He got his first guitar at age 13 and as soon as he learned a few chords, he was writing his own songs. In high school Rusty discovered a...
He got his first guitar at age 13 and as soon as he learned a few chords, he was writing his own songs. In high school Rusty discovered an amazing thing: he could play Elvis Presley and his classmates loved it. He became Yreka High School's resident celebrity performing at pep rallies and assemblies. Later, when he first heard "Take It Easy" by the Eagles he was hooked on that California country-rock sound. He now counts that band among his biggest influences, but gives equal credit to Dan Fogelberg, Jackson Browne, John Lennon and, the man he calls "the chosen one," Bob Dylan. In 1976, he experienced his first Grateful Dead concert, and their loose jams and tight grooves have inspired him ever since. He still adds a healthy dose of their songs to his shows because he counts Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia tunes among the best ever written. Rusty likes to declare, "Elvis freed my body, Dylan opened my mind, Lennon set my spirit free and Garcia touched my heart."