Courtesy of the Rusty Wright Band
About Rusty Wright and The Rusty Wright Band
“Over the past decade, Michigan hasn’t produced a more compelling rock-infused blues outfit.”
- John Sinkevics, LocalSpins.com
For guitarist and singer Rusty Wright, it’s “all about the moment,” commanding the stage to deliver the musical
heat, the infectious grooves and penetratingly sincere songs that have earned the Michigan musician a
national audience and recognition as a Master Blues Artist in the International Blues Hall of Fame
Those who’ve seen Wright and his top-drawer band perform live will attest to the outfit’s razor-tight, explosive
delivery of inventive songs with tasty helpings of Southern rock and Detroit-bred grit.
It’s that rare combination (along with Wright’s trademark, flowing white hair and eye-popping guitar leads) that
commands immediate attention, fills dance floors and earns roars of approval.
“Art gives life its real color and it’s that joy that makes it more than just a day-to-day drudge,” the guitarist says
of creating music that audiences embrace.
“You should never be afraid of writing a song that might make people think. Music is about making people
engage. You might take some heat for it, but as long as you’re being honest, there will always be people who
will get it.”
It’s that fearless approach to music that’s cultivated growing legions of loyal fans and driven Wright since he
first started exploring the wonder of music, from country to early rock ’n’ roll to “the long-hair” stuff of the
Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. He started playing guitar in his gospel-singing mother’s touring group
starting at age 13, and was writing songs, assembling bands and playing the club circuit in Flint and the Detroit
area not long after.
“I loved the blues from my childhood because there was such emotion behind it,” he recalls. That same
passion propels Wright’s own music and guitar-playing.
“He’s a monster of a player. It’s fun to watch the reaction of the young bloods who don’t often get to see that
kind of musicianship up close,” Laurie offers, noting Wright also “stands out in any crowd. He cuts an imposing
figure, and when you add that mane of white hair hanging past his belt these days, he looks like a wizard
wielding a guitar.”
Since 2004, that wizard has spearheaded release of four widely praised studio albums and 2011’s “Live Fire.”
The band’s 2015 album, “Wonder Man” reached #8 on the Billboard Blues chart, #3 on the Hit Tracks 100
chart (Europe) and was nominated for Album of the Year in Vintage Guitar Magazine’s Reader’s Choice
Awards alongside Sonny Landreth, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, and Joe Bonamassa. The song “Gonna Come a
Day” from that album was selected from approximately 19.000 entries as a top finalist in the 2015 International
Songwriting Competition. Wright’s 2013 album “This, That & The Other Thing,” earned widespread radio
airplay across North America and won Blues 411’s Jimi Award for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year.
But that’s only the beginning as Wright vows to continue casting an innovative, wide net musically to reflect his
“I have so many influences, I don’t just fit in one little space,” he insists. “I’m trying to find a way to take the
blues farther down the road that will appeal to a younger generation as well. I’m not afraid to bring in other
styles of music. But I want it to have passion. You never want to lose the passion.”
That’s obvious in the band’s live shows. “We have a good time on stage,” Laurie says. “There is no barrier
between us and the audience. We are there for them and for the energy that is exchanged when that
connection is made.”
As Rusty puts it: “People are there to be entertained and playing well is only half of it. You have to entertain.”
And as audiences across the globe are discovering, Wright and his band do that in fearless fashion.
The Local Report