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Rusty White / Blog

Look Out 2014!!

Hey Fans!! I'm happy to report the shoulder surgery won't be the last of me. The healing is coming along nicely and I've played a couple gigs and no real problems to report.

Big News!! I've joined up with some excellent players from here in Little Rock to form a new cover/dance band. The band's name is "(501)", and we're all very excited.

Our mission is to keep the dance floor rockin', and we guarantee to do just that!

I'll be singing lead on the lion's share of the tunes and its giving me the chance and reason to hone my vocal skills like never before. Of course, I'll be playing lead/rhythm guitar but will also be banging' some keys too.

The core members of the local rock group Thread make up 3/5s of the band. Mark Ensminger is on lead guitar and vocals. Dave Drennan is on keys and vocs, and Rocco Blake is on drums/vocs.

Scott Harpster, a highly skilled bass player from DFW but now living here in Little Rock, is on bass.

We'll be doing our first show on Jan. 25th at Thirst-N-Howl's on Hwy 10 in West Little Rock.

If nearby please come out and support us on Jan. 25th.

Going Under the Knife

Hey y'all! I'll be out of commission for a while to let my left shoulder heal. I'm going in for surgery tomorrow to repair a torn bicep tendon on my left, fretting arm. :-0 So no guitar-playin' for me for several weeks. Thats a total bummer, but the expected prognosis is 100% return to normal, versus not having the surgery and eventually landing back where I was in January when I could not make a first position "F" barre chord without lots of pain.

In the meantime I'll be working on my singing, continuing the work I've already begun that is already paying off in better tone and extended range via practicing good technique and applying proper breathing. So, wish me luck, and I'll see you all on the other side!!

Listen Up!!

I come from rural north Louisiana. We don't hunt gators in our back yard, don't ride boats to school, don't shut down to celebrate Mardi Gras, and though we do love our LSU Tigers you're more likely to find us cheering on the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs on a beautiful Fall Saturday evening in Ruston. This land was settled by mostly folks of Scottish-Irish blood who came over from the eastern coastal states in the 1800's to set up a homestead and scratch out a living in the rolling hills west of the Mississippi River and east of Texas. I would not trade my raising in Claiborne Parish for anything in the world, and am quite proud of where I'm from. Keith Patterson, a fellow north Louisiana compatriot and friend of mine from Rocky Branch, is not only a fine guitar player but also quite the lyricist and overall colorful person who is penning some great songs that show his affection and reverence for our beloved north Louisiana. Check out his music at www.myspace.com/generalpatterson and be sure to listen to his interview by Brian Flynn here at http://www.listenuppodcast.com/podcasts/

Yes, I Am an Electrical Engineer

Many times I'm asked what I do during the daytime, and they are often surprised when I tell them that I am an electrical engineer. Their surprise fills me with the desire to explain how I went from musician to musician/ electrical engineer. So for all my FB followers out there, here is my story:

As an electric guitar player playing in many clubs around south Arkansas, I became fascinated with the blue arcs that would occasionally jump between my microphone and my lips. During one sound check, I noticed this one place had the longest and prettiest blue arc, so after intensely rubbing my lip I put down my now-smoking guitar, and set off to inspect the club's electrical wiring. Thats when I noticed they had used barbed wire as connections in some of their circuits. Having been raised on a farm, and knowing a thing or two about barbed wire, I was naturally drawn to this strange new use and decided this was the career I was destined for.

So there you go.

Live And Learn

My first guitar was a Yamaha classical. It came in a box, with no strings, straight from the factory, well via the Air Force Base Exchange Store.

It was a Christmas gift, and an excellent one at that. My other gift that year was a box of strings and when I say box I'm talking about a cardboard box that was 1/2" x 4" x 3 feet long! These were called Nashville Straights. Anyone remember those?

I got the things, extra heavy gauge steel core and all, on the guitar, though I recall being perplexed when I couldn't tune it up to standard pitch.

Playing the thing was a nightmare, and I gave up the guitar twice in the first two weeks. I eventually was able to make some chords and by that time had built up some callouses that would end up lasting me a lifetime.

Did I mention this was a Classical-style acoustic guitar?? You know the ones, with the extra-wide neck that use the super-soft NYLON strings??

Lesson: If you want to buy a beginner guitar for someone but you don't want them to stick with it, buy a nylon string guitar but put heavy gauge steel strings on it.

"But Rusty,", you may say, "you stuck with it."

True. But I had a ridiculous determination. And "Where there is a will, there is a way", and my first name happens to be William. : )