AGE: The same age as my favorite guitar, the ’57 Fender Stratocaster! (OK, 61.)
OCCUPATION: Musician, writer, radio disc jockey (on WHJY/94HJY,) and teacher in different order, depending on the time and day.
RESIDENCE: Hope Valley.
BORN, RAISED & GREW UP IN: East Providence.
RIGHT NOW I’M IN THE MIDDLE OF: Recording my new album!!
I ENJOY SPENDING MY TIME: Writing and performing music, writing poetry, and building New England farm-style stonewalls.
MY PROUDEST ACCOMPLISHMENT: Taking care of my parents in the last years of their lives.
I’D LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED FOR: Being as kind and loving as I could be, and always trying my best to make the world a better place.
TOP ON MY BUCKET LIST: My bucket is overflowing, but I’d say right now seeing the Grand Canyon.
I ALWAYS CARRY: Two guitar picks, a Fisher Space Pen, a little notebook, and a really old pocketknife.
WHAT I WANTED TO BE WHEN I GREW UP: The fifth Beatle. I’m not kidding.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE MOST INFLUENCED ME: Hands down, my maternal grandfather, Philip Russo. I’m still using and learning from the lessons he taught me just by being an incredible role model.
FAVORITE AUTHORS: Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost.
BOOKS ON MY NIGHT STAND: "Lonesome Dove," by Larry McMurtry and "Can You Feel the Silence?" (a Van Morrison biography) by Clinton Heylin) – so a novel about American cowboys and a biography about the Belfast cowboy!
I AM LISTENING TO: Well, lots of mixes of my demo recordings, but I constantly listen to Mark Knopfler’s solo albums.
FAVORITE MOVIE: "Mr. Blanding Builds His Dream House," is at the top right now.
LAST MOVIE WATCHED: "Mary Poppins!"
FAVORITE TV SHOW: Well, I binge watch streaming series, so right now it’s "Peaky Blinders," but when all is said and done, it’s "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
FAVORITE RADIO SHOW: Can I say mine? Ok, my boss won’t be happy unless I say it’s EVERY show on 94HJY!
FAVORITE SONG/GENRE OF MUSIC: Good old rock and roll, but I’m very eclectic. I always fall back on the three Bs – Beatles, Bacharach, and Bossa Nova. That kind of covers everything.
TOP COMFORT FOOD: Lasagna. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and dessert, too, with an espresso!
SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES I USE MOSTLY: Facebook and Instagram. My niece tried to teach me how to use Snapchat, but I failed miserably.
TRAITS I MOST ADMIRE: Honesty, loyalty, and kindness.
PET PEEVES: Dishonesty, disloyalty, and unkindness.
FAVORITE QUOTATION: "All you need is love," — John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and the Beatles.
MY FAVORITE THING ABOUT OUR LITTLE CORNER OF THE WORLD: The stunning beauty. The southwest corner of our state is magnificent, from the pastoral gifts of Hope Valley to the deep New England history of lovely Westerly.
CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT: A guitar
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT ME: I’m a beauty school dropout. Really. I am.
BEST ADVICE I EVER RECEIVED: Well, everything my grandfather told me. Other than that, when I went for my first singing lesson, the teacher asked why I was there. I said because I can’t sing. He said, "Nonsense. If you can talk you can sing." He changed my life in ten seconds.
ADVICE I BEST LIKE TO GIVE: Be honest, be loyal, be kind, and be yourself!
IF I RULED THE WORLD I WOULD: End poverty and war.
IF I WON THE LOTTERY, THE FIRST THING I WOULD DO IS: Start a philanthropic endeavor, take care of my family and friends, and then go on adventures around the world.
I DRIVE A: White 2018 Toyota RAV4.
I WISH I DROVE A: I’m grateful for what I have … but a ’63 Corvette would be awfully nice.
ALWAYS IN MY FRIDGE: Supreme Scamorza and a head of romaine lettuce
IF I COULD HOST A DINNER PARTY WITH A GROUP OF PEOPLE FROM THE PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, I WOULD INVITE: John Lennon, Robert Frost, Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, Queen Victoria, Rosa Parks, Marilyn Monroe, and Amelia Earhart. I’d just shut up and listen.
— Interview arranged and edited by Nancy Burns-Fusaro