With the release of the single "Never Lose Faith," Barry Russo has followed up on his 2005 CD "These Are the Days."
While Barry's demeanor and life history definitely qualify him as a bona-fide average guy, a look beneath the surface takes you to a place where paradox runs deep; a place where the crosscurrents of introspection, experience, and an extensive study of human nature collide to question the meaning and purpose of life.
As a shy schoolboy growing up, Barry found music as a way to connect with people...especially girls. Each day after school, Russo headed straight to the baby grand piano in the living room of his parents' home overlooking the shores of Narragansett Bay.
His early classical studies included the works of Bach, Mozart, and Clementi, as well as many other composers, who became his inspiration. Equally influential in his development was the music of many pop artists, including Howard Jones, Survivor, the Hooters, Duran Duran, and Billy Joel. All helped to shape the writing of infectious melodies and catchy lyrics that Barry is known for throughout Southern New England.
Perhaps the seeds of Russo's paradoxical nature were planted and nurtured as his musical experiences unfolded, when extremes seemed to be the norm. Often, Barry would find himself playing in a bar with a band at 2 a.m., only to be in church a mere six hours later playing hymns. Experiences from such extremes have granted him a unique perspective on life and have helped shape his creations and define him as an artist.
After a period of long-distance co-writing with Nashville's Shay Watson, Barry decided to not only record his first album in Music City but to accept Watson's offer to produce the freshman project. Considering Watson's work with Grammy- and Dove-Award winning artist/songwriter Bruce Carroll as well as Shelter Records artist Phil Baquie (who recently hit the European charts), the decision was an easy one to make.
Russo's deft handling of weighty life issues through playful lyrics and catchy melodies reminiscent of a young Billy Joel makes one want to put the top down, turn up the volume and take a long cruise down an open highway.
"The style of my music is melodic pop rock, with an 80s influence, but it doesn't sound like it was recorded in the 80's. The exception to this, of course, is 'Child of the 80s,' the second track on 'These Are the Days,' where we had a little fun incorporating recording styles of that era," says Barry. "And though the themes I speak of in many songs may be thought-provoking, the presentation represents my overall optimistic outlook."
Today, Barry continues to be a student of life, but at the same time finds himself playing the role of teacher - taking the listener on a journey of discovery to find the answers that we all seek from life.
"Many times, my music isn't necessarily about where I'm at, but more where I want to be. Time seems to go by so quickly. It's easy to get bogged down in day-to-day living and lose sight of the big picture. I think to some extent, a lot of people are in a similar situation," says Barry. "I hope that through my music others can perhaps see themselves, understand themselves a bit better, and walk away with the same renewed sense of hope, optimism, and persistence that I have found in my journey."