No Man Is an Island

The Rusty Wright Band

Rusty Wright's electric Roots Revolution is a mix of vintage tone and passion with a wider array of musical stylings not specific to any one genre.

No Man is An Island, the new single by the Rusty Wright Band, was inspired in part by an autistic child but was written for everyone who has ever felt set apart from others - physically or mentally marooned. Shipwrecked, if you will.

"It's not a three-minute pop song. It's a powerful piece of music and I felt it important to follow where the music was taking me, rather than me trying to compress the song into a cookie cutter format," said Rusty Wright, front man and primary songwriter for the group. "That being said, why not focus on creating music as ART instead of just another formulaic commodity. The songs longer than most radio hits but only because it has so much to say. The lyrics speak of sadness, of feeling apart, and longing for a place where you feel like you belong, like a castaway on an island who through no act or fault of their own has been placed apart from the rest of the world. From that description you might think it’s a depressing song but the music builds to this soaring organ and guitar crescendo as the song progresses and it leaves you with this uplifted feeling. At every show people have leapt to their feet at the end. That's what prompted us to make this the first single."

"We knew we had something special when we performed it at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago in June. We had just started performing it live. We hit the last note and heard this wave of sound roll at us from the audience as the entire place stood and roared their approval. You always dream of moments like that. Buddy was in the audience that night and later, as we got a photo with him he told me "You're great, man. Don't you take s*** from anybody." At that moment I felt my life was complete," laughs Wright.

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Wonder Man

The Rusty Wright Band

Defying easy description or categorization, Wonder Man delivers a sweeping spectrum of blues & rock. Just call it seat groovin', dashboard drumming, eyes-closed & head bobbin' sing-it-loud road trip tunes for the blues & classic rock lover's soul.

“Mix together equal helpings of top-notch musicianship, vintage blues passion, Southern rock verve, blue-collar sentiment and a joyous stage attitude, and you’ve got the Rusty Wright Band. Over the past decade, Michigan hasn’t produced a more compelling rock-infused blues outfit.” - John Sinkevics, LocalSpins.com

Wonder Man, RWB's fifth Sadson Music release cements Rusty Wright's legacy as a diverse songwriter who defies easy description or categorization. As with past releases, Wonder Man delivers a sweeping spectrum of sound ranging from the snappy horn arrangement of the title track to the heavy Lo-fi vibe of Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman; straight up blues ala Freddy King on the track Gonna Come A Day; Arms of Another which would sound at home on a Robert Cray album; the high-voltage, quirky but fun Chinfoot Ball and Black Hat Boogie; to the retro-style sing along chorus on Love’s Gonna Treat You Right make Wonder Man a strong crossover that works for Blues, Rock or Jam aficionados.

The Rusty Wright Band Rusty Wright – lead guitar, vocals Laurie LaCross-Wright – rhythm guitar, vocals Robert John Manzitti – keyboards Marc Friedman – drums Dennis Bellinger – bass

For guitarist and singer Rusty Wright, it’s “all about the moment,” commanding the stage to deliver the musical heat, the infectious grooves and the penetratingly sincere songs that have earned the Michigan musician a burgeoning 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 – wife and singer-guitarist Laurie Wright, keyboard player Robert John Manzitti, drummer Marc Friedman and bassist Dennis Bellinger (Grand Funk Railroad) – perform live will attest to the outfit’s razor-tight, explosive delivery of inventive blues 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.

“I try to be socially relevant. I’m just trying to do what I feel old bluesmen who spoke about their experience did at that time. They weren’t afraid to talk about things that may have made people’s eyebrows raise. 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 sneaking out of the house at night with his cousin on summertime visits to Alabama. The pair explored the wonders of live music, from country to early rock ’n’ roll to “the long-hair” stuff of the Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band.

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 gospel-singing mother’s touring group starting at age 13, Wright knew from the get-go what he was born to do.

“I hear music all the time. My head, my soul is filled with it. I can’t imagine not creating and making music,” says Wright, who started writing music, assembling bands and playing the club circuit in Flint and the Detroit area as a teenager.

“I loved the blues stuff from childhood because there was such emotion behind it. You listen to some of that Muddy Waters or John Lee Hooker or Howlin’ Wolf, and there’s just some incredible emotion flowing out of it. You could just feel it like you were there.”

That same sort of passion propels Wright’s music and live performances. It’s what’s driven him to spend thousands of hours, he says, “learning my craft, cutting my fingers, cramping my hands, and failing and going back and working even harder. There’s a huge emotional investment in becoming a musician.”

His wife, Laurie, an accomplished guitarist and singer in her own right, has witnessed Wright’s devotion to perfecting that musical approach since the couple met in the early 1990s. And she gets to watch the fruits of that labor on stage almost every night.

“He’s a monster of a player. When Rusty and Bob go toe to toe on guitar and keys, it usually turns into the spectacular highlight of the show. It’s fun to watch the reaction of the youngbloods who don’t often get to see that kind of musicianship up close,” she 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 three widely praised studio albums and 2011’s “Live Fire,” shared stages with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Etta James, Johnny Winter, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Bettye Lavette, Walter Trout and many more, toured the world from Italy to South Korea, and more than once represented the Detroit Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge.

The band’s most recent album, 2013’s “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: Wright vows that the band’s next album, “Wonder Man,” will be “the pinnacle” of what he’s striving to deliver as a songwriter and musician. And that means casting an innovative, wide net musically to reflect his eclectic tastes.

“I have so many influences, I don’t just fit in one little space. I do bluesy stuff, but I’m not afraid to experiment,” 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 and the joy of that music and what it’s trying to express.”

That approach sets the Rusty Wright Band apart from the pack, with its music seamlessly assimilating everything from early prog-rock to “the intricate melodies and harmonies and counter-rhythms” of the Allman Brothers to the “cool riffs” and “right-in-the-pocket” grooves of Chicago blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin to the “big heavy bass beats” of electronic music.

It’s all blended with the forthright, honest nature of Wright’s plight-of-the-common-man lyrics, partly the product of growing up in an auto industry town that’s seen its ups and downs. The idea, says Rusty, is to craft “great grooves that are really strong and fun to listen to and that people can dance to” in songs that also “express some ideas.”

As a result, Laurie offers, the music even appeals to people “who think they don’t like blues.”

One thing’s for certain: The band appeals to those seeking the spectacle of a great show combined with soaring vocals and the power of versatile, polished players.

“We don’t depend on gimmicks or props to stand out. We’re definitely more about the music than the eye candy,” Laurie suggests. “We have a good time on stage. There is no acting cool or stand-offish. 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: “I can’t abide a shoe-gazer. I’m really big on having things tight and smooth so we can enjoy ourselves and smile at the crowd. 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.

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This, That & the Other Thing

Rusty Wright Band

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 & 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 various 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 with a Delta-style intro and groove-laden breakdown added to the middle; Baby Roll On, a joyful roller coaster of a song; and Handyman, a tongue-in-cheek Candye Kane-inspired swing ditty sung by Wright's wife, Laurie who co-fronts the band with him. Tempering the high-energy tone of the rest of the album are the lushly arranged "How Blue Are You" - a song about loss, rejection and addiction, and Pen or Sword, Wright's tip of the hat to current social movements in the US.

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)

I read...

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!

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Santa's in Jail

The Rusty Wright Band

A swing blues story song about Santa, Cops, judges and PUPPIES! A guaranteed happy ending.

This is a family friendly Christmas story song about Santa being arrested for crawling on rooftops with no ID and a challenge the night court judge gives him to PROVE he's the real Santa. The whole thing comes down to a puppy named Buddy. Guaranteed to make your toe tap and bring a smile when you hear how it all works out.

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Live Fire

The Rusty Wright Band

LIVE FIRE by the Rusty Wright Band showcases live performances from their US and European tours. Highlights include new material from the upcoming studio release as well as renditions of blues and rock classics by Freddy King and Robin Trower.

Live Fire by the Rusty Wright Band. Recorded live while on tour in the US and Europe in 2009 and 2010. 5 tracks of high energy RWB standards from the first 2 CDs as well as 2 tracks of unreleased songs and 2 remakes of classic blues and rock including Freddy King's "Someday After Awhile" and Robin Trower's "Day Of The Eagle". Also a rousinjg re-write of "Whole Lotta Rosie". The Rusty Wright Band, LIVE FIRE has the heat of incredible playing mixed with the joy of playing live.

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Playin with Fire

The Rusty Wright Band

An electrifying, blues-infused tour de force of rollicking Americana seasoned with hints of rock, jazz & country served up with a side of Motor City flair and attitude.

Not content with finding one groove and sticking with it, Playin' With Fire takes listeners on a joyful, rolling tour of blues-infused, souped-up Americana. Hints of jazz, rock, and country vibe find their way into this veritable musical stew and this six-piece "energized blues storm" dishes it up and serves it steaming hot - along with a healthy side serving of Motor City flair and attitude. It's a vibrant, honest blending of sounds and styles guaranteed to leave you feeling good.

REVIEWS FROM OTHER SITES “Modern electric blues played with good-time attitude, this is what I like. The way you guys blend different types of American music into one very tasty stew is so cool. Your songs have melodies that stay in mind and lyrics that ate meaningful. Together with strong vocals and tight musicianship – and of course some tasty guitar licks – “Playin’ with Fire” is a very satisfying album!”

~Przemek Draheim, music writer and host of “Głosem Bluesa” (The Voice of the Blues) on Radio Sfera www.sfera.umk.pl in Torun, Poland, and Muzyka źródeł” (Roots Music) on Polskie Radio PiK www.radiopik.pl in Bydgoszcz (Poland) www.blues.pl/draheim.

Just wanted to let ya know I listened to the new cd, and I only got "one" word for it, WOW!, AWSOME, FANTASTIC, GREAT, JAMMIN, FOOT STOMPIN, ROCKIN, KICK ASS, THE BEST, UNBELIEVABLE, SUPER, I didn't know what ONE word to use, so I used 'em all!!! Chuck Stoddard, Jackson Michigan

Please let me set the scene: I went in to KPBX studios here in Spokane WA to pre-record my weekly show, "Down Home Blues", and, just like every week, there were 4 or 5 CD's in my mailbox for airplay consideration. I looked at this one with great artwork, and saw that it was a cd by the Rusty Wright Band. Now I have been doing radio for many years, and hear a lot of cd's by artists I haven't heard of before, and truthfully, A LOT OF THEM SUCK! Well, I put on the RWB cd and was immediately blown away! What a great sounding band- I knew right away that this band was going to be one of my new "push" bands. I like to turn people on to great music that doesn't get played regularly in our area, and I plan to play the hell out of this band on my show! On the website I watched the live videos, and I am truly impressed! Hopefully someday the band will make it up here to the Spokane/Coeur d'Alene area. I will be playing music from the CD "Playin' With Fire" on my show for some time to come. Check out the blues show online at www.kpbx.org or I have a site dedicated to the show: www.myspace.com/downhomeblues911. ~ Brion Foster, KPBX-FM Spokane, WA

"This album rocks end to end. Its a great, great album." ~ Mike Yusi UC Radio Podshow & Sonic Wallpaper - USA

"On the Playlist page, the album is now and forever in the All-Time Favorites column." ~ Paul Bodorovski, Midnight Special Blues, Paris, France

"Let me peel myself off the wall and say: WOW! Very powerful, hard hitting stuff!" ~ BluesHammer, Blue Monday Monthly, MN, USA

When Rusty Wright turned 40, he promised himself, and declared to everyone else. that he would give up rock and start performing Blues. Although Playin' With Fire, his sophomore release still reflects his heavy rock influence, it is nonetheless entertaining.

Surrounding himself with some of the toughest, "tough as nails" musicians from the Great Lakes State, and accompanied by his wife Laurie LaCross Wright--a brilliant musical tour de force in her own right, both as a guitarist and a vocalist --he has produced a rocking testament to the stuff of which Michiganders are made. Raising himself above the rust and rubble that is Flint, Michigan, he has set the bar high with this release. ~ Cross Harp Chronicles

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Ain't No Good Life

Rusty Wright Blues

Electric Blues with a dash of Southern Rock and Chicago groove that might best be described as Bonnie Raitt and ZZ Top crashing an Allman Brothers house party.

The RWB sound is guitar-based and contemporary, with a sax section and soaring B3 adding tasty layers of texture. Add dual lead vocalists, a pinch of Motor City attitude, a drop or two of humor and top it all off with a splash of southern rock and you’ve got a musical molotov cocktail called the Rusty Wright Band.

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