- Billboard Top 10 artist – 2015 Album “Wonder Man” reached #8 on the Billboard Blues Chart and was nominated for Album of the Year in Vintage Guitars Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards alongside Sonny Landreth, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, and Joe Bonamassa.
- 2014 International Blues Hall of Fame® inductee: Master Blues Band
- Four widely praised studio albums and 2011’s Live Fire, an album of live performance cuts selected from a wide range of performances.
- The song “Gonna Come a Day” from that album was selected from approximately 19.000 entries as a top finalist in the 2015 International Songwriting Competition. Wright’s 2013 album “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
For guitarist and singer Rusty Wright, it’s “all about the moment,” commanding the stage to deliver the musical heat, the infectious grooves and penetratingly sincere songs that have earned the Florida musician a national audience and recognition as a Master Blues Artist in the International Blues Hall of Fame®.
Wright’s progressive sound hints of iconic blues legends while staying contemporary and vibrant. Fresh and bold, familiar yet innovative. Fiery improvisations, catchy duets with soulful, soaring vocals and sly, tongue-in-cheek lyrics are the trademark of this guitar slinger’s blues-infused muse.
As the band’s primary songwriter, Rusty Wright 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 which fuses naturally with whatever song it is applied to.
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.
“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 exploring the wonder of music, from country to early rock ’n’ roll to “the long-hair” stuff of the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Michigan native started playing guitar in his gospel-singing mother’s touring group starting at age 13, and was writing songs, assembling bands and playing the club circuit in Flint and the Detroit area not long after.
“I loved the blues from my childhood because there was such emotion behind it,” he recalls. That same passion propels Wright’s own music and guitar-playing.
Since 2004, Wright has spearheaded the release of four widely praised studio albums and 2011’s Live Fire, an album of live performance cuts selected from a wide range of performances. In October, 2018 RWB began releasing a string of singles beginning with No Man is an Island, a powerful song inspired by a little boy with autism, and followed with the band’s masterful blues rock interpretation of Mississippi Queen, the 1970 hit by Mountain. Wright’s solo project Playin’ my Respects, an album of reimagined blues classics, is slated for release in July, 2019.
The band’s 2015 album, “Wonder Man” reached #8 on the Billboard Blues chart, #4 in the Midwest Heatseeker chart, #3 on the Hit Tracks 100 chart (Europe) and was nominated for Album of the Year in Vintage Guitar Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards alongside Sonny Landreth, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, and Joe Bonamassa. The song “Gonna Come a Day” from that album was selected from approximately 19.000 entries as a top finalist in the 2015 International Songwriting Competition. Wright’s 2013 album “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 as Wright vows to continue 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,” 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.”
That’s obvious in the band’s live shows. “We have a good time on stage,” Laurie says. “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: “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.