“Soulful, Powerful, Heartfelt and Satirical. His talent is undeniable.”—Slade Vegas, Las Vegas Freelance Rock Writer
Bryan Russo is an acclaimed songwriter and performer whom, over the course of the past six years, has made a name for himself as one of the top original voices and songwriters in Ocean City, MD and the Mid-Atlantic region.
The irony in it all is that he's built a passionate audience and received high praise in an area (Ocean City, MD) historically unlikely and often unwelcoming to original songwriters and artists.
Russo is a throwback to songwriters of perhaps a greater time in music as he doesn't cast the message and the meaning to his lyrics aside and simply fill in the blanks with soaring choruses and tales of lost cul de sac love that you may hear in coffee shops or on mainstream radio.
Songs like "Lord Lord Lord" "Next Big Thing", "Smokey Cafe" and "No More Crying (From White Boys)" are statements that he is an artist and a songwriter that has something to say and he is willing to get up and challenge people to listen to it.
Russo is a student of songwriter legends like Dylan, Lennon, Waits, Cohen, and Buckley and has found a way to bridge some sort of a gap with his songs that convey the strong "say something" messages in Indie music and puts them into a pop-rock formula that will simultaneously captivate listeners moving to the backbeat or searching for lyrical enlightenment.
There are thousands of white-boy singer songwriters out there today, and although the aesthetic shoe may fit, the sonic one does not.
He's worked seemingly a hundred different jobs, he's played under Maestro Lorin Maazel with the Pittsburgh Symphony (as a violinist) and he's been a door to door salesman. He's tended bar, and he's worked as an industrial painter. He's been a sports writer for the Associated Press covering the Philadelphia Flyers, and he's also been a stay-at-home dad.
The one constant in his journey has been that Russo has always documented his world-wide travels and often small town solitude by writing songs...good songs, the kind of songs that have turned the heads of thousands of locals and tourists who visit Ocean City, MD each year expecting to hear their favorite cover tunes and inadvertently discovering a rare talented artist in the most unlikely of places.
His ability to take the idiosyncratic moments of his life and turn them into relatable, intriguing, and catchy soulful tunes could be one of his greatest gifts..perhaps second only to his powerful voice, which is sometimes sweet and soulful and brash and biting at others.
After penning his first songs in Scotland while living in the UK in 1999, Russo, a classically trained violinist and self-taught guitar and pianist, came back to the states and moved to the rich Philadelphia music scene and started to turn a few heads musically speaking as a writer and a performer at “songster” mainstays like the Grape Street Pub, Dawson Street Pub, and later, World Café Live.
He quit playing live for a year in the early part of the decade after the birth of his son in 2002 to concentrate on family, but the music never faded.
Now, several years and hundreds of songs later, Russo’s originality has set him apart from the normal cover band scene in Ocean City, MD, and almost daring people not to take notice.
Russo is a former rock writer, critic, current political (albeit in a beach town) journalist, father of two, loving husband, and a likeable bohemian who is as interesting to speak with as he is to listen to.
At first listen, you may deem Russo as a songwriter that you can get excited about again.....someone who you can hang on every word and expect to be enlightened, challenged, and moved...both lyrically and musically.
Simply put, Bryan Russo is a songwriter that actually has something to say...and it just might move you.
Here's what some other's have said about Bryan Russo.
“Russo is a versatile and engaging songwriter who knows how to write catchy lyrics that are also intelligent and carry emotional truth.”
-Cara Dahl (Maryland Coast Dispatch)
“Russo is a refreshing voice in an industry which is overrun with self-consciously clever wordsters and songwriters who mistake bombast for profundity. Most important of all, he has something to say, and people will listen.”—Cara Dahl (Maryland Coast Dispatch)
“The call to action for a response to such an artist is now…to ignore it would be blasphemy. Through written word and song he conveys a message of hope and a driving force of dedication and love into making everything worth singing about”. Slade Vegas—Las Vegas rock writer
“(Russo) is a breath of fresh air in today's generally dull world of music writing. His innate depth of thought is apparent in all his songs and sparks an appreciation for its originality among listeners. People need to hear these songs loud and clear, as Russo is a rare talent.”—Steve Green (publisher MD Coast Dispatch)
"(Russo) doesn't just dream of becoming a rock star and touring the world. He's more ambitious than that."