Meet the Band

~ The Rusty Wright Band ~

Rusty Wright - Lead Guitar, Vocals

 

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 at 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 to be one of the most respected guitarists/songwriters in the blues rock scene. Years of experience as a touring sideman and 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.

Formed in 2004, The Rusty Wright Band's discography includes 5 original albums 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. Wright was also an International Songwriting Competition top finalist.

"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 but I want it to have passion. I never want to lose the passion and the joy of music and what it's trying to express.”

Originally from Flint, Michigan, Wright and his wife/band mate Laurie, now reside in central Florida but continue to tour the US, the EU, and Asia.

Rusty is currently involved with the advancement of the #SpreadMusicNotHate campaign and continues to release new RWB music.

Laurie LaCross-Wright - Vocals, Rhythm and Lead Guitar

   I have the soul of a gypsy and the heart of a homebody. The prospect of traveling to new places exhilarates me but I am equally happy to find my way home again. Home is important to me. So are cats. Everyone should have a few.
   I've been a guitar player for decades but really consider myself a singer who plays guitar. I'll be the first to point out that in no way am I a technical virtuoso but I do consider myself a rock-solid rhythm guitarist who knows when to fill in, when to use the guitar as a percussive accent, and when to get the heck out of the way of the other instruments.
   I find mixed breed pets more interesting and likable than those with pedigrees - and feel the same way about music. I enjoy it more when it's mixed up and wish the industry didn’t place so much emphasis on pigeonholing music by genre.
   Rusty and I met in 1993. At that time, I was publisher of a local music newspaper called Riff Magazine and I featured his band in one of the first issues. We began dating in late 1996, began playing music together in 1998 and married in 2001. We launched The Rusty Wright Band in 2004 and never looked back. In 2009 we left our days jobs. No safety net. It’s a daunting lifestyle at times but life’s short and I don’t want to waste any of it looking back with regret over the things I wish I’d done. I feel fortunate to have lived a musical life for many years, and thanks to Rusty and our band mates Nic, Dennis and Ed, I'm having more fun and getting more joy from music than ever before.

Nic Allen - Electric and standup Bass, Vocals

Nic Allen was born in Chicago Illinois, the home of the Blues. Nic plays several instruments from drums to piano, guitar and bass. During his high school years Nic played in various bands however, it was throughout his adult life that he became a professional musician playing on the road with touring bands in Chicago area. Nick honed his musical chops by playing six sets a night, six nights a week.
After Nic returned home from touring he went back to Radio, which he still does today. His main musical influences include Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, John Entwistle, Victor Wooten and many others. Even though the players mentioned are not necessarily from the Blues realm, they are players who play with passion. If you don't have passion, you’re not doing it right.
Nic is also an avid Martial Artist, with black belts in Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Nic is happily married to his wife, Nanci. She is the person that fuels Nick's passion for playing music, playing the Bass, and diggin' the Blues.

Dennis "Torpedo" Toerpe - Hammond B3 Organ

Dennis has been playing the Hammond organ since 1971 and has worked with several notable artists over the decades in one off impromptu live performances including Randy California, Les Dudek and others, as well as opening for many popular live acts over the years.

His sense of humor is a compliment to his musical identity and he is the fine polish that tops off the RWB sound.