Forest musician releases LPBy DUSTIN WHITLOCK,
Bob Cesaro, stage name, Robert James Starr, will be performing solo at the Wing Dang Doodle Festival during the Talent Showcase, featuring local talent. Cesaro is releasing an album titled, Unfinished Bizzness, which he will be giving out free copies of at the festival. Cesaro described the texture of the music on his album as “Southern blues with a gospel flair.”
Cesaro relocated with his wife, Barb in early 2015. He joined Raytheon as Product Line Director. Previously, Cesaro was Deputy Manufacturing Director with Lockheed Martin in Orlando.
The Cesaros married in March 1993. They will celebrate their 25th anniversary in 2018. Bob has two daughters from a previous marriage, Meagan and Erin. Bob and Barb have a son together, Bobby.
Bob “James Starr” Cesaro was born in New York and moved to Orlando in 1983. He attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona and earned a BA in technical management and then a MA in industrial management. Cesaro continued his education at Walden University in Minnesota, earning his PhD in psychology in 2015.
Bob said he was working 50 hours each week while pursuing his PhD, and he credited the support of Barb in his completion of his PhD. “Barb was a supreme sport — I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without her.”
Bob said that leaving the city and relocating to Forest was a family decision. “We chose to move to a smaller town — we absolutely love it. It’s quiet. Mississippi itself has been great and the people, friendly.”
Cesaro spoke of the history of his love of music. “As far back as I could remember, four or five years old, my parents bought me a Magnus Chord Organ. My grandparents were professional, touring jazz musicians, and when they came off the road to visit, my grandfather would play my toy organ while my grandmother sang. That inspired me — I knew then that I wanted to be a performing musician.”
Cesaro played saxophone from third grade through high school with the marching and stage bands.
From about 14 on, Bob played in garage bands, playing rock, Southern rock, and little bit of country.
Cesaro pointed to his father’s influence on his taste in music. “My father was a huge country music fan — I grew up with country and 50s doo-wop music.”
Cesaro currently plays with locals Hardy McCormick, Keith Boutwell, and Shannon Harmon in a band. They play country and classic rock.
Cesaro said his solo project is eclectic in style. “You’ll hear influences from 60s through 80s country and doo-wop music.”
Cesaro recorded his solo project with studio players from Clarksdale and with backing vocals from three women from Memphis. The album was recorded in Jackson by KJ at 16 Bars.
The album features Christian themes to the lyrics according to Cesaro. The three songs that he will play at the Wing Dang Doodle festival are “Gone and Forgotten,” “Nadine,” and “Jesus Coming Down.”
Unfinished Bizzness will be available for download and as a hard copy.