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Russell Malone

Russell Malone

I love being at home,” says Russell Malone, sitting in the living room of his three-floor row house in Jersey City, N.J. “I got everything I need here at home, man. I got plenty of food, plenty of water, plenty of toilet paper. I don’t have to go nowhere.” This is coming from a guitarist who spent over 300 days on the road last year. But no doubt, Malone keeps a cozy pad with Marlene, his girlfriend of 10 years. He’s lived in Jersey City, just a hop across the river from midtown Manhattan, ever since he relocated from his native Georgia in 1994. (His son and daughter, age 15 and 11 respectively, live with their mother in Nebraska.)

Upon entering Malone’s home on the first floor, I doff my shoes on request and see a number of Malone’s guitars and amps, two Diana Krall gold records, a foldaway treadmill and so on. The eat-in kitchen is straight ahead and to the back. Upstairs on the second floor is a stylish living room as well as a sizable office and a half-bath. On the third floor are two bedrooms and a full bath. Malone is fairly meticulous about keeping the place clean. “I might kick my shoes off and leave them on the floor for a day or so,” he allows. “But two things I cannot tolerate are a funky bathroom and a funky kitchen.”

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