NEPA Scene Staff

Russello Project debuts instrumental prog rock album ’11:11′ at Finnegan’s in Scranton on Sept. 25

Russello Project debuts instrumental prog rock album ’11:11′ at Finnegan’s in Scranton on Sept. 25
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From a press release:

The Russello Project, an instrumental trio performing soundscapes based in rock fusion, new age, and progressive rock, has been the passion of Clarks Summit guitarist Charlie Russello for as long as he can remember.

The band includes Mike Bosi on four, five, and six-string bass and synths. A Philadelphia native, he has extensive experience working in touring groups and sharing the stage with the likes of L.A. Guns, BulletBoys, Skid Row, C.C. DeVille, and Tesla.

Drummer Bob Kirby has played with a number of Northeastern Pennsylvania bands spanning multiple genres, including bluegrass, blues, country, rock fusion, and prog rock. In addition to the RP, he works with progressive recording artist Anton Roolaart, which includes members of legendary prog bands Renaissance and Nektar.

Finding Bosi and Kirby gave Russello everything he needed to make his creativity a realization. Although this duo skillfully backs his vision, he is quick to explain that, “We are all on the same wavelength; our music has an emotional bond that drives us.”

The music is based on emotional experiences and connects strongly with their audiences, taking them on a dynamic, heartfelt journey stirring personal feelings and memories.

“We’re not a typical cover band or a radio-friendly pop band. I’m hoping this is very emotional music that touches people. It’s instrumental. It goes back to the days of Bach and Beethoven. By no means am I comparing myself to them, but the point is, they were doing instrumental pieces to get their messages across. Listen, there have been plenty of musicians from the turn of the century until now who have been doing instrumental music; they’ve paved the way. There’s an audience there, and I just want that audience to know that here we are and to give it a listen. If they like it, great. If not… move on,” Russello told NEPA Scene in a 2019 interview.

“I think the jazz and the blues and the fusion… I think somewhere in there is where we belong. Those people enjoy listening to the sounds and not necessarily just the vocal melodies. I love vocal music, obviously; I just played a big show with a metal band, but this is different. The music has to touch you in a way that your mind fills in what the music is saying, not the lyrics. You decide.”

This has proven to be an entertaining and moving experience for both the musicians and their listeners, who can now enjoy these songs at home with the Russello Project’s debut album “11:11.” Recorded and mixed by Eric Ritter at the Windmill Agency in Lake Ariel, it contains many of what local audiences have come to know as “staples” in their live shows, where fans of any genre often find themselves lost in the music.

“When you come to see my music, I want you to enjoy yourself, but it’s a different enjoyment. It’s a reflection, a self-reflection, thoughts and emotions that I hope I’m somehow laying a soundtrack to people’s lives,” Russello emphasized.

“They can reflect on memories, and the music is there to support those feelings. The best thing to ever happen to me, my entire musical career, is when I get off stage and someone is crying or emotional because of the music they just heard us play.”

The RP promises to deliver another “unforgettable experience” this Saturday, Sept. 25 as they celebrate their new release with a headlining concert at Finnegan’s Irish Rock Club (514 Ash St., Scranton). The “AXmen,” made up of Russello’s guitar students, will open the show at 8 p.m., followed by Scranton/Dunmore punk rockers The Mesos. The cover charge is $5, and “11:11” CDs and T-shirts will also be available for purchase.

Read NEPA Scene’s full 2019 interview with Charlie Russello here and see photos of him performing with the band Canedy that same year here.

Photo by Ken Jones Imagery