Reared in a fertile musical environment that included spinning his auto plant worker dad’s vast collection of vintage blues records and playing guitar in his mother’s touring gospel group starting at age 13, Rusty Wright knew from an early age what he was born to do.
Decades of writing, recording, performing and touring have honed Wright’s skills, making him one of the most respected guitarists/songwriters in the world of rock blues. Years spent as a studio musician introduced him to a wide range of playing styles and techniques, and he incorporates these into his incendiary guitar work and high energy live shows which lean heavily on musical improvisation.
In a performance review, notable West Michigan music blogger and radio presenter John Sinkevics of LocalSpins.com declared “Over the past decade, Michigan hasn’t produced a more compelling rock-infused blues outfit.”
“I have a lot of influences. I don’t just fit in one little space. My primary focus is Blues, but I’m not afraid to experiment – especially if taking the blues farther down the road means the music will appeal to younger generations as well. I’m not afraid to incorporate elements of other styles of music so long as whatever form it takes, there is a sense of passion in it. I never want to lose the passion and the joy of having the music flow through me and out to connect with an audience.”
This approach sets the Rusty Wright Band apart, with the band’s music seamlessly assimilating everything from hints of early prog-rock to the intricate harmonies and counter-rhythms of the Allman Brothers to the cool riffs and right-in-the-pocket grooves of Texas blues guitarist Freddie King to the big heavy bass beats of Detroit electronic music. It’s all blended with the forthright, honest nature of Wright’s plight-of-the-common-man lyrics which are partly the product of growing up in an auto industry town that’s been ravaged time and again by difficult economic times.
“The idea,” says Rusty, “is to craft great grooves that are really strong and fun to listen to and then pair them with lyrics and solos in a way that tells a story or expresses something you believe in deeply. If you don’t feel it deep inside, your audience sure won’t.”
The Rusty Wright Band’s discography includes five original CDs with his 2015 release “Wonder Man” achieving Top Ten status on the Billboard Blues Charts as well as being nominated for Album of the Year by Vintage Guitar Magazine alongside Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Sonny Landreth.
2013’s “This, That & The Other Thing” earned widespread radio airplay across North America, won Blues411’s Jimi Award for Contemporary Album of the Year and spent months at the top of Relix Magazine’s Jambands.com chart.
Originally from Flint, Michigan Rusty Wright and his wife Laurie now reside in Florida but they continue to tour extensively. across the US and abroad.