The Rusty Wright Band
In 2004 Michigan guitarists Rusty and Laurie Wright put together the first incarnation of the group that would become the Rusty Wright Band. It was only the band's second show together when they opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd, a performance which garnered them a standing ovation and prompted Skynyrd guitarist Rickey Medlocke to exclaim “Dude – where the hell did YOU come from?”
Fast forward 10 years: An international fan base, acclaimed albums, successful international tours, headliner status on well over half of their concert and festival performances, and a national TV debut on an hour-long syndicated PBS concert program that aired repeatedly across the country for a solid year. The Rusty Wright Band has made the leap from regional favorite to enjoying international recognition and performing at music events on three continents.
About 95% of the band’s repertoire consists of original, rock-tinged blues that has been described by the El Paso Times as “a smart collection of adrenalized modern blues that showcases not only Rusty Wright's considerable guitar chops but an obvious ability to fuse blues and rock in a way that draws from the former's traditions and the latter's high-voltage power.”
Rusty, the band’s namesake and primary songwriter, has drawn on his family’s Southern roots and a wealth of Blues, Southern Rock and legendary Blues Rock influences to craft his uniquely ‘bluescentric’ sound that leans on duet-style songs and showcases his flamboyant guitar style. Wright does an amazing job of creating a signature style and sound all his own that fuses naturally with whatever song it is applied to.
The stage is where RWB shines brightest with their gleeful roller coaster ride of rockin' originals punctuated with the occasional blues or re-worked rock classic. No shoe gazers or one-trick ponies on this stage! Fresh and bold, familiar yet innovative - fiery improvisational guitar/keyboard duels, riveting duets with soulful, soaring vocals and sly, tongue-in-cheek lyrics are the trademark of Wright’s blues-infused muse.
At the invitation of the US Department of Defense, in 2009 the band undertook an Armed Forces Entertainment tour, entertaining troops stationed at nine US military bases in South Korea and Japan. In 2010 the band embarked on a successful commercial blues festival tour through Italy, sharing stages and tour billing with the likes of the late Michael Burks, Otis Taylor, Ruthie Foster, Matt Schofield and Earl Thomas.
In early 2012 the band made their national television debut on WKAR’s Backstage Pass, an hour-long syndicated PBS music program produced on the campus of Michigan State University. The band’s episode of the show continues to air on public television stations across the US and also in Europe via satellite broadcasts.