Imagine a sonic suitcase filled with the best of Gary Moore, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers Band, Bonnie Raitt, and a little Fabulous Thunderbirds, shaken and stirred so that all of them become the foundation for a whole new sound to be built upon.
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 eight years: Two acclaimed studio albums, an album of live cuts culled from several years of live concert mixes, successful international tours, headliner status on well over half of their concert and festival performances, a syndicated PBS concert performance for 2012, and an updated band lineup that includes former Grand Funk Railroad bassist Dennis Bellinger.
The Rusty Wright Band made the leap from regional favorite to enjoying international recognition and performing at music events on three continents, and in 2012 the band made their national TV debut on an hour-long syndicated PBS program called Backstage Pass. The show was broadcast repeatedly across the country throughout 2012.
Legendary recording engineer Al Hurschman (Nugent, Grand Funk Railroad, Heavy Metal soundtrack, Big Walter Horton, Mark Farner, The Romantics) figured prominently in the recording of both "Playin' with Fire" [Sadson Music 2009] and "This, That & the Other Thing" [Sadson Music 2013] which was recorded at Alliance Recording Co., a world-class studio hidden down a two-track road in a patch of woods near Ann Arbor, Michigan which started out as the Grand Funk Railroad studio formerly dubbed "The Swamp."
For This, That and the Other Thing, Rusty Wright purposefully defies musical profiling, preferring to pay homage to the recording artists he revered in his youth - bands who were concerned more with creating memorable music than with creating the formulaic 3-minute pop tunes demanded by the major labels.
The album is filled with a variety of musical textures and vibes. Songs like "Alarm Clock Blues" (Zappa meets Thorogood), "Whole Lotta Rosie", a surprisingly hip and swingy re-working of the AC/DC classic; "High Price Woman," a straight-ahead blues shuffle; a monumentally cool rendition of "Mississippi Queen" features a Delta-style intro and groove-laden breakdown added to the middle. "Baby Roll On" is a joyful progressive jam. "Handyman" is a tongue-in-cheek Candye Kane-inspired swing ditty sung by Wright's wife, Laurie. Tempering the high-energy tone of the rest of the album are the lushly arranged "How Blue Are You" and "Pen or Sword" which was Wright's tip of the hat to the US Occupy movement which took place while the album was being recorded.
REVIEWS FROM OTHER SITES
WORLD UNITED MUSIC
“Whole Lotta Rosie” comes charging out of the blocks and takes you home. I love the Rusty Wright Band version!
“Baby Roll On” is a masterpiece that weaves in and out of Rock, Jazz and Blues so naturally, and effortlessly. A real Classic!
The Rusty Wright Band’s cover of “Mississippi Queen” is pure Rockin the Blues genius!
“How Blue are you” Great medicine for the masses!
“High Price Woman” Oh that’ll take you down to the crossroads! Love it!
“Pen or Sword” has that healing connection that makes you feel like you don’t want the song to end. BRAVO!
“The 2013 album release of “This, That & the Other Thing” by “The Rusty Wright Band” is pure medicine for the soul. Music fans will want to keep a copy of this album beside their other favourites so they can play it often.”
~ Stewart Brennan - World United Music
Review by kamp.arizona.edu student radio station
Name: Greg Gonzales Date Reviewed: 02/04/2013
When I first popped this CD into my laptop speakers, everyone in the room wanted to know who this was. The radio station lobby came to life, the music took the minds of music directors trying to plan out the weekly meeting. Lucky for me, The Rusty Wright Band was on my agenda for the day.
Excuse my bias, but I'm a sucker for high-energy bands with knack for rocking out the blues. Weave in some basically raunchy lyrics and light comedy, and I'm dragged right in. But this band in particular has a track record worth expecting.
This five-piece bluesy jam band apparently opened for Lynyrd Skynyrd once, and Rickey Medlocke came up to them and asked exactly the same question I did: "Where the hell did YOU come from?"
Where indeed? The last time I got addicted to blues like this, it was the swampwater-soaked Mofro's live album, Brighter Days. Rusty Wright and crew, though, are a throwback to the feelgood riffs and laughs of bands like Allman Brothers and Gary Moore. Their music is entirely relatable, just cheesy enough to bite into, and just real enough to blast on a high-speed run down the Interstate.
Sounds Like: Allman Brothers, Gary Moore
Recommended Tracks: Track 3: "Alarm Clock Blues" is one of the sillier songs on the track, but rocks harder than most of the others. It's also universal — fuck alarm clocks, man. 10/10
Track 6: "Trouble and the Marryin' Kind" is best described in the words Hunter Thompson used for the Hells Angels: "Like Gengis Khan on an iron horse, a monster steed with a fiery anus, flat out through the eye of a beer can and up your daughter's leg with no quarter asked and none given." 9.5/10
5.0 out of 5 stars
Another Great Outing By RWB February 10, 2013
By To The Max"Bax" (REVIEW FROM AMAZON.COM)
This one comes screechin' out of the blocks with the first tune "Whole Lotta Rosie" sounding like a Little Feat reunion, the story tellin' begins in a David Wilcox style on the third cut "Alarm Clock Blues", and then we get a Robin Trower vocal performance on "How Blue Are You" with Trower style chord accompaniment. Talk about variety.
The band's current lineup includes Rusty and Laurie Wright on guitars and vocals, David Brahce on keyboards and Hammond B3, Andrew Barancik on bass, and Peter Haist on drums/harmony vocals.
While the band's recordings have been generously lauded and applauded, the stage is where the group shines brightest. Love to see this band live.
Leslie West would be proud listening to RWB's version of his "Mississippi Queen". I'm also hearing a Pat Travers/Dave Mason groove on some of the cuts ( #'s 7&8)
Rusty: "We know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for us to finish recording this album. We began recording in 2010 and the album has taken a lot longer to finish than we ever anticipated but the good news is, the new disc will finally be hitting the streets in December. We're asking you to play a role in the album's success, but first - we want to tell you a little about the album and about this musical journey we set out on in 2004.
When I was growing up, my favorite recording artists weren't afraid to be diverse or to show their depth of musical skill. From the Allman Brothers, to Rush, Led Zeppelin, and even Muddy Waters wasn't afraid to break the rules in blues when he went from playing traditional acoustic style to electric blues. He was one of the first to use a new-fangled thing called a "fuzz box". My point is, the best weren't afraid to combine different styles of songs on an album, and I always looked forward to being surprised by the music. That's what I've tried to do on all of our albums, and that's how this album came to be titled This, That & the Other Thing. These are definitely not cookie cutter, formulaic songs".
11 blues rockin' blues cuts on this their 3rd studio album, with the disc being about half blues, half Southern/roots/blues rock. "The Wrights continue their quest to see just how far a baby boomer blues rocker couple can take their band and their music."
Looks like they have the success formula. Another great offering from RWB.
BLUE MONDAY MONTHLY ( Review by Doug Spike)
I’ve been an enthusiastic fan of The Rusty Wright Band for several years so had high expectations for their new release, “This, That & the Other Thing”. It took only one listen to eclipse those expectations. From song #1 to song #11, “This, That & the Other Thing” has my ears perked, my face smilin’ and my feet hoppin’.
Rusty Wright plays electric guitar with lightning fast precision that oozes with emotion. His unique voice lives in the upper register and varies from smooth to nasty. Rusty’s not the only star in the band-check out the incomparable vocals of Laurie Wright on “Man on Fire”. I love Rusty’s slide on “High Priced Woman,” my favorite song on the album. “Trouble and the Marrying Kind” showcases the diverse talent in the band, with vocals from both Rusty and Laurie, awesome guitar from Rusty and some memorable contributions from the backing musicians. I could listen to the laid back instrumental beat of “Hide in Plain Sight” again and again.
“This, That & the Other Thing by The Rusty Wright Band is a great way to start off the blues year. Get yourself a copy after it’s released on January 21. A year from now you just might be telling me its the best musical buy you made in 2013!