Rusty blends Americana.rock and country to build on his reputation as a live performer. A veteran of the Indiana music scene, Bladen powers the crowd at his shows with an atmosphere of party songs, sing-alongs and a whole lot of audience participation. A college favorite, Rusty has cultivated an extremely loyal Midwestern fan base for his band and his solo performances. Rusty's solo show is a high energy, freewheeling tour-de-force of Bladen originals, songs from the radio, and some excellent hippie country-rock tunes. The band show is an exhibition of what five guys holding onto the same roots rock and roll rope can pull an audience into. The band shows are fun, rockin' and loud. The solo shows are fun, rockin' and almost as loud.
With the album For The Better": Bladen has recorded arguably his best album ever – a Midwesterner’s take on country and rock and roll. The mixing of Bladen’s writing (he penned all the songs) and sound with producer Thom Daugherty’s (former guitarist for The Band Perry and The Elms) gritty-but-sweet touch makes for a sound both familiar and original. Recorded in Indianapolis, the album, in addition to Bladen’s acoustic guitar, harmonica and vocals, features Daugherty on electric guitar and former Elms member Chris Thomas on drums. The organ was recorded in a southside Indianapolis church. John McDowell, one of the original members of the band The Wright Brothers, contributes background vocals.
With nine albums, Bladen ranks as one of the best-selling independent artists in the state. His song “Ride That River” was used in the MGM motion picture “Madison”, Rusty has played nearly 5,000 shows in his career, and worked extensively with members of John Mellencamp’s band on three of his albums. In addition, Rusty has played major venues that include Klipsch Music Center, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Indiana Roof Ballroom, dozens of festival shows, and has performed live on more than 60 radio and television stations in the Midwest.