Russ started playing stringed instruments with his first ukelele in 5th grade, purchased with S+H Green stamps in Dover, NJ. After a brief stint in heavy metal bands in high school he discovered bluegrass which led to a life-long love of acoustic music. On his first night at Moravian College, he met John Gorka when they were both playing at an open mic. They soon formed The RAZZY DAZZY SPASM BAND, with Doug Anderson, and were joined the following year by Rich Shindell on lead guitar.
In 2016, Russ retired from medical practice. This has finally allowed him to pursue his life-long dream and passion of performing original and traditional music.