing to get cut off from civilization for a little while. It forces you to enter someplace else – yourself, your thoughts, even the thoughts of someone else – Nick Hornby’s book “Songbook” is perfect for this.

The essays are short, to the point, and revolve around music. But they don’t just encapsulate chord changes or rhyming patterns. The songs are good. And meaningful. And thoughtful. The essays explain through some fantastic, honest, accessible writing why these songs are songs Nick Hornby loves. And it’s not just about “I like that line” or “I like that solo” – it’s WHY that one line is so brilliant, explaining all seven kinds of love (according to the Greeks) in seven or eight words. I’ve pretty much added “Nick Hornby liking a song I wrote” to my bucket list.

And he asks an amazing question – “Who knows how many great songs I’ve missed…songs written and performed by people who are your friends but not, unfortunately, mine?”

Which leads me to ask – What are YOUR favorite songs by your friends?

just over a month

just over a month

Hashtag Runaway.

thank you for the shout out!

thank you for the shout out!

I don’t make resolutions

but I do promise to keep y’all informed of my comings and goings – whether here or on the website (www.dannrusso.com)


and don’t forget to do three things this 2014:


1. listen to music – whether it’s by your friends, your enemies, a random group that your kids play incessantly – and see the good it in.

2. share music – so many great artists are undiscovered (except by their friends and family) and can use the push – share FB links, Youtube videos, even twitter…tweets.

3. be excellent to each other.

“why do we play the same songs? oh, that’s right…”

last night after the show we played at Club Bohemia/The Cantab Lounge in Central Square, Dave, the guitar player, turns to me and says, “I was going to ask you why we play the same songs every time. But I think I’m starting to figure out why…”


We picked each other’s brains and here’s a short list of what we came up with:


1. we’re getting better as a band – listening to each other, finding nuances that weren’t there before

2. there are certain songs people want to hear – to quote the great Joe Perry “we only have 22 songs a night, once you write down the ones you HAVE to play, there’s room for about four more” – and that’s how songs get stuck in people’s heads, how they learn the words, how they pick out a favorite.

3. related to that, it becomes almost like an album, a record, a cd, whatever you want to call it. Certain songs in a certain order that your brain starts getting so used to that you expect the next one before it even starts.


and, since we were offered two more shows after our show last night, maybe with a little time and practice, we can mix up one or two other songs, but that’s what practice is for.

last night was for PERFORMING, for “saving lives… saving souls [and] having fun.” (thanks, Frank Turner)


here’s what you heard:

1. Tomorrow Never Knows (Beatles cover)

2. We Were There

3. My Friends’ Band Play

4. Her Majesty Cry

5. Flowers in Your Hair

6. Lessons Learned

7. Cross The Line

8. On The Floor.


peace, y’all.