Randi Russo

Randi Russo

BandRockSinger/Songwriter

pretty and gritty. cerebrally sexy. hypnotic, haunting, mysterious, emotional and deep... a wicked brew of patti smith, lou reed, pj harvey and chan marshall. ...New album out: "Shout Like a Lady" -- charting the Top 30 on several college radio stations across the country, reaching as high as #2.

Biography

Randi Russo has ended up on the wrong side of the tracks…at least when it comes to her guitar-playing. Her fingers ride and glide the rails of strings of a right-handed guitar played upside-down and backwards. In other words, this southpaw is not just taking a right-handed guitar and switching the strings around (like the late, great Jimi Hendrix), but keeps the guitar as is and just flips it over, so that the bass strings are on the bottom. And all this happened long before Randi ever heard of Elizabeth Cotten (another upside-down lefty guitarist of the late 1940’s).

This inspired approach came about when Randi bought a $22 right-handed classical guitar on the street. Maybe it was teenage laziness or maybe it was a pure magnetism for thinking out of the box, but Randi didn’t change the intricate tie-end strings to make it into a traditional left-handed guitar. This soon became her foremost artistic muse, experimenting in an organic way, essentially inventing unusual chords in the process. Oddly enough, she continued to play the “proper” lefty style on her electric, but eventually inverted that guitar as well, with the bulk of her prolific catalog dominated by this atypical style.

It was only a couple of years ago that Randi began “experimenting” again with the standard way of playing. As a result, Randi is proficient in playing both ways. This has not been an easy task, as she tells us, “I was trying to look at it as an alternate tuning, but it was much more complicated than I thought. It’s like playing a keyboard and then being asked to walk around to the other side and play a piece with the black keys up front and the white keys in back – that can really mess with a musician’s mind. But in the long run, it really has made me a better musician and has opened up so many possibilities musically.”

After a couple of overseas tours and countless shows in the U.S., Randi earned a spot at the Milwaukee Summerfest in 2004, playing alongside main stage artists Crosby, Stills and Nash. She has been on an Antifolk compilation along with cult hero Daniel Johnston, as well as more recent cult-status artists such as the Moldy Peaches’ Adam Green, Kimya Dawson, and fellow Antifolk songwriter Jeffrey Lewis. She has shared bills with the aforementioned three Rough Trade artists, as well as Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), Melora Creager (frontwoman of Rasputina), Kid Congo Powers (The Gun Club, The Cramps) and Regina Spektor.

Randi was named one of the Top Ten Best Unsigned Artists of 2005 by Heathen Angel (a popular UK-based website). She is not only a musician/recording artist, but a visual artist as well, and has had her work printed in various zines and shown in galleries in NYC.
With her latest release, Shout Like a Lady, Randi continues to venture outside of the box with songs that challenge the listener. Whether her unconventional way of playing was out of convenience or creative vision (or perhaps a combination of the two), this “hardworking rocker” (The Village Voice) knows how to work it through and through… whether it be right-side up or upside-down, she knows exactly which direction she’s going in.

Video can be found here:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=randi+russo&search=Search

Lyrics

Release Me

Written By: Randi Russo

You broke in my house
then you broke in my head
The tragedy is you didn’t leave me for dead.

The pain that it brought me
went straight to my brain.
That time, I am certain,
was when I went insane.

Please release me.
I don’t know what I did wrong.

The pressure is strong
And it comes from outside
I’d like to diffuse it
But it mixed with my pride.

I was wishing them hard.
I was wishing them well.
Why they done beat me
I never could tell.

Please release me.
I don’t know what I did wrong.

Come Away

Written By: Randi Russo

Why can’t you be more like me, then I woudn't have to try...

Try and close your eyes, and imagine yourself in another life.

Come, come, come… come away with me.

The night is pressing on…
say goodbye to everything that’s gone wrong...

And just try to close your eyes and imagine yourself in another life.

Come, come, come… come away with me.

Life can be free. … if you’d just
Come, come, come… come away with me.

Ceiling Fire

Written By: Randi Russo

Out on the open road,
face feels good,
burned by wind and sun.
And now I know
that I can’t be thrown off
by anything or anyone.
‘Cause I’m going home,
and everything’s all right.
Now that the ceiling’s burned,
it’s all sun in sight,
and not just in my mind.

I am feeling higher since the ceiling burned down in the fire… feeling like I’m ready to go.

The heat on my back is strong enough
to straighten out my spine.
And any cloud that comes
casts a shadow
on the seat next to mine.
And I’m going home,
‘cause everything’s all right.
Now that the ceiling’s burned,
it’s all sun in sight,
and not just in my mind.

I am feeling higher since the ceiling burned down in the fire… feeling like I’m ready to go.

Yeah I’m on my way home…
yeah I’m on my way home.

You feel the fire…
and it makes you feel cool…
you feel the fire.

Discography

Live at CBGB's 313 Gallery (live EP)
Solar Bipolar (studio LP)
e-music Live (live at Sin-e LP; limited release)
Still Standing Still (studio EP) -- from which two songs have been played on NPR and KEXP, among college stations
Shout Like a Lady (studio LP)

Set List

sets are generally 40-45 minutes long. All originals with the occasional cover in there.