Banjo Nickaru & Western Scooches is led by New York, multi-instrumentalist, Nick Russo. Nick’s band has found a niche with their music, combining elements of country, bluegrass, western swing, rockabilly, blues, Dixieland, jazz, and even traditional folk music.
A band who was not long ago noted as having “unfailing high-spirit,” by the London Times, the gang has found a way to once again channel that spirit into their latest project, “Get Us Out Of Fearland.”
Nick’s musical background allows him to bring a vast amount of musical roots to the foundation of this group. His dad, Rich Russo, was a heavy metal musician in the 1960’s featured on Columbia records. They even landed a couple hits, along with a playing schedule that included moments with Sly and the Family Stone and Chuck Berry. As a kid, Nick would play drums on some of his dad’s session in their basement studio. “I even used my dad’s old 8-track and reel-to-reel recording gear when I got older, with my own bands,” he recalled.
Nick’s wife and partner in the band, Betina Hershey, also has her own musical journey that she brings to the mix. “When I was growing up, my mom would play the piano every day, and she was a painter too,” Betina recalled. “My dad played the trumpet with many Broadway shows including Phantom Of The Opera. I ended up getting the part of Meg and touring with the play,” she said.
Get Us Out Of Fearland is the sophomore CD for the Scooches, and contains mostly all originals songs. “The music on here is really a melting pot of all of these different flavors that we work with instrumentally,” Nick told us. “Many of them are songs Betina wrote over the course of the last year or so and really are reflections on where the world is today and how we feel being in it.”
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