2023: BAYOU LINE (Songs from Houston)
Northern Latitudes Records
Copyright © Rio Paso Music (BMI)
Mixed and Produced by Rusty Reid at Rockcoon Works, Gig Harbor
REWORKING OLD FAVORITES FROM H-TOWN! CIRCA: 1970-1984
Bayou Line: Songs from Houston represents a liberation of some of Rusty's best songs from wobbly old reel-to-reel demos and worktapes, and a chance for them to fly with new wings.
Before Head to Heart fully came into view, I was excited to be able to work within a modern DAW (digital audio workstation), and play with my old recorded tracks, remixing, tweaking, adding parts. Many of these songs were from way back in my Houston days. Alas, it became obvious that most of the songs were so poorly recorded they were not suitable for future public release. If ever released, they would have to be re-recorded.
Shortly thereafter, I discovered how to enlist great players, from anywhere in the world, to help flesh out the material. The first four songs which would receive this treatment were not songs destined for Head to Heart, instead, they were old Houston favorites that I spiffed up, just for my own amusement: "My Troubles Have Just Begun," "Louisiana," "Another Night With You," and "Oh, Well."
I was over the moon with how these turned out. I so wish we would have had this technology when I was 20 years old. What a huge difference that would have made for we songwriters.
Even as new songs for Head to Heart were being written and recorded, the occasional old Houston song was added to the queue. I didn't have a specific project in mind for these Houston songs. I knew they weren't going to fit on Head to Heart because thematically, philosophically, they just didn't match up. The one potential exception was "Another Way," which existed during those Houston days, but in much different lyrical form. However, "Another Way" was actually originally written in Midland, Texas, not Houston, and the song was never recorded (or played live) until the recent, much lyrically revised version.
It was only when Head to Heart was nearly finished that I took stock of the growing collection of re-recorded Houston songs, and I realized the commonality of these songs is just Houston. These are my Houston songs, that's the theme. That will be my next album.
These aren't the only Houston songs I have released. Though none on Head to Heart qualify, my first album, NWXSW featured eight Houston songs. I'm also mulling the release of an Unreasonables album, which would be filled with Houston songs.
Why is this album called "Bayou Line?" Well, Houston is the "Bayou City," with four major bayous (slow-flowing streams) through the city... Buffalo Bayou, White Oak Bayou, Sims Bayou and Brays Bayou. One of my happiest periods in Houston was when I lived in an apartment right on the banks of Brays. The phrase "Bayou Line" comes from my song "Oh Well," featuring what seems to be something of a gypsy camp that I pictured as being somewhere along Buffao Bayou.
That 13 years I spent in Houston was my most prolific songwriting period. I wrote hundreds of songs, not all of them good, but there are these that I'm still pleased with. I do think that I'm a better songwriter now than I've ever been, but I can still feel the lyrical and melodic magic that somehow manifested in these songs. I like that none of these are clone songs; they are all unique, both lyrically and melodically. They are still special, at least to me.
It's hard to pick a favorite because there's such a variety there, and there really isn't a duff song among them. Here's my top five - 'Look Out Louisiana' is my joint number one with 'My Troubles Have Just Begun.' I involuntarily started singing that when I woke up this morning. They both REALLY stick in your head, and I can hear them on the radio already. Number three for me is 'Rio Frio' - fantastic melody, an arrangement that really keeps the interest there, and just an all round fabulous song, with a performance to match. Number four is 'That's When The Fall Began.' This just makes all the hairs on everything stand up and I can't work out quite why. It just does. Number five is joint between 'Riding On' (those high notes!!) and 'Our Love's With You' - just an incredible song with a super memorable melody. But it's all great, Russ, it really is, they're just my personal faves.
I really enjoyed these tracks a lot. You are what I call a pure singer/songwriter. The lyrics, the melody, your vocals all fit very well together for this sound. This song somewhat reminds me of one of my all time favorite singer songwriters -- Warren Zevon. I would love to hear more from you.
Rusty Reid has been making his claim as a force in this rock n roll based genre of Americana for quite some time and "Bayou Line (Songs from Houston)" just seems to solidify it even more. This album specifically having Houston in the title is interesting because most people outside of Texas probably think of all of Texas as being cowboys but Houston is very much the melting pot where you can find a cowboy as easily as a hip hop show or a metal band.
With guitar driven rock n roll, Rusty Reid creates a sound somewhere between country and the blues. Big keys come out on "Look Out Louisiana" and while living in Houston I always did enjoy how close Louisiana was- just that you felt that connected to that particular region. "The Sunrise of Our Love" comes through a bit more dreamy, while "Careless" is even more so like Buddy Holly before somehow dropping off into that Blue Oyster Cult sound.
Perhaps the strongest country tones on this album can be heard during "Rio Frio" and then by "A Matter of When" it can get dreamy in that Chris Isaak way. "Through His Name" feels like a straight out hymn. "Our Love's With You" has all the melody of a Beatles ballad. The album closes on "Riding On", which feels like the musical version of just trailing off into the sunset, which is rather fitting.
At their core, these songs are love songs even if they don't always have the word love in the title. One of the things I like most about the lyrics is that they are very straight forward: they seem to say what they mean. This ties in with that Americana idea as these are somewhat energetic, sometimes calmer songs about every day people and every day issues. In that sense this is both highly relatable while also being easy on the ears.
There's something about the Bayou that's hard to explain. You could call it charm, charisma even. Whatever it is, life on the Bayou has it's own distinct style and vibe. I've lived in a lot of places, but none compared to my time there. So when Rusty Reid sent over his new album, Bayou Line: Songs From Houston, I was immediately hooked.
Top shelf production, top class musicianship and radio-ready song crafting are delivered from beginning to end, all 17 tracks. Speaking of... who does that anymore? You know... release full length albums that are awesome? I see a LOT of single submissions. Most projects that aren't singles are, at best, 3-6 song EPs. So when someone sends us a 17-track album that packs this much punch, our attention is piqued.
This artist's music touched me, with a refined and profound compositional style. Surely we are dealing with a great artist with a lot of compositional experience behind him. A songwriter with a developed artistic taste and solidly artistic maturity. "Corner of My Mind" is a nostalgic song. The musical arrangements are fantastic. The guitar recalls that of the Eagles and the vocal interpretation is delicate and sweet. You'd listen to Rusty Reid's music for hours. The album that includes this song is titled "Bayou Line (Songs from Houston)" and I recommend everyone to listen to it all to fully understand Rusty Reid's musical universe. A country rock that finds its roots in traditional American music. The production is impeccable and frankly, all the tunes are interesting. The guitar dominates the music of this artist and the lyrics are full of meaning and have the ability to touch the soul of the listener. Mature and intenst. A great find that I recommend to everyone.
I loved it, great lyrics and production. awesome guitars! Adding you to our playlist! - "Ze Rock Porto Recommends" Spotify Playlist
Absolutely love your record, thank you for your great music!
Sweet songs. This made me happy.
Thanks for the tracks! As for me, they are groovy songs with a rock'n'roll mood! In the music, you can feel the energy, which charges! Feel the emotion! Vocals with a very individual timbre well underline this style of music! Well highlighted in the music guitar and bass part, and especially the piano and guitar solo stands out! An exciting selection of instruments! Beautiful music! Thanks for the performance! Thanks for the mood!
Strong upbeat sound and fun vibe.
Such energetic tracks. It reminds me of old timey country/rock, which is refreshing. You are very talented. Thanks for sending it over.
Tracks very interesting, nice production, very rich sound.
Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed listening to it. Very special. You're good at what you do. Keep creating music. I wish you all the best.
The vocal style is fun for sure and full of personality.
Hello Rusty Reid! The mix is good, passionate vocals, light and dynamic instrumentals.
Hi there, and thank you for sending over another album! A pleasant one, super cool energy and an authentic vibe! Love, T.
The production, songwriting, vocals and lyrics still sound good and really country.
Nice choice of instruments here. The mixing and the overall production are good.
I dig it.
Thank you for introducing us to your music, which is of great quality, in terms of sound and musicality. I found it quite creative. Hug of peace from Brazil!
Features solid musicianship and has a nice clear sound!
I really like the pace and the mood of the songs, also very well performed!
I like how sound instrumental! Nice rhythm. Good rock waves.
I appreciate the classic country energy here.
There are some really nice country vibes here and the sound feels professional.
Nice instrumentation and overall sound of the recording.
Everything about these tracks just screamed fun and frolics to me, just kick off those cowboy boots and make like nobody cares if we are having the best time before midday. No drink required because Rusty Reid offers all the fuel we need to get into costume. The playing is positively giggly and that helps in turning this track into a soundtrack for all of us who want to act like kids all over again.
Good singer! Your tone of voice is really particular.
The mix is fantastic. Great songs too, I can already see this REALLY getting everybody going in the country bar.
Thanks for sharing. There's a good energy here. Getting wafting vibes of 70's Grateful Dead, New Riders of Purple Sage, and some Peter Rowan.
Moody and groovy straightforward country rock / southern rock tracks. I like the authentic live feel,
Nice production, I like the great vibe of the songs, instrumentals are varied and rich, top quality, high energy, the artist is confident.
I like the catchy and uptempo melody sound in it. Makes me happy and good quality.
Keep going! You're great!
The mix and the performance is great here.
Cool tunes, added to our - "Routes n' Roots: Americana, Folk & Country Road Trip" Spotify Playlist
Well made songs, modern and enjoyable to the ear.
Good news! We've added you to our - "Indie Country: New & Undiscovered" Spotify Playlist
Great work here. You really created a warm nostalgic feel on this one and i could see this doing well with the right audience.
A keen sense of classic folk and alt country with a free swinging and confident delivery to it. Well made and touching in its delivery.
Damn fine tunes.
Your vocals have such a classic beauty. Thanks for sharing with us.
A really great voice and recording too! You are very good at what you are doing stylistically. The recording quality is fantastic. Keep up the fantastic songwriting.
Great Vibe. I will add you to my "Coffee and Country" Spotify Playlist.
Well-written and produced.
Really nostalgically brewing tracks, with some gorgeous warm guitar and your vocals are so rich in tone!
Delights with its smooth guitar riffs and the beautiful and moving vocals of Rusty Reid.
There's a calm and confidence here that we admire, offering a reflective wisdom and heart which is authentic for sure.
Interesting sound and great voice.
Great vocals and some accomplished playing, all nicely recorded and floating through the speakers very nicely.
Such nice songs. I loved the warm and deep voice, very expressive. Nice music too. The sounds and the production are amazing, so cool! Loved the arrangements. Loved the guitar sound.
Nice classic rock style.
Love the simplicity of the sound design, your vocals are so very endearing and radio friendly.
Hi Rusty, I love the guitar tone and vocal deliveries, it's very true and tasteful. The lyrics were touching and relatable.
I like the lead guitar in the solo parts and I like the melody you have created though classic in the notes used. Overall the balance between the vocals and music track are well made. I also took the time to listen to some of your other tracks on Spotify and liked what I heard. Always refreshing to hear new talent like yours with their original music.
Beautiful and warming! We will post this on social media and tag you in the post for sure! Thanks so much for sending!
Hey Rusty, I get Neil Young 'After The Gold Rush' vibes from these tracks.
I truly enjoyed your tracks, enough to feel like I want to present to my listeners.
Your voice is amazing and the lyrics and the music, choice of instruments is perfect.
Thank you for sending. We enjoyed listening to it. The melodies are awesome and the songs are performed really well. We are happy to share this on our social media accounts.
Laurel Canyon vibes!
Hi Rusty! I feel like I just stepped back in time. This is an excellent classic rock jam.
The composition and instrumentation here were great!
Hello. I heard your songs very well. The sound of a very warm guitar is art. I'll share this song on my playlist.
Rusty! I really enjoyed listening and thought it was a great production overall. Absolutely loved your vocal tone and thought the mix-down was top notch as well.
I really like the vibe of the songs. You have a good voice as well.
Hi Rusty. It sounds really nice overall. Well crafted songs, for sure.
Thanks. I'll add to my "Top 300" Spotify Playlist.
I am reminded of artists such as Villagers and Surfjan Stevens here. The music is richly layered and very well put together. The vocals suit the track very well.
'Corner of My Mind' is a welcoming soft-rock release with gorgeous instrumentation, inviting melodies and charming vocals. Check it out today!
Hey Rusty, I really enjoyed your sound.
The instrumentals on this are really nice and easy going, as well as your vocals. Good job Rusty!
Thank you so much for sending us your amazing masterpiece. You did a great job and you deserve more support for it. We will share your music on our popular playlists with good continuation.
You are a solid songwriter!
I found the songwriting and production to be high-quality. I liked the quality of the vocals and guitar work. These are really great tracks you can be proud of and that I'm sure lots of people will really connect with.
Lively, airy folk/roots rock/pop-rock sound. We like the vocal manner. Great sound of each instrument.
Beautiful vocals with some really nice, in depth instrumentals. Has a Laurel Canyon style song feel to it. I'd like to share this to the Radio Drive playlist.
Nice songs. I liked the rock rhythm of the music, and I think the singer's voice is amazing, that's why I added this music to my playlist.
Instrumentals are varied, chill atmosphere, original elements included, the artist is creative.
Love the sound of the drums and the vocal tone. Great folky feel.
Absolutely great feel on this! We will get this posted on socials asap and we appreciate you shooting over your newest material!
Hi Rusty, Thanks for sending me your song! Extremely cool lead guitar, solid work on the drums, good production and an awesome classic rock sound.
Very nice! Well-produced and cleanly recorded. You have a great sound!
These are lovely tracks with great, heartfelt lyrics and laid-back, mellow melodies! I like your sound and style.
Everything about this just screamed nostalgic fare on the way and with Rusty Reid fitting that bard of yore with glad tidings our instincts proved to be accurate. This is gentle, soothing and indeed pastoral and with that flagged mention of Ireland I was even more tuned into its soft contours. An ever so lovely piece of work. Comforting company. Good on ya Rusty and long may you offer up these neat tunes to an appreciative audience.
Your voice really penetrated my heart and I admire it :)
I love the warmth, the relaxing atmosphere of this, the instrumentation really soothes and the vocals sit atop beautifully. It's sublime.
Hey Rusty, thanks for sharing your tracks. Lovely, well made.
Nice style, all instruments sound rich and engaging, singer has an attractive vocal tone.
Great indie vibes. Rhythm flows well and vocals mesh in nicely. Tones and guitar leads also match perfectly. Added to our "ASA Indie Rock & Folk" Spotify playlist.
Great tunes with a good arrangement & vibe.
Great vocals and lyrics. Keep up the good work!
Hi Rusty. I like your warm country-rock style and think it will be a great fit for my Americana Playlist - thank you for sharing this release with me.
Hey, thanks for sending the tracks! I appreciate your artistry - I like the direction you are heading too!
Hello Rusty Reid, Thank you for sharing your songs. They have a nice gentle feel good vibe that was pleasant to listen to. Your sound transcends many genres. You are a talented singer and the lyrics were solid. Much respect.
Smooth guitar work with some flashes of classic rockers and some jammy elements as well. Quite nicely performed and sung.
You have a great style and make some really good music.
Really good job. Adding to our "Fresh Rizers" Spotify Playlist.
The mood is great. I'll add to my "Best Sense of High" Spotify Playlist.
Hey Rusty, thanks for sharing 'Through His Name.' You've got such a warming voice and I loved how more layers popped into the mix.
Hello Rusty. You are a very passionate musician. This style, indie folk, with blues elements, is really what to expect from an American songwriter. Good melodies too.
Mboté na yo (=Hello to you) dear Rusty, we liked your music, we will show up via our personal accounts. Thanks again for contacting us and good luck for the future. God bless you :)
Very well performed, grandiose guitar riffs characteristic of the blues, vocals mixed with mastery between the lead/backing and a lyricism defined as a "lost-love dreamy, philosophical thing".
Rusty Reid's 'Through His Name' is a beautiful and soulful swamp gospel song that showcases the artist's talent for blending various musical genres. The song has a simple yet powerful message about salvation through faith in God.
The lyrics of 'Through His Name' are inspiring and encouraging, reminding us that we can always turn to God in times of trouble and seek salvation through His grace. Rusty's vocals are filled with emotion and conviction, and the acoustic guitar adds a warm and earthy feel to the song.
Listening to 'Through His Name' is a spiritual experience that can uplift your mood and remind you of the power of faith. The song's gentle and melodic tune is easy to sing along to, making it an excellent choice for group worship or personal reflection.
Rusty Reid's 'Bayou Line' album is a must-listen for fans of folk, pop, country, and rock music, and 'Through His Name' is a standout track that will leave a lasting impression on your heart and soul. I highly recommend that you give this song a listen and let its uplifting message touch your spirit.
Singer-songwriter Rusty Reid has just released his new single, a bright and creative folk song.
'Corner of My mind' is the new single from the talented Rusty Reid, genius of folk rock, the artist arrives with his new striking hit and giving grace to our days.
Music that conquers and fills our eyes with brilliance, a light, subtle and full of feelings track, telling a story its narrative embraces us and makes us immerse in each word expressed, the singer's voice is firm and powerful which gives intensity to his lyrics and for its music, A song with a wonderful rhythm that brings peace and tranquility.
The guitar on this track should also be highlighted, the solos and riffs are very well done and manage to bring depth to the music, it's the detail that becomes essential.
The music is easy to love, authentic and full of its own identity, the kind of music that is missing in today's world, a gift for indie folk lovers.
Get high on the sweet touches Rusty Reid brings to "Corner of My Mind" and be inspired to search your mind too. Find the freshness of life in the compass that this sound transmits, and let the sun untie the knots of destiny, simply to be happy or to start the search for happiness. The invigorating scenarios of the heart, allow this song to take shape, using a wonderful instrumentation, which models with excellence the emotions, highlighting the guitar, for the pulsation of the other instruments to line the path. The lyrics speak of love, that feeling lost, or maybe not, that still shows vitality in the chest, because it happened in a breathtaking way, at any moment in life, leaving a solid and eternal mark, then it simply disappeared in the sands of time. Many secrets and memories are kept in the back of the mind, some forgotten, others purposely buried, and it is part of growing up, searching the drawers and facing the consequences, whether they are ghosts or pearls that we forgot to tell. "Corner of My Mind" is a serene work that takes you for a walk in green pastures, while telling you a beautiful story forged by wanting.
"Corner of My Mind" comes on Rusty Reid's latest full-length release, "Bayou Line." Featuring world-class players from Seattle, Los Angeles, New York, and as far as Brazil and Germany, The song's sound and production are of pristine quality, with sharp songwriting and a soft, immersive sound that will be hard to forget. Genre-hopping, Seattle-based singer-songwriter Rusty Reid is a singer/songwriter whose sound on "Corner of My Mind" can be summed up as folk-ish, with a healthy dose of country music's traditional upbeat sensibilities. The song's philosophical lyrics are delivered in an understated manner from Reid's relatable, restrained vocal style, with which I could draw parallels with Richard Hawley, who I could easily envision as Rusty Reid's British counterpart. The sound of "Corner of My Mind" is warm and chill, dominated by a twangy electric guitar that plays one tasty lick after the other to accompany Rusty Reid's voice. The beat is minimal, consistent and driving, and with the song's familiar-sounding progressions, the song's listening experience is exceedingly easygoing and rewarding. "Corner of My Mind," just like the entirety of "Bayou Line," should be present on the listening radars of lovers of country, folk, and soft rock, and all similar genres. This song's deceptively simple sound is hard to categorize, but its quality makes any categorization irrelevant. A crisp piece of music Seattle's own Rusty Reid.
Rusty Reid will blow you away with stellar blues and country tones. 'Corner of My Mind' is a track that moves at its own pace and begs you to do the same. I say: take up the offer, slow down and listen to what Rusty Reid has to say. The guitar opens us up and instantly you swoon. It's buttery smooth, caramel thick. Blues blues blues. The bass sits in the back picking corn and the drums wash over us as the song goes by. The vocals sit beside us on a rocking bench as we watch a storm roll in over the hills. You can taste the country, smell the time of day in the air - so you sit back and listen to a tale of love and loss. It takes you on a journey, scored by illustrious harmonies. You fall in love with the sound and are sad to see it go. The magic of today, however, means you can stick 'Corner of My Mind' on repeat and never be without the dulcet tones of Rusty Reid.
Rusty Reid makes us happy with his title "Corner of My Mind." Rusty Reid, originally from West Texas, is an American independent artist who devotes himself to the composition and interpretation of folk-country-rock songs. Today, he is based near Seattle, Washington. Through the guitar, he creates melodious pieces addressing often philosophical, political or spiritual themes. "Corner of My Mind" is an incredibly haunting track from this artist. This song is a perfect example of what he is capable of producing. "Corner of My Mind" begins with guitar notes followed by the singer's voice which immediately transports you into a world of ethereal sounds. The first guitar notes make their way through your mind, transporting you through their hypnotic rhythm. And as the song progresses, you are drawn into a musical adventure that explodes with energy. The melodies of this title are incredibly exciting and gripping. They take you by the hand and take you on an exciting and heady sound journey. The tempo is slow and rhythmic, which gives the track a tremendous energy that makes it extremely enjoyable.
Here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today, we've been listening to the latest single from Seattle-based, Rusty Reid. "Corner of my Mind" is a gentle Americana/Country song that flows beautifully. Rusty Reid is an American singer-songwriter, originally from Texas now living in the Pacific Northwest. He has just released his third album, "Bayou Line."
"Corner of my Mind" starts with a full band sound and you instantly feel comfortable and familiar in the track with its immediate country leanings and familiar instrumentation. Starting with a brief instrumental section, before leading to the first verse, "Corner of my Mind" has some lush incidental guitar melodies, panned to the left, which are expertly played and perfectly placed. When Reid's vocals come in, they are warm and smooth and not what we expected. We anticipated a voice with more of a country twang in it, but Reid's vocal delivery is clear, inviting and full. It may be unexpected, but the dulcet tones were very much welcome, reminding us a little of George Harrison. The voice sits well in the mix and every lyric is clear and easily discernible with just the right amount of reverb on them to make them sound thick and mellow. We love the combination of different guitars used on this track, with the solo/incidental guitar always panned to the left. There are lots of things happening for the listener to engage in with the instrumentation here. The all-important second verse brings in a perfectly placed harmony that sits behind the lead voice and bolsters it nicely. The steady and simple drums remain constant throughout and we'd suggest this would be a great song to be considered for placement in a TV or movie and we'd urge Reid to seek out possible sync opportunities. Rusty Reid's, "Corner of my Mind" is a gentle, warm, smooth-flowing singer-songwriter/soft rock/country track with a velvety voice and classy guitar riffs. Recommended!
American singer-songwriter Rusty Reid released his third full-length album called 'Bayou Line' (Songs from Houston). This is a collection of 17 original tracks that were recorded with the help of famous musicians from different parts of America. The track 'Corner of My Mind' is the first single from this record, which opens a new stage in the work of Rusty Reid. The song tells about a love story that remained in the past and these beautiful memories inspire nostalgic soulful notes that form a beautiful musical composition. The country and soft rock sound of 'Corner of My Mind' perfectly conveys the aesthetics of this song. Silky and warm vocals, together with a magnificent musical ensemble full of life-giving power of music, open before us an incredible world of love. Listen to the single 'Corner of My Mind' below on Spotify and enjoy the amazing song from incredible Rusty Reid.
Rusty Reid's new single "Corner of My Mind" is a dreamy, philosophical song that perfectly captures his unique and timeless sound that blends elements of indie folk, pop and country rock. The song is the first single from his album Bayou Line, which includes some world-class players from across the USA such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York and from as far as Sao Paolo, and Berlin.
With a gentle guitar intro, Reid's vocals gently glide in, setting the contemplative tone of the song. The lyrics are introspective, exploring the memories of a lost love that continue to linger in the corner of his mind, with the song's narrative enhanced by the flashback side trip to Ireland. The combination of Reid's storytelling lyricism and the dreamy instrumental elements create an intimate and heartfelt listening experience.
As with all of Rusty Reid's music, "Corner of My Mind" is more than just a simple song. Rusty Reid is a singer-songwriter who uses his music to explore modern liberal philosophical, political, and spiritual content. Through his music, he expresses his beliefs and encourages his listeners to think critically about the world around them.
Reid's eclectic mix of country rock and pop-influenced songs showcase his skills as a songwriter, and his unique sound is a blend of different genres, resulting in something that's enduring and entirely his own. His songs are melodic and guitar-oriented, with a distinct indie feel that sets him apart from other artists in the genre.
The production of "Corner of My Mind" is well-crafted, with each instrument fitting perfectly together to create a cohesive sound. The vocals are mixed in a way that allows Reid's storytelling to take centre stage, while the instrumental elements provide the perfect backdrop. The overall result is a song that's both intimate and expansive, taking the listener on a journey through Reid's memories and emotions.
Overall, Rusty Reid's "Corner of My Mind" is a beautiful and reflective song that showcases his unique blend of genres and his talents as a songwriter. The song is a perfect introduction to his album Bayou Line and is sure to earn him new fans. Rusty Reid is an artist to watch, and "Corner of My Mind" is a song that's sure to linger in the minds of listeners long after it ends.
Rusty Reid's "Words Don't Come Easy" is a heartfelt acoustic gem, evoking nostalgia and vulnerability with its poignant lyrics and delicate instrumentation. A must-listen for classic folk enthusiasts.
The instrument production and your vocals sound great.
Rusty writes great classic rock feeling songs.
In the grand theatre of human emotions, your song, "Words Don't Come Easy," is a poignant soliloquy. It's a gentle melody that whispers into the hearts of listeners, a testament to the timeless adage - when words fail, music indeed speaks. Your distinctive touch on the acoustic guitar blends seamlessly with Ilia's masterful arrangements, forging an intriguing soundscape where the raw emotion of your vocals can truly flourish.
The echo of your voice, layered upon the subtle harmonies, creates an atmosphere of bittersweet nostalgia - a captivating paradox of tranquility amid heartache. The complexity of your lyrics, laced with vivid imagery and metaphors, resonates powerfully, painting aural portraits of love lost and the struggle to articulate emotions that often defy language.
In an age where sonic grandeur often overshadows genuine sentiment, your offering stands out like a lighthouse, guiding us back to the shores of authentic musical expression. The delicate interplay of your instrumentation and lyrics echoes the dance of life, with its ups and downs, its joy, and its sorrow. It's a dance that, though often fraught with challenges, is nonetheless beautiful in its earnestness.
I'll be sharing this piece on my Instagram, as I believe more people need to hear and feel the depth of your music. Continue to share your soul through your songs, Rusty. Your music is not just heard, it's felt. Best Regards, Skylar
'Words Don't Come Easy' unravels like the hushed secret of a heartbreak, echoing through the chambers of our collective memory. Rusty, your vocals are straight-up fire, gliding on the inventive soundscapes of Ilia Skibinsky's genius arrangement. The way your harmonies interweave creates this potent cocktail of longing and nostalgia, kinda like finding beauty in a downpour.
Your music is straight-up magic, a gift that deserves to be blasted from speakers worldwide. I'm stoked to feature 'Words Don't Come Easy' on our Instagram, and let our followers vibe with your unique style. They're in for a ride, and I'm buzzing to see their reactions!
I like the melodic style and found the song to be warm and friendly in sound. I'd like to add this to my Recent Releases Playlist. Thank you for sharing your music with me. I hope the campaign goes well for you.
Hi Rusty! This song ("Words Don't Come Easy") is an absolute dream! The instrumentation, and vocals compliment each other perfectly. We will have it on our weekly mixtape.
You've got the heart and spirit, so I am rooting for you and your album.
Hi Rusty, Stunning tracks. The vocals are glorious.
A really delicate, intricate track. Some lovely melodic parts and a distinct vocal. Great job and perfect for my acoustic playlist.
Lovely song ("Our Love's With You"), it has a very warm sound and haunting layers of instrumentals and vocals.
Lots of respect for you and your music.
Excellent level of musical production, excellent mixing and mastering, great voice work. Congratulations on your great job done.
I really thought this style was lost...its a real refreshing vibe to hear this, I mean in a good way! Overall the mix and production is just right for this, its a little off my usual playlist stuff but I want to share it anyway ;-)
One cannot help but be amazed by the brilliance of this track ("Our Love's With You"), which boasts remarkable vocals, a meticulously balanced beat, and lyrics that are refreshingly straightforward yet impactful.
The song ("Our Love's With You) is beautiful. The instrumentation is brilliant and the main and backing vocals are fantastic. The lyrics are brilliant as well. My audience will like this one.
You have a great style and master it perfectly. This song ("Our Love's With You) deserves to be heard by all people around the world :)
"Our Love's With You" - mesmerizing, a musical masterpiece.
'Our Love's With You' is a superb release complete with charming vocal performances, addictive melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. It is a stunning release that needs to be heard!
A cerebral, yet meditative frequency, creating a Universe of his own.
"Our Love's With You" is a heartwarming and genuine tribute to familial love and support, perfectly suited for a graduation from high school and the journey into college. Rusty Reid's vocals and guitar work, coupled with Jed Demlow's skillful keyboard tracks, create a touching and memorable musical experience. The song's message of love, encouragement, and the unbreakable bond between siblings resonates deeply, making it a cherished anthem for anyone embarking on a new chapter in life. Rusty Reid's artistry shines through in this touching composition, leaving a lasting impression on listeners' hearts.
"Our Love's With You" is well produced. Beautiful singing and impressive performance.
"Our Love's With You" is an enchanting masterpiece.
Undeniably beautiful. Your vocals are wonderful.
You've got such an amazing talent!
"Look Out Lousiana" results in an unprecedented sensory journey, erupting in the precise dialogue between the concise vocals with the backings, resulting in a truly masterful effect in its intent!
"The Sunrise Of Your Love" is a ballad such as one of the gems in this style of Elvis Presley and Roy Orbinson. Rusty's voice emanates beautiful timbres, precise doses of emotional and technical eagerness at a high level!
"Careless" dives completely into a pool that erupts rock'n'roll. The beat is precise, being driven by a lovely riff reverberating the power. The chorus is arena-like, catchy and perfect to be shouted at the top of your lungs in an enthusiastic way!
"Oh Well" is full of detailed guitar attacks, as Mark Knopfler did brilliantly, and this is quite a reverence! One of the greatest moments on the album!
"Words Don't Come Easy" is one of those songs "that calms the heart," that could easily have been at the top of the charts in remote times. A primordial pearl!
"Our Love's With You" a splendid composition, which makes the moment unforgettable, with notes of affection. It is yet another ballad that oozes perennial sensitivity in its driving, with the strings bringing epic precepts to the concept. It really is AWESOME!
"Riding On" is an exquisite closing of the curtains for one of the great releases in compilation format of recent times in this area. It will inevitably be on all the "Best of 2023" lists, because it is truly MAGNIFICENT in its creative potency as a whole! Impressive as "Bayou Line: Songs from Houston" is, it is not a concept album, but it has a natural chain before its tracks that give off inventiveness before the pillars of the American songbook as a genre.
"Oh Well" has something of Dire Straits' Sultans of Swing about it - the giddy playing in what can only be described as an easy listening romp for those who want to ease themselves out of office life for another weekend "Oh Well" does the trick, a country bumpkin at heart but rocking the cool shades at the same time. Some Roy Orbison in there too so this is a classic stroke if just that bit too nostalgic and retro for my tastes I'm afraid.
"Oh Well" is an excellent retro road trip vibe, brilliant guitar work, fantastic drums and good vocal performance.
"Oh Well" is a fantastic song!
I like the swagger and soul of the rock groove on "Oh Well."
"Oh Well" is a solid track from Rusty Reid. A solid lead vocal performance sung with passion and precision. Whirling guitar waves, a punchy kit backbone and a steady bass low end. Lyricism takes the cake here, paints an immersive sonic landscape. Dreamy. Awesome guitar licks. Creative production and melody lines. Audibly well mixed and produced. I really enjoyed this listen here. Props are due!
I think "Oh Well" is a really nice song, great guitar licks and clean vocal performance :-) I honestly like it a lot. It definitely reminds me of Creedence Clearwater Revival, but even more it reminds me of Dire Straight, especially of Sultans of Swing, I would bet that it was a big inspiration for you when writing the song, right? ;-)
I enjoyed the guitar riffs throughout "Oh Well!"
I really love the vibe of the "Oh Well." You have a great voice.
As Rusty Reid continues to carve his legacy within the musical landscape, "Rio Frio" emerges as a testament to his artistic integrity and his readiness to explore uncharted territories. The song beckons listeners to embrace its haunting melodies, inviting them to immerse themselves in its rich narrative and to connect with the echoes of a distant past. In a world saturated with familiar sounds, "Rio Frio" stands as a breath of fresh air-an homage to history and a reminder that the most exceptional songs are often those that defy expectations.
The song ("Rio Frio") doesn't just play; it transports. It ushers listeners into an ephemeral moment in time, inviting them to experience the mingling of emotions and characters.
"Rio Frio" is a departure from contemporary musical landscapes, offering a unique blend of country-rock and folk-pop, seasoned with Reid's distinctive songwriting. The track's rarity, amidst today's echo chamber of homogenous playlists, makes it a standout gem.
(With "Rio Frio") Rusty's musical vision takes shape, revealing a captivating alternative folk soundscape.
On his latest single, "Rio Frio," singer-songwriter Rusty Reid demonstrates a mastery of craft that smoothly blends musical traditions from Texas. Reid merges his Texas roots with wide-ranging global influences to create melodic country stories with meaningful messages.
"Rio Frio" by Rusty Reid is a captivating alt-country gem that seamlessly blends elements of folk, rock, and Americana into a heartfelt and emotive musical journey. Rusty's vocals shine with a genuine and honest delivery, clearly coming from his heart. His performance adds a raw, emotional edge to the song, making it incredibly relatable and touching.
Rusty Reid, the immensely talented American indie-folk-pop-country-rock singer-songwriter, is gracing us with a hidden musical treasure - "Rio Frio."
Rusty Reid delights us in a stunning and special single, "Rio Frio."
The talented artist Rusty Reid has once again dazzled his fans with the release of his new single "Rio Frio". This haunting and captivating track demonstrates Reid's ability to merge different musical genres to create a unique listening experience.
Rusty Reid's new song, "Rio Frio," is something really special. It's not just about his musical talent; it's about how he manages to make history come alive in such a captivating way.
Rio Frio" stands as a musical time capsule, transporting listeners to an era when Texas was a fledgling nation.
If you're looking for fresh air in the music industry, Rusty Reid's new single, "Rio Frio," is just what you need. This song takes you through Texas history, blending various genres to create a masterpiece that transcends the norm. With elements of acoustic, alt-folk, Americana, folk-pop, folk-rock, and rock-pop, this song is an actual work of art that captures the essence of Texas.
"They don't make them like that anymore." This is the first sentence my brain uttered to myself when I heard Rusty Reid's single "Rio Frio"... an acoustic epic that both sounds and feels absolutely mesmerizing... nothing short of a masterpiece.
Seen through the eyes of an injured cowboy who is thinking of his sweetheart far away, 'Rio Frio' is a track unlike any I've heard for quite some time - and not just due to its lyrical content. The truth is... I can't quite put my finger on why this tune has so effortlessly wormed its way into my heart. I'm just glad that it has!
In a world that often rushes by, Rusty Reid's "Rio Frio" serves as a gentle reminder that sometimes, the most powerful music is found in moments of quiet reflection and heartfelt expression. It's a song that lingers in the heart, offering solace and understanding to those who seek it. So, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let Rusty Reid's "Rio Frio" take you on a journey through time and emotion.
"Rio Frio" excites you, while also presenting a cowboy's melancholic chronicle of loneliness and longing for his sweetheart on a distant island. With his on-point tanglement of melodies and lyrics, Reid breathes life into the historical, philosophical narratives and turns them into actual serenity which are hard to resist.
In the realm of music, some artists effortlessly transport you to another time and place through their craft. Rusty Reid's latest single, "Rio Frio," is a testament to the maturity and storytelling prowess that this artist brings to the table.
"Rio Frio" by Rusty Reid is a testament to the power of music to evoke deep emotions and transport us to places both real and imagined. It's a song that invites us to embrace the quiet moments, the solitude, and the enduring power of love, even when it feels as distant as the stars in the Texas night.
Rusty Reid's storytelling prowess, along with his soul-stirring vocals and impeccable instrumentation, vaults "Rio Frio" to the level of an eternal piece of art.
"Rio Frio" was originally conceived as a component of a "rock opera" during its inception. Regrettably, the larger project it was meant for eventually floundered, as all the other compositions failed to meet Rusty's artistic expectations, leaving "Rio Frio" as the sole survivor. Regardless, this song has a fantastic arrangement that perfectly complements the song's originality and the interestingness of its content. It builds to a gripping pace that draws the viewer in by combining gorgeous musical progressions with seamless shifts and harmonies in the vocal melodies.
Kamil) Hey Rusty Reid, super nice to have the chance to chat with you. What first got you into music?
Describe your favorite and least favorite part about being a musician.
Your latest song is 'Corner of My Mind'. Can you share with us the background of its creation and did any unusual things happen during its creation?
How do you differ from most other artists?
Where are you from and do you have a stable home or do you prefer travelling?
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
How do you nurture your own creativity?
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Who's your ideal musician to collaborate with and why?
What are your plans for the future?
Interview with Rusty Reid - Bayou Line: Songs From Houston
There's something about the Bayou that's hard to explain. You could call it charm, charisma even. Whatever it is, life on the Bayou has it's own distinct style and vibe. I've lived in a lot of places, but none compared to my time there. So when Rusty Reid sent over his new album, Bayou Line: Songs From Houston, I was immediately hooked.
Top shelf production, top class musicianship and radio-ready song crafting are delivered from beginning to end, all 17 tracks. Speaking of.who does that anymore? You know.release full length albums that are awesome? I see a LOT of single submissions. Most projects that aren't singles are, at best, 3-6 song EPs. So when someone sends us a 17-track album that packs this much punch, our attention is piqued.
In this interview spotlight, we rock out Bayou style with Rusty Reid discussing favorite songs of all time, dream collabs, the new project and more.
Are you able to choose a favorite song of all time? Or would you label this an impossible task? If yes, what's the song? If no, what's your current Top 3?
Favorite song that I wrote? Or favorite song period? Yes, difficult if not impossible either way. For my own songs, I would lean toward "Head to Heart" and "Dismaland" off my last album (Head to Heart) and maybe "Corner of My Mind" from the new album "Bayou Line." As to other artists, Wow. with a gun to my head I would blurt out "Here, There and Everywhere" - Beatles, "If You Could Read My Mind" - Gordon Lightfoot, "America" - Paul Simon. These feature great melodies and lyrics that are so original and actually mean something.
What about this project makes you most proud? Was there a specific goal you were trying to accomplish with this release?
My last album "Head to Heart" was my revolutionary manifesto; a political-philosophical-spiritual tour de force. For this latest album. For the new one, "Bayou Line," I'm re-recording some of the best songs I wrote decades ago. so very little in the way of "philosophy" but it's great to revisit these songs that many of my fans still love best. I really wanted to get these out in decent form, and with the assistance of world-class players, I think that goal was achieved.
What inspires you to create music? What motivates you to keep going?
If you are a true artist, it's just what you do. What else are you going to do? You are compelled to create. if only for yourself. Indeed, the artist really only has one critic they truly wish to impress: themselves. So you keep going, hoping to fashion something that clears the bar of your own imagination and expectation, and maybe, just maybe, surprises even you.
If you could collaborate with anyone - dead or alive, famous or unknown - who would it be and why? If it's an indie/DIY artist, please include a link so readers can check them out.
Gosh, so many mentors. I'm trying to think of someone that I could actually help with their art, and not just sit there amazed at their abilities. You know who I might choose? Bob Dylan. Such fantastic lyrics, but kinda, often, pretty rote melodies. I could bring superior melodies to some of his work. In fact, I did just that with one of his songs, "Red River Shore, " which even he thought was too lame to include on the album it was written for ("Time Out of Mind"). I added a melodic bridge and it's way better. I'll release my version one of these days.
What was the last song you listened to? Favorite all-time bands/artists?
"Shelter" by Blue Shirt Charlie - it's on the "Rusty Reid Radio" playlist Spotify created, and I wanted to see if was the same "Shelter" that I covered a while back (original by Lone Justice). nope different song, but actually pretty good. All-time faves: Beatles, Doors, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, Eagles, Hank Williams, U2, No Doubt, Brandi Carlisle, Blue Water Highway. a lot of others, but those jump to mind.
Where is the best place to find you and stay connected?
Website is RR Central: https://RustyReid.com
I appreciate Your time. Want to say or plug any other projects before we part ways?
My "style" is actually a blend of styles. Through the same album, I jump around a bit, from country to rock to pop. If one song isn't your gig, try another. After listening to "Bayou Line" try "Head to Heart," totally different in focus and purpose. Hope you find some songs you come to love.
Rusty Reid On the Making Of "Our Love's With You"
What was the creative process like for this particular "Our Love's With You?"
Were there any challenges or breakthrough moments during the songwriting process for "Our Love's With You?"
What do you like the best about this track?
How do you approach collaborations with other musicians or artists?
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in music?
Rusty Reid On the Making Of "Rio Frio"
Were there any memorable or standout moments during the recording sessions for "Rio Frio?"
"Rio Frio" was memorable for me from the moment it was being created. This was the last song I wrote for a would-be "rock opera" based on the history of Texas. I had been working on this idea for a few years, writing about ten songs altogether. There were songs about Indians and explorers and pirates and Mexican colonizers and Anglo colonizers and the Texas Revolution... but the project was flailing. I was realizing that the songs just weren't very good. But I continued on. Chronologically I was up to the period of the Republic of Texas and I wanted to do a song about the "Nueces Strip," a contested strip of land between the Nueces and the Rio Grande Rivers that both Texas and Mexico claimed. As such, it was not policed... the perfect place for outlaws, from both nations, to hide out. Out of the blue, came "Rio Frio," the story of which is set on a beloved little river in Texas, a tributary of the Nueces, which back in olden times would have been smack in the Nueces Strip. And the emerging song was in 3/4 time... a waltz! Where that comes from, I have no idea. Shortly after its writing, I finally gave up on the opera, but not on "Rio Frio." It quickly became a favorite of my original fans. The first recording was pretty similar to this new version, including the Mexican-flavored accordion, along with my same old orange Gretsch Country Gentleman guitar. Helping out on this recording was my Houston/Los Angeles collaborator Steven Beasley, an outstanding multi-instrumentalist and excellent singer-songwriter in his own right. We also brought Pacific Northwest drummer extraordinaire Darin Watkins to provide percussion. It's a quirky song and record... and I like that.
Have you noticed any particular interpretations or connections that listeners have made with "Rio Frio?"
Pretty much everyone who has heard the song is not aware of the historical context that it was supposed to portray as part of that ill-fated opera. I initially thought that would be a problem. But, to my pleasant surprise, a lot of people seemed to love it anyway, just interpreting the lyrics as they would. I get requests for "Rio Frio," or "that cowboy song," quite often. Yet, really, I think the melody, and perhaps the 3/4 time signature, are also very appealing aspects of the song. I do think it's one of my best melodies.
What did you enjoy most about making "Rio Frio?"
The impetus to release my new album, "Bayou Line: Songs from Houston" sprang to a significant degree from wanting to get this particular song, along with a few others, out there to the public. Following the release of my album "Head to Heart" a few years ago, I thought I had really hit my stride in terms of finding my "style" and "message." I was eager to keep going in that direction. To now stop, and go backward to my older songs, did not hold a lot of appeal for me. Yet many friends were saying, "You have to release some of your older material." Well, there was a problem with that. Those old recordings just weren't up to par with the modern world. So everything would have to be re-recorded. Ugh! What a chore! But once I got into that process, it was wonderful re-discovering these songs and seeing them come to life better than ever.
Your lyrics often tell stories. Can you talk about your approach to storytelling through music?
Well, storytelling comes naturally to many Texans. Even if they are actually "tall tales," exaggerations upon reality. A lot of Texas songwriters are master storytellers. I mean, "Pancho & Left" by Townes Van Zandt; it doesn't get much better than that. Maybe I inherited some of that. But I think more likely I was influenced by story-telling songs I heard as an impressionable child. I just loved songs like "Jambalaya" by Hank Williams, "El Paso" by Marty Robbins, "The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton, "Old Shep" by Elvis Presley, "Only the Lonely" by Roy Orbison, "Sloop John B" by the Beach Boys, "Eleanor Rigby" and other songs by the Beatles, "Proud Mary" by Creedence, "America" by Paul Simon, "The Wreck of the Edmond Fitgzerald" by Gordon Lighfoot, pretty much any Chuck Berry song, most Bob Dylan material, a lot of Jimmy Webb tunes, and just tons and tons of those kinds of stories set to melody. So early on as a songwriter, I was trying to invent fictional scenarios which to transcribe into music. Then at some point, I thought maybe I was doing too much storyteling and not enough personal introspection and/or exploration of my own experiences and emotions in my songwriting. With my current songwriting I think I have at last stumbled into a good blend of storytelling and personal experience to share. Indeed, just a teaser, but on an upcoming album I'll be releasing a song that I figure is about as good of storytelling as I'm capable of, and also a 100 percent true heart-crushing personal experience.
What advice would you give aspiring singer-songwriters looking to develop their craft and share their music?
First and foremost, don't give up too quickly. Practice. Persist, Persevere. Be your own worst critic. Don't be too easily pleased. Demand more from yourself. Admit when you fall short. When you do that, you aren't wounded by critics dissing you. Also, be careful of sticking to what comes easily or "naturally." I think I tried to do that for too long. Sure, be true to yourself, but remember that "yourself" is potentially so much more than you think. Be ready and willing to explore new things, stretch, grow, risk, change, evolve. Not change for the sake of change, but evolution into higher, better ways of being... which then can infuse and enrich your art. Paul Simon is my model for all of that. What an outstanding catalog he has produced, just soulfully wandering through the golden fields of genres. Like Paul, accept your gift of songwriting and/or singing talent as the doorway to a journey of personal discovery... with the side benefit being more gifts you can give away to others.
BUZZ SLAYERS - July, 2023
Buzz Slayers: Okay, let's start with "Our Love's With You"! This single was heartfelt and genuine with this amazing classic rock influence undertone! How did this release come about?
"Our Love's With You" is from my 2023 album, "Bayou Line: Songs from Houston." This is a compilation of songs I wrote back in my Houston days, which some of my early fans insisted I release. So I re-recorded them (or for a few songs, recorded for the first time), and here they are.
"Our Love's With You" was written for my little sister upon her graduation from high school and leaving for college. I think it's one of my best melodies, and the lyrics offer some valid wisdom: lean into your youth, don't hold back, pursue your goals, don't give up, know you can do it, do it now, rest assured you are loved back home.
Quite a few people have said it's their favorite on the album. It's definitely one of mine.
Buzz Slayers: What kind of things really inspire songs for you?
Like many writers, I like to attempt to create something new and unique, even if I'm well within the bounds of a particular genre or approach. "Bayou Line" is filled mostly with relationship-related songs. The usual boy-meets-girl and/or boy-loses-girl fare. But I wanted to come at this tried-and-true thematic trope from a unique angle-or twist-- for each song. For instance, "My Troubles Have Just Begun" has the would-be lover knowing he's in for a lot of grief before he can "taste the honey;" "Sunrise of Our Love" describes that early magic, when it's not quite clear if it's going to last; "Careless" depicts a growing lack of concern on her part; "Oh Well" (another of my favorites. and perhaps my best guitar playing) has the jilted lover retreating to some kind of gypsy camp down along the "bayou line" (where the album title comes from); "Words Don't Come Easy" reflects on that clumsy phase when you're kinda dumbfounded it's all ending; "More Than St. John's" (another fan favorite. and mine, too) has the protagonist reflecting back to a time and place and fumbled away love in Newfoundland (of all strange places for a Texas songwriter to be thinking about); "Rio Frio" describes a lonely cowboy of old (actually, probably an outlaw) camped on a remote river bank, missing his sweetheart; "The Masterpiece of You" was a real triumph for me, I thought, with its appreciation for a lover as a "masterpiece" by virtue of her beauty that the French Impressionist painters would recognize; "Another Night With You" describes a dalliance aboard an ocean liner docked in Tahiti - where the protagonist is hoping for a second night affair (or maybe more); "A Matter of When" and "That's When the Fall Began" are fraternal twins, born back-to-back and describing, in totally different ways, the breakup I was actually going through at the time; "Corner of My Mind" is another love-lost song, but filled with philosophical musings and a strange flashback to a vacation to the Emerald Isle.
The album also includes a few songs where there is no relationship involved, or such is not central to the song's theme. "Look out Louisiana" and "Home One More Time" are going-home songs. "Riding On" is a song about persevering, surviving, plowing through adversity, finally breaking into the clear, out of the "long, cold dark." There is someone that the singer would like to "ride on" with, but the journey is the real concept here.
These days, I'm not writing many relationship songs. I've been there, done that. I'll leave that to the younger, hotter boys and girls. Instead, I'm focusing on more worldly, political, philosophical, spiritual (not religious) concepts. Check out my previous album, "Head to Heart: A Revolutionary Manifesto in Song" for more of that.
Buzz Slayers: This track has some interesting approaches to it! Can you give us some of your biggest influences musically?
"Our Love's With You" is different than most of my work. I think that's because it was written on piano, rather than my usual guitar starting place. When I write on guitar, I tend to come up with a chord progression and that dictates the melody. On piano, it seems like I'm freer to write a melody that will dictate the chords. I do think "Our Love's With You" is one of my best melodies. Lyrically, it's kind of a rare perspective. There's a "we" involved. Who is "we?" Not stated. Whoever they are, they want "baby" to stay, but they will understand if "baby" has to go. to find happiness. Isn't that the dilemma for many parents and siblings? They hate to let go. but the baby birds sometimes have to fly away to find their own place in the world.
All of my influences were really into melody. Those include Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, the Beatles, the Doors, Tom Petty, Paul Simon, Jimmy Webb, Gordon Lightfoot. Those are among the most important. I'm still attracted to artists for whom melody is still key, like Brandi Carlile, the Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Adelle, Billie Eilish, too many to name. Melody is not dead. though it has to fight through a lot of tripe out there. particularly in pop and country.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you're NOT working on music?
I live with a flock of parrots, have a big garden, write essays and am working on a book project. So there's hardly a "restful" moment. I love to travel. Just returned from an epic road trip from southern Arizona to Montana and then out west back to Washington. 2400 miles in all. Slept in my car most nights. I live in the Puget Sound area. Used to kayak, but sold my boats last year. I felt bad for them just hanging from the rafters, sad and lonely.
Buzz Slayers: Who's in your headphones right now?
One of my upcoming albums is comprised entirely of songs written by Texas songwriters. So I've been enveloped by that project. In my search through a mountain of great songs, I discovered a band of young folks from Lake Jackson, Texas called "Blue Water Highway." I've been grooving on them for a while now. I think I'll do one of their songs. Paul Simon's new album is great. of course. I put him right up there with the finest American singer-songwriters. If you want to say he's the best, I won't argue with you. I love what Taylor Swift is doing reclaiming her catalog. I've been following along with that a bit. I admire Lukas Nelson, Weyes Blood, Ethel Cain. I'm finding new stuff all the time. I love to bounce around the world on Radio Garden and just listen in. It's very enlivening and enlightening.
Buzz Slayers: Are you doing any live performances right now?
Not many. I've done a few things recently, and have a couple of things coming up in the local area. But I've got so much to do in the studio, and with online promotion and such. Actually, I don't like "that" kind of traveling much. Unless you're an established brand, or backed by some bigger bucks, I'm not sure it's that productive. You may well lose money on the road. as well as have to try to play for people who aren't paying attention. I'm done with bars and lounges and restaurants and outdoor fairs. It has to be a "listening room," or forget it.
Buzz Slayers: Do you record these at a big studio or do you have a home studio set-up?
It's all at home now. I have a nice setup with everything I need. I do have some local players available, and sometimes we will duck into a real studio. but, you know, then the clock is ticking off the dollars, and you are rushed to take what you get. I find it actually better, and certainly cheaper, to take my time doing my parts at home, and then get players, from anywhere around the world, to do their parts at leisure at their own studio. They send their tracks to me, and we're cooking. Yes, maybe you lose a bit of that live "magic," but the ability to really take your time, get your parts down, experiment with different possibilities, and not go into debt, goes a long way in evening things out. I sure wish we had this technology when I was younger. You kids out there, appreciate what you got.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you in the near future?
I have three albums more or less in the can. They just need a few parts added and then mixed. Plus I'm doing a remix/remaster of my previous album, "Head to Heart." After that, the next one up is a collection of recordings from my Houston rock band, the Unreasonables. Then the Texas songwriter cover album. Then an album of newer original material. And then, maybe, I can get on to that book project seriously. Probably not. There will most likely be yet another album arising soon after these three are released.
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
I'd like to say thanks to fans of any and all music. or any art, for that matter. Especially if you are loving on original artists. Especially those that you discovered yourself because of your own searching. That shows you care to do a little work to go find them, rather than waiting for them to find you. which is very, very hard, not to mention expensive, for most artists to do. It's easier for you to find them, than for them to find you. You can find them without spending a dime. Most people are too distracted and/or lazy to go find art that they will love. They just want to be spoon-fed by the media or by friends or whatever. The person who doesn't wait around but goes out searching for stuff to love is a more conscious being.
For most artists, producing art will never be profitable. Indeed, over time, the artist might spend a fortune, while never making a dollar. We do it just because that's who we are. We want to do it. We do it for ourselves. All artists must do their art, first and foremost, for themselves. The only sure reward is when you recognize that you pretty well succeeded in what you were trying to create. It's not perfect. but it was worth the effort, and the vision was actualized. For many artists, that's all the reward they get: self-satisfaction (more or less. artists are notoriously self-critical). So when someone tells them, "I like it." Or "That's cool" Or "I love it." Or "Thank you for creating this." That's like a cool drink after a long, hot run. Such a simple thing can make a huge difference. Your positive comment could keep an artist from giving up. So thank you for being there, and being open to the new, the undiscovered, the person or group that is just doing their thing. and hoping that they aren't the only ones who realize it's a pretty good thing.
PLASTIC MAGAZINE - August, 2023
Hey Rusty, how's things?
Crazy. But crazy in a good way, mostly. At least in my life. Alas, the rest of the world... is having some issues.
What's your earliest memory of making music?
I can't remember a time when I wasn't fascinated by music. First with my mom's record collection and then the radio. As a kid I used to sing in the car, mostly popular songs, but at some point I began to make up my own melodies. No words, just melody lines. Everyone thought that a bit strange. but my thought was, "This is what I do." At about 8 years old, my mom forced me to take piano lessons. I was sure I was going to hate it, but I loved it. Again I started doodling with my own melodies. About three years later I discovered the guitar, and abandoned the keyboard for the fretboard. That's when my real "songwriting" began.
Which artists do you draw most inspiration from today?
I am still inspired by my early influences: Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, the Beatles, the Doors, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and many others, but there are a bunch of newer folks that also inspire me. I've been a Brandi Carlile fan since her early career, and still find her voice just awe-inspiring. Lukas Nelson is fantastic; I watch him and think, "If I'd had a lick of sense, I coulda been that."
How else do you find inspiration for your music?
It's actually easier than ever for me. Although I've been writing songs for many a moon, I truly believe I only found my real message more recently. I've had a unique personal journey filled with political and philosophical - and, yes, spiritual - exploring. Through "Hard Knocks School" (as I mention in the song "Head to Heart") I think I've gained some insight and wisdom that I can now impart. So I'm excited to do that through song. There are two ways to tell if you are on the right track philosophically. One is if your views comport with the edicts of the great teachers of history, and the other is if your ideas support the virtues, especially compassion and love. If you are going around believing things contrary to the great thinkers of history, and doing things that harm others (including nature), you are definitely not on the right track.
What do you love about the Seattle music scene?
I've actually loved all the "scenes" I've had the good luck to be involved with. Nashville was such an immersive learning experience, 24/7 music, in a place where the songwriter is (or was) royalty. It kicked my butt, but I was better for it down the line. Houston got me over the hump in terms of creating something really worthwhile, and there was an incredible amount of talent there, all of us more or less in the same boat (i.e. poor). Los Angeles was exhilarating, acts so much more polished but crazy competitive. Every band or act I saw, I wanted to be like them. The Seattle-Tacoma scene is so much more laid back, far less competitive, and still - decades after the heyday of Grunge- rough-edged and gritty and authentic. You gotta be real here, and that suits me just fine.
What would you say is the perfect setting for listeners to enjoy your sound?
I know it's old-school, but put on some headphones and listen to an album. Bring up the lyrics - they are on my website and elsewhere - and see if you can relate to the theme, the words, the message, the melody, the playing, the singing, the soundscape. Those are the main components of the popular song artform. I try to create something interesting within each of these spheres. Not to knock on other artists, but, OK, I will: many of them are sorely lacking in several of these spheres. My albums are LONG... so you are certainly welcome to break them up into bite-sized chunks if you prefer. But don't forget to come back for the rest. If you like a particular song, don't worry... there won't be another one like it.
How has your own style and sound evolved since you started out?
Yes and no. I've gone through some phases. I originally envisioned myself as a singer-songwriter, even though at that point I wasn't very good at either. Then I was in a rock band. Then back to being a singer-songwriter. Then back into a rock band. And then another rock band. And then back to being a singer-songwriter. All the while, with the Beatles as the example, I've tried to not adopt a singular musical "style" (though I'm stuck with this voice). I'm not AC/DC in terms of putting out the "same" album over and over again. Yet, if my 17-year-old self could hear the music I'm making these days, and the messages imparted, I think I would have thought, "Good job, old chap!"
How did you find making your new single "Our Love's With You"?
This single is off my new (2023) album "Bayou Line: Songs from Houston," which features 17 songs I wrote or originally recorded back in my Houston days. My early supporters have been bugging me to release these songs. Well, those old recordings weren't so great, so I had to re-record them, which was great fun. "Our Love's With You" was written for my little sister at the time she graduated from high school and was soon to be off to college. Many of the songs on "Bayou Line" deviate significantly from the original versions, but this one is just basically a recreation. Jed Demlow in Nashville did a super job of bringing the old version to life but with some of his own magic.
What message did you want to get across with this release?
I tend to think of my songwriting history as broken into two separate phases, with the early phase being mostly relationship songs and the latter (current) phase mostly focused on political, philosophical and/or spiritual themes. But the last three songs on this album point decidedly toward the direction I would eventually take, and five or six on my first album (NWXSW) were getting pretty philosohical. So maybe it's not as clear-cut as two separate phases. As I was working on this album, I recalled that my very earliest attempts at songwriting were protest songs. Those weren't very good, but it is an interesting twist that I would eventually end up closing that circle and back to that concept. "Our Love's With You," though ostensibly a sad goodbye song, has an inspirational message. It's something of a riff on Joseph Campbell's "Follow Your Bliss," but also encourages the traveler to trust their youth as guidance, don't be afraid to live, make it work, and do it now. Perhaps most importantly, it reminds the traveler that wherever they go, they are loved back home. How important is that?
What artist have you been listening to most recently?
I've been working on a cover version of a song by Emitt Rhodes, so I've immersed myself into his catalog. He was a big influence on me. If you haven't heard of this guy, you are missing out. I have a story on my video channel about living a few blocks from him in Hawthorne, California and not even realizing it... until too late.
What's the main thing you want people to get out of listening to your music?
Well I hope they appreciate each of the "spheres" I mentioned earlier: theme, words, message, melody, playing, singing, soundscape. If you know to be mindful of these components, I think it helps you understand the artform of popular song better. A great song can be missed if it doesn't have some of these components in an artist's performance. It's not the song's responsibility to bring itself fully to life, anymore than it's the marble's responsibility for forming itself into a sculpture. On the other hand, a mediocre or even crappy song can be gussied up to seem a lot better than it is. That's a frustration I have with a lot that is out there: you break it down and it's mindless, clonish, self-centered goo. But hey, it's got a great groove. Well, that's something... but not much. It's rewarding when someone notices and appreciates some of the detail and depth I try to put into my songwriting and performance.
What's been your favourite live performance so far?
My own, or somebody else's? I'd have to say my very favorite performance of my own was my senior year in high school. I went from being a nerdy nobody to a real "somebody" in one night after playing the talent show. The next day everybody was patting me on the back, "Way to go, Rusty." Even the cheerleaders and jocks and other populars were all of a sudden talking to me. That was the most bizarre thing. Nothing quite like that "bump" since. I guess in a way it's kind of sad: the peak experience at 17, and then all downhill from there. As far as live shows I've seen, I"d say Roy Orbison was the best. Incredible.
Who would be 3 artists to headline your dream festival? And where would it be?
Wow, wouldn't that be something? If it could be anyone past or present, I'll take Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles. in that order. please. If limited to living acts, give me Adele, No Doubt and Van Morrison. Put it at the Gorge on the Columbia River.
Do you have any advice for a new artist wanting to follow your footsteps?
One word. Don't. Follow my example and you'll be constantly distracted, easily discouraged, procrastinating, doubting yourself, wasting time, undisciplined, weak and addled. In other words, one of the "bungled and botched" as Nietzsche descibed most people. Do mostly the opposite of what I did. Instead, stay focused, stay determined, stay disciplined, don't get distracted, don't get down on yourself, keep learning, practice and practice some more to get better, find your authentic voice, don't be a clone, hang with the right people who can help make you better, stay away from those who suck your energy or pump you full of bull, stay true to truth and virtue, be ever on the side of the oppressed... and revel in the journey, know what direction you're headed, but let the destination come to you as you seek the jewel in every step of the way.
Finally, what do you have lined up for the rest of 2023?
It's been a busy year, and no let-up in sight. I'll be promoting the new album, "Bayou Line," for a while longer. At the same time I'm remixing the previous album, "Head to Heart," which will be re-released when that is finished. I'm going to also re-release two singles from 2020, which kind of got swallowed up by the pandemic. Those are "American Villain" and "The United States of Selfishness." These are two of my most politically-charged songs, all-American in a very real sense... and certain to ruffle some feathers. I doubt Jason Aldean or John Rich will be fans. With those projects done, I'm going to at long last turn to mixing an album of my old rock and roll band, The Unreasonables. That project will probably be done late 2023 or early 2024. Hopefully I can squeeze in some live shows in between. Hope to see you out there.
MUSE CHRONICLE - August, 2023
By Mohit Chandani
SINGER-SONGWRIITER: Our Love's With You:Rusty Reid's Melodic Tribute to New Beginnings and Everlasting Love.
I am super excited to share with you another track by one of my favourite artist Rusty Reid, whom I came across just a couple of months ago when I reviewed his track "Corner of My Mind" from his album "Bayou Line". Today, from the same album we will be talking about the track ""Our Love's With You".
Rusty's lyrics are comforting and feel like a warm hug in a cold winter, there's something about his voice that soothes you instantly. Rusty wrote this track for his sister to commemorate her graduating high school and starting a new chapter in her life as she leaves for college. Rusty's heartfelt vocals backed by his soothing guitar and Jed Demlow from Nashville on the keyboard. His lyrics are comforting and feel like a warm hug in a cold winter, there's something about his voice that soothes you instantly. My favourite part is the chorus "If you long for sunshine baby, why suffer through the cold, wherever you may go our love's with you" where he reassures his sister that no matter where she goes, her family's love will always be with her. Rusty's songs come from such an honest and sincere place that one can't help but empathise and relate to his music. Give this soul-stirring song a spin today and I assure you, you'll become his fan too.
We had the opportunity to ask Rusty Reid a few questions about his journey and his vision towards music.
Your unique approach toward music really stands out from the crowd! How did your musical journey start and what ignited your spark for music?
Thanks much. I appeciate that. I want to try to stand out from the crowd, though I'm dubious that is the general recipe for commercial success. Most listeners are not active explorers for the new and different ; they are passive receivers of the common and popular. When I was a wee one I started off listening to my mom's record collection, which included a lot of "crooners," so I suppose that kind of approach is in my musical DNA. Yet a few years later I was enamored by the transition of certain musical acts from "entertainers" to "artists." It seems these "artists" were, indeed, seeking something very new and original. Perhaps the Beatles were the most prominent of this tangent, but there were many others, across many genres. Finding no other way to be an adult that appealed to me, I gravitated toward becoming this kind of "artist." And brought my "crooner" voice along for the ride.
What message do you want to send out to our readers and your listeners?
This latest album, "Bayou Line: Songs from Houston" is a retrospective... re-recordings of some of the best of my older songs. The are mostly romantic relationship themes, so a bit shallow in the "message" department. There are a few exceptions on the album, the final four in particular: "Through His Name," "Our Love's With You," "Corner of My Mind" and "Riding On."
BUT... my previous two albums, "NWXSW" and, especially, "Head to Heart" are FAR more message-oriented. If you want to listen to the story of the history of the universe in one song, or zero in on what is really the "meaning of life," or consider a musical list of all that is WRONG with human civilisation, that album is for you. I suppose I have two thrusts of wisdom to impart, one positive, the other negative. The positive message is that life is precious, death is nothing to fear, and this is a beautiful world, which we need to embrace, nurture and defend. Indeed, that is the highest calling for humanity? What else could be? It ain't "worshipping" a fictional god, that's for sure. Which brings us to the negative: humanity remains engaged in a phalanx of beliefs and behaviours that virtually ensure our eventual demise. Mother Nature has a way of dealing with wayward children: extinction. And we have lately made her pretty mad at us. We'd better wake up soon.
Is there any interesting event during the making of 'Corner Of My Mind' that you'd like to share with us?
"Corner of My Mind" was one of my first collaborations with another writer. Paige Kemper Innerarity is a dear friend from way back in high school. She sent me some of her poetry and this one slapped me in the face. It is truly profound. I had to write music to it. Then, later, I added the bridge that employs a romantic flashback. I think this is one of my better songs, and has some interesting philosophy, as well. And the band for this one -Jed Demlow on keyboards, Jason Roller on guitars and Darin Watkins on drums - made it soar. This is one of the few songs where I'm not playing any instrument.
What is your biggest motivation to keep creating music?
I'm having more fun than ever. At long last, I feel in control of my songwriting, my singing, my playing, and the quality of the other players I can bring into the fold. I also have a lot of things I want to discuss through the art form of the popular song. I may not be finding them, but I'm not aware of anyone else focusing on these political, philosophical, spiritual and even mystical themes. I've had the good fortune to have had the opportunity to delve deeply into these subjects, borrowing from the wisest teachers in history, incorporating the traditional virtues, coupling the best of these old insights and values with modern science, and synthesising a worldview that makes sense of it all, for us all, and marks the trail for a better future for humanity and the rest of planet. Alas, much of culture is going the opposite direction... into division, distrust, ignorance, fear, selfishness, hatred and the usual disregard for and destruction of nature. As I say in the song "There is a Pleasure in the Pathless Woods," "So now the crossroad where we've arrive demands a choice of every soul alive. do we continue down the road of ruin or mingle with the Universal tune?" That's straight-up the most important concept every human should be contemplating. I apologise for having so rudely interrupted anyone's binge-watching of mindless nonsense.
How many bands have you played with and what has been your genre preference?
I started off as a solo singer-songwriter. I've been in four rock, or pop-rock bands (one of which will be featured on an upcoming album). In-between those projects, I fell back to the singer-songwriter mode. All along, to the understandable consternation of some of the bands, I thought of myself as a solo "act." I just felt I had the range as an artist to blend genres to a degree, especially rock and pop and folk and country. I didn't want to be tied down to a "band" sound, or other compromises a band requires. Once again, that probably was not conducive to commercial success. I look back and wonder what if I had committed long-term to a well-rounded band with multiple writers and singers. But, I don't regret the path I took. It hasn't led to any real commercial success, yet I now realize that was always a phony goal. The "meaning of life" is the pursuit of happiness. and the happiest person needs the least to be happy. I'm in that mind-frame now. and have never been happier.
CHILL SPACE RECORDS - August, 2023 By CHROMIND
Rio Frio by Rusty Reid
"Rio Frio" by Rusty Reid is the type of song that can lift up your mood and get you out of your blues with no difficulty. That is why we wanted to get to know the man behind this dopamine dose of a song.
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a singer-songwriter originally from West Texas, but really came into my own as an artist during and after college in Houston. I spent some time in Nashville and Los Angeles before moving up to the beautiful Pacific Northwest near Seattle. After all these years I still can't quite figure out my "genre" (and neither can anyone else) because I love pop and folk and country and rock almost equally, and tend to mangle them altogether in my songs. Most, but not all, of my songs are guitar-oriented. These days I'm accompanied by a far-flung array of really outstanding musicians, from here in the Northwest to L.A. and Nashville, to Ireland and the UK and Germany and South America and India. Ah, the wonders of modern recording.
2. How did you guys meet and decide to sing together?
On "Rio Frio" I'm accompanied by my good buddy Steven Beasley, who plays most of the instruments, including the soulful guitars and accordion. On this one, I'm noodling on electric guitar. We met up in the Houston music scence, then I moved to L.A., then he moved to L.A. and we've been helping out each other all along the way. Steve is an outstanding singer-songwriter himself and an incredible multi-instrumentalist. Darin Watkins is on drums on this song. He is my go-to local drummer here in the Northwest, having played on many of my songs
3. Is there a back story for Rio Frio? Where did the name come from?
For several years I had been trying to write a "rock opera" based around the history of Texas. I bashed out about ten songs or so before it fully dawned on me that none of them were really very good. I wrote one more song for the opera, and it was "Rio Frio." The name comes from the Frio (Cold, in Spanish) River in Texas, a very bucolic, popular little stream with campers and tubers these days. But 180 years ago or so, you wouldn't have wanted to be anywhere near this river. This song's place in the "opera" related to the period of the Texas Republic, a 10-year period after the Texas Revolution but before it joined the United States. The "Nueces Strip" was territory that both Texas and Mexico claimed as their own, but neither side dared try to police it... so it became a haven for outlaws, both Texan and Mexican. The Frio River is in this territory. In scant few words, the song paints an interesting picture. Ostensibly, the song pertains to a "cowboy" - probably, actually an outlaw - who seems to be mortally wounded - pining away for his sweetheart far away, whom he imagines is thinking about him. You don't run across that theme in songs very often. That was novel enough. But then, for some reason, I put the song in 3/4, waltz, time signature. Very strange for me. But that very signature spawned one of my best melodies. Even without knowing what it was originally all about, people seem to love this song, and, of course, I'm fond of it as well. Wanting to get this one out to the public was a big part of my effort to release this new album; "Bayou Line: Songs from Houston."
4. What inspires you in your music?
"Bayou Line" is a retrospective, re-recordings of my old Houston songs, so they represent something very different than my newer material. My songwriting these days tends to be philosophical, political and spiritual (not religious, mind you). I feel like I've lived enough and learned enough and experienced enough to have gained some insight and wisdom. I've always been a seeker, and now I'm reporting back what I discovered on my journey. I'd like to get my entire worldview stated in various songs. My inspiration for creating these songs is love for the world. I hope somebody finds some inspiration, or at least information in them that helps them understand, bond with and move toward that love for the world perspective. We have enough ignorance and division and discord and self-aggrandizement going on. What we need are more souls committed to the journey toward love.
5. Do you have any musical background or live performance experiences?
I can't actually remember a time when I was not fascinated by music. My mom's side of the family was quite musical. She had a big record collection and was a good singer. I had uncles and aunts and cousins who were very talented. I started piano lessons at about the age of eight or nine and continued that for several years before switching over mainly to guitar. I started playing out in public, solo on guitar, at about the age of 16. I was in a few bands along the way, but always came back to performing solo. I still do the occasional solo show. But really, I've dedicated most of my time and energy to recording. I now have a nice home studio setup, and can work with great players from around the world. It is very fun and satisfying.
6. Are there any projects or collaborations in the near future that you are excited about? Can you give us a sneak peek?
I'm finishing up promotion for my current album "Bayou Line." At the same time, I'm remixing my last album, "Head to Heart." I expect to re-release it early next year. I've actually just re-released back-to-back singles, "American Villain" and "The United States of Selfishness." I'll be jumping into promoting those two politically-charged songs in the next few weeks. Then I have another "retrospective" project coming along. Speaking of former bands, I'm going to release an album of recordings from The Unreasonables, one of my Houston groups. Then there is a project, almost finished, just needs mixing: it's an album comprised entirely of cover tunes. I never would have thought, but it's been a labor of love, and I'm anxious to get that one out. Finally, I have another couple of albums-worth of newer original songs that are also pretty much finished, just need a few touches. So the next few years are shaping up to be almost non-stop releases. I also hope to mix in a few solo shows here and there.
7. And finally, what advice would you give to our lisneters/aspiring artists?
Stay focused. Keep plugging. Don't be easily distracted or disappointed. Seek your authentic self. Be you, an original. Don't be a copycat. Don't take yourself too seriously. Don't forget to have fun. Align yourself with truth and virtue, not selfishness. The only one you really have to impress is yourself. If it's too easy to do that, you've got work to do.
You can check out Rusty Reid on his social media and listen to his amazing music on Spotify.
Rusty Reid's "Rio Frio": A tale of free Texas.
"Rusty Reid strings together threads of guitar-focused rhythms and country melodies into a mesh of sweet symphonies and bare emotions."
Rusty Reid weaves an uncanny symphony around the tale of a lost, dying cowboy embracing and dwelling in loneliness in an isolated place. His project "Rio Frio" was initially intended for a "rock opera" he was writing that revolved around the history of Texas and its fight for freedom. Moving forward through the process, the project narrowed down to this one soundtrack, "Rio Frio," expressing the timeframe after Texas conquered its freedom from Mexico but before it became a part of the United States.
"Rio Frio" excites you, while also presenting a cowboy's melancholic chronicle of loneliness and longing for his sweetheart on a distant island. With his on-point tanglement of melodies and lyrics, Reid breathes life into the historical, philosophical narratives and turns them into actual serenity which are hard to resist. From what we can gather from the lyrics, we can deduce that the cowboy is stuck in "Nueces Strip," a piece of land where outlaws used to reside long ago. Caught in a near-death situation, the cowboy is 'slowly dying' and thinking about his sweetheart, who is hundreds of miles away, and at the same time hopes that she might be thinking of him as well. He finds some kind of uneasy peace with this thought. Everything just complements each other without a flaw.
Disclosing his adventurous journey through the ups and downs of life and taking you through a rollercoaster of emotions and melodies, Rusty Reid shares the story of his musical voyage.
1. "Rio Frio" is a unique and intriguing song with historical themes. Can you share more about the inspiration behind this track and the story it tells?
"Rio Frio" was the last song written for a projected "rock opera" based on the history of Texas. Alas, the previously written songs were not so good so the project was eventually abandoned. But "Rio Frio" remained as a stand-alone potential gem. It was intended to portray a time in history when Texas had won its independence from Mexico but before it joined the United States. There was a ten year period between 1836-1845 when it was its own nation: the Republic of Texas. Yet there was unsettled business with Mexico. Texas claimed land all the way south to the Rio Grande River, while Mexico insisted it ruled all the way north to the Nueces River. Within this contested area, the Nueces Strip, was no-man's land, and that's where the "cowboy" in the song, actually probably an outlaw, finds himself along the banks of a Nueces River tributary, the Frio River, or Rio Frio in Spanish.
2. How does it feel to have such a response from your audience, and what do you think resonates with them in this particular song?
Only a handful of people ever heard any of the songs from the opera, but after I had officially junked the project, I played "Rio Frio" for a few folks and they loved it. I would get requests for "that cowboy song." I think I just happened to luckily put a few elements together that clicked. Even if you don't know the historical back-story at all, the song's lyrics are simple but somehow alluring and hint at something old and melancholy. "Everything's quiet in Texas tonight." "Stars are just stars tonight." "Back in a different place and time." "The cottonwoods quake, seeming to say: Cowboy, you're dying too young." I don't think I consciously wrote any of those words. they just came upon me. Then the song is in a romantic time signature: 3/4 time, the same as a waltz, and the melody line is quite unique and in its own way old-timey. So all of these kind of sweetly dark and dreamy elements come togther in this song.
3. "Bayou Line" features re-recorded versions of some of your older songs. What motivated you to revisit these tracks, and how do the new recordings differ from the original demos?
Ha-ha, yeah the old demos were, let's say, not ready for primetime, especially the very earliest, and "Rio Frio" was one of those. But these were songs I had affection for and felt I need to find time to do up properly. Modern technology made it feasible. and what a difference. In the old days, you had to go into a recording studio, and they were expensive, and you were on the clock. money disappearing with each passing minute, you were rushed to get the song recorded, and then mixed. Plus you were limited by the quality of your players and performances, the studio itself and whoever was in control of that. I listen back to those old tapes and it's a wonder we got as good of a sound as we did. but still, sonically they were not fully presentable. Nowadays I can create, practice and record at home, on my own time and leisure, and enlist great players from around the world. It turns out, of the 17 songs on "Bayou Line" most follow pretty closely to the original arrangements. "Rio Frio" is one of those. Probably the song on the album most different from the original is "Words Don't Come Easy."
4. In today's music landscape, where genres are often narrowly defined, "Rio Frio" stands out as a unique piece. How important is it for you as an artist to explore diverse musical styles and narratives in your work?
I grew up on the Beatles, and they were always trying new things, never wanting to repeat themselves. Other acts of the 1960s were similar. Simon and Garfunkle immediately spring to my mind. So when I was struggling to learn how to write songs, I thought that's what you should do. Keep trying things very different from each other. The converse of that approach is AC/DC who when accused of putting out the same album ten times, strenuously objected, claiming, "You are wrong! We've put out the same album eleven times!" Alas, as it turns out, especially in this era of extremely fragmented channelization, homing in on a certain stylistic approach is almost mandatory. Fans want to hear the same-same. That is nothing new, actually. It's the way the entertainment biz has always worked. except for that narrow window of time when a diverse approach was very much encouraged and appreciated. The songs on "Bayou Line" are all over the map, genre-wise. And nothing much has changed with my approach. These days, that probably pretty much guarantees lack of commercial success. Since my ship to fame and fotune sailed away without me long ago, I don't care any more. I'm just doing what I want to do, and what feels right and authentic.
5. Looking ahead, what can your fans and new listeners expect from your upcoming projects, especially considering the diverse material you mentioned is on the horizon?
Unless I fall off a cliff (which is possible on some of these hikes I've been undertaking recently), I've got a chock-full calendar of releases coming up for the next few years at least. "Rio Frio" is the last song to be promoted off "Bayou Line." Next I'll turn my attention to promoting two remixed, remastered and re-released, politically charged singles: "The United States of Selfishness" and "American Villain." Those are hard-hitting doozies. I'm also remixing my album "Head to Heart." This album, which I consider my "opus" so to speak, is coming up on its fifth anniversary, and I wanted to get it sounding better than the first version. Then, speaking of those old tapes, I'm going to release an album of recordings from my old Houston band, the Unreasonables. Similar to "Bayou Line," it will be a retrospective, but unlike the current album it will not be sparkling re-recordings, but the old band, warts and all. Again, these are songs that I have affection for, and being later recordings are at least in the ballpark of sonic acceptability. Then, I have an almost finished album comprised entirely of cover tunes. That has been a fun project to work on. Can't say much more about it yet, but it's centered on a unique theme, and will easily be the most "commercial" album I will probably ever release. After that I have close to a double album of newer original material that is patiently waiting its turn. I'm itching to get fully back to my philosophic/spiritual songs. Once these retrospective and cover-tune projects are done and out there, it will be free sailing in that regard. Hopefully I can get out and play a few shows here and there, as well.
Interview: Rusty Reid
By Jane Howkins
Seattle-based singer-songwriter Rusty Reid creates lovely folk-pop tunes, such as his latest single release, Our Love's With You. It's a piano-led track, containing a great deal of heart and emotion. I absolutely loved Our Love's With You - if you want to find out more about Rusty, read on below!
We recently reviewed your track Our Love's With You. What can you tell us about the song?
Thank you for the review. Yes, Our Love's With You was one of my earlier songs. It was written for my younger sister upon her high school graduation and possibly leaving home for college. She was up in the air as to whether to go or not. I had experienced the same decision a few years earlier, and had elected to move 500 miles away to college in Houston, so I knew the mix of emotions this choice evokes, often the very first important decision a person makes as they transition into adulthood. I happened to be back at home as she was facing this all-important decision. I thought the situation might make for a good song, so gave this to her as a form of brotherly advice. It's also one of my rare piano-based songs, written on our family's old upright. She did in fact go off to college, by the way.
How has the reception to Our Love's With You been so far, and where can the track be purchased?
I've been extremely pleased with the feedback from reviewers of the song. It is off my 2023 album Bayou Line: Songs from Houston. Though this song was written in my hometown of Midland, Texas, it was recorded when I got back to university in Houston. This new version is fairly true to that original recording. I was not sure what kind of reception it might get these days because it is so different from most of what is out there. I've been pleasantly surprised that it seems to have struck a chord, so to speak, with many. The CD can be purchased at my website: RustyReid.com. Or it can be downloaded from iTunes or Amazon. It's also available at all streaming platforms.
Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?
I released five singles off Bayou Line. That promotion is finished now. Next I have twin politically-charged singles coming up: The United States of Selfishness and American Villain. So I'm back to my philosophical-political-spiritual (not religious) tangent that harkens to my previous album and other new material coming up next year.
You recently released your third album, titled Bayou Line. What can you tell us about the album? What does the title refer to?
Houston is known as the 'Bayou City' for the five or so bayous, or swampy, slow-moving streams, that course through various parts of the city. I went to college there and lived in the city for about 14 years. That was the time-frame during which I was able, finally, after many years of trial and mainly error, to write some decent songs. Some of those songs appear on my first album, titled NWXSW. This latest album represents an effort to gather the best of the rest of those old Houston songs (either written or originally played/recorded there), and re-record them for public release. The title Bayou Line comes from the song, Oh Well, which starts out: "Down around the bayou line, a part of town polite folk never see."
Have you started writing for your next full-length release?<P> Actually, I have the next three albums not just written but mostly already recorded. Kind of a logjam of material champing to get out. Keeping with my undermining strategy to not make it easy for listeners to pin me to a specific genre or niche, these projects are very different. One is another retrospective, this time the actual old recordings of my Houston band, the Unreasonables. pretty much straight garage rock and roll. Then I have what is really a double-album of cover songs, tied to a specific origin theme that will be a bit of an interesting surprise when it comes out. Then, following that, another long album of newer original stuff. So it's going to be a busy next couple of years.
The track is quite unique, mixing an old school pop sound with the folk genre. What/who are you most influenced by? What have you been listening to recently?
The new recording of Our Love's With You is basically an elaboration on the original recording. I can't recall any specific act or sound that might have influenced that early track but it has a vaguely Beatlesque quality to it. Certainly they are my most important influence, especially with regard to genre hopping and blending. Lately I've been drawn into the artistry of Lukas Nelson and his band Promise of the Real. He's the son of Willie Nelson, a Texas legend, but has got a cool vibe of his own.
You're from Texas but have recently moved to the Pacific Northwest. What prompted the move? What is the local music scene like at the moment with you?
Actually, I left Houston for Los Angeles. I had lived in L.A. briefly in 1973, and figured it offered more opportunity for what I was trying to do both in music and my "day job" - freelance journalism. L.A. was fun. I lived there for 11 years, and achieved some success in journalism but couldn't find my place in the music scene (not that I tried hard enough). So I decided to slide right up the West Coast to the Seattle area. For the first 12 years up here I lived right on the water. Puget Sound was my backyard. It's a great, pretty rootsy and real scene up here, lots of talent and venues. I'm generally holed up in my compound and home studio, but occasionally pop up here or there.
Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?
Definitely. As mentioned, I have a bunch of things rarin' to go. Hopefully those two political songs will stir somethings up.
Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?
No, but I would dearly love to make that happen. Any helpers out there?
Any last words for the fans?
Thanks, always, to those who have hung with me all these years. It has required a lot of patience, I know. New fans are very welcome to get onboard. Hope to see you someday.
HOUSTON DAILY 2023 article and interview (Bayou Line: Songs from Houston)
RAISED BY CASSETTES 2023, album review.
INDIE MUSIC DISCOVERY 2023, album review.
NEU FUTUR MAGAZINE 2023, album review.
BARON MAGAZINE 2023, album review.
EDGAR ALLAN POETS 2023, album review.
INDIE ROCK NEWS 2023, album review.
INDIE MUSIC FLIX 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review.
INDIEOCLOCK 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review. (English & Portuguese)
TGPL NEWS 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review.
IGGY MAGAZINE 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review. (English & French)
SEND ME YOUR EARS 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review.
INDIE DOCK MUSIC 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review.
PLASTIC MAGAZINE 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review.
EL NEWS 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review.
ILLUSTRATE MAGAZINE 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review.
HBNEWS 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review. (English & Portuguese)
MUSIC FOR ALL 2023, "Corner of My Mind" review. (English & Portuguese)
NEW FIRE MUSIC 2023, "Words Don't Come Easy" review.
NEW INDIE RADAR 2023, "Words Don't Come Easy" review. (German)
HONK MAGAZINE 2023, "Words Don't Come Easy" review
PUNK HEAD MAGAZINE 2023, "Our Love's With You" Q&A.
KARLISMYUNCLE MAGAZINE 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
GOOD MUSIC RADAR 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
THE MUSICAL ROAD 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
MUSIC FOR ALL 2023, "Our Love's With You" review (Portuguese, English)
INDIEFLIXMUSIC 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
ARTISTI ONLINE TV 2023, "Our Love's With You" review (Italian, English)
EDM REKORDS 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
DULAXI 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
OS GAROTOS DE LIVERPOOL 2023, "Our Love's With You" review (Portuguese, English)
BUZZSLAYERS 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
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EARMILK 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
FV MUSIC BLOG 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
YORK CALLING 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
YORK CALLING 2023, "Our Love's With You" interview
LYRICAL ODYSSEY 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
EL NEWS 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
IGGY MAGAZINE 2023, "Our Love's With You" review (French, English)
PRINCIPLE MUSIC, UK 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
ALLEN PETERSON REVIEWS 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
TESTING MELODIES 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
INDIE ROCK NEWS 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
THE OTHER SIDE REVIEWS 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
MUSE CHRONICLE 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
HEAD BANGERS NEWS 2023, "Our Love's With You" review (Portuguese, English)
PLASTIC MAGAZINE, UK 2023, Interview: "Bayou Line"
SAIID ZEIDAN 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
THE MUSICAL ASYLUM, UK 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
MESMIERIZED 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
HAIL TUNES 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
TGPL NEWS 2023, "Our Love's With You" review
INFO MUSIC, France 2023, "Our Love's With You" review (French, English)
ROADIE MUSIC 2023, "Oh Well" review (Portuguese, English)
EDGAR ALLAN POETS 2023, "Rio Frio" review
JYLA BLOG 2023, "Rio Frio" review
PLASTIC MAGAZINE 2023, "Rio Frio" interview
PUNK HEAD MAGAZINE 2023, "Rio Frio" interview
CHILL SPACE RECORDS 2023, "Rio Frio" interview
MUSIC FOR ALL 2023, "Rio Frio" review (Portuguese and English)
MUSIC ARENA/MISTER STYX 2023, "Rio Frio" review
MUSIC TASTE, UK 2023, "Rio Frio" review
IGGY MAGAZINE (France) 2023, "Rio Frio" review (French and English)
ILLUSTRATE MAGAZINE 2023, "Rio Frio" review
THE MUSICAL ROAD 2023, "Rio Frio" review (Portuguese and English)
INDIEOCLOCK 2023, "Rio Frio" review
HAIL TUNES 2023, "Rio Frio" review
ARIYEL'S BLOG 2023, "Rio Frio" review
THE REAL DING 2023, "Rio Frio" review
FV MUSIC BLOG 2023, "Rio Frio" review
MUSIKEPOOL 2023, "Rio Frio" review
LYRICAL ODYSSEY 2023, "Rio Frio" review
BOYZ II BUSINESS 2023, "Rio Frio" review
FLEX MUSIC BLOG 2023, "Rio Frio" review
END SESSIONS 2023, "Rio Frio" review (Spanish and English)
SISTRA 2023, "Rio Frio" review
INDIE CHRONICLE 2023, "Rio Frio" review (French and English)
MESMERIZED 2023, "Rio Frio" review
DULAXI 2023, "Rio Frio" review
MUSE CHRONICLE 2023, "Rio Frio" interview
EL NEWS 2023, "Rio Frio" review
ALLEN PETERSON REVIEWS 2023, "Rio Frio" review
TOP MUSIC NEWS, UK 2023, "Rio Frio" review
SONGWEB 2023, "Rio Frio" review
CHUNEDESK 2023, "Rio Frio" review
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1. My Troubles Have Just Begun
My Troubles Have Just Begun
Rusty - vocals, electric guitar
Backstory: Late summer and fall of 1977 in Houston, Texas, was a time of prolific and artistic songwriting for me. I was living in a small house on Verone Street in Bellaire at this time. Songs from that very span on this album include "That's When the Fall Began," "My Troubles Have Just Begun,", The Masterpiece of You," "Sunrise of Our Love" and "A Matter of When," while another, "Hurricane," was featured on my first album, NWXSW. "My Troubles" was performed live by the Unreasonables, and was recorded twice (once in Houston and once in L.A.) before this latest version. In 2016, as I was ramping up writing and recording new songs, as well as reworking old songs in my home studio, a friend pleaded for "My Troubles" to be considered for a re-do. That request was the impetus for trying something brand new: bringing in tracks from remote players. For this first attempt, I enlisted the assistance of a crack Nashville unit that included Grammy winning guitarist Brent Mason, member of the Musicians Hall of Fame, 14 time winner of the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Guitarist of the Year Award, and Guitar World Magazine's selection as one of the "Top Ten Session Guitarists of All Time." I've had the honor of playing with some great players in my day, but playing second guitar along with Brent Mason was certainly one of the highlights of my musical journey.
2. Look Out Louisiana
A week from today I'm heading out
Rusty - vocals, electric guitar
Backstory: "Look Out Louisiana" was written in North Hollywood, California in December, 1972, the first song I wrote after relocating from Nashville. A few of the lyrics here differ from the original version. The song was featured in the live set of Southern Cross, a mid-Seventies band I shared with fellow Midland transplants to Houston, Jon Stone and Rick Plunk. The band recorded "Louisiana" twice, the second version becoming their first and only vinyl single, and my only vinyl anything. After release of the record, I traipsed through East Texas and Louisiana, stopping at radio stations along the way asking them to play it. Some actually did. It was the first time I ever heard my material on the radio. Fast-forward 40-something years. Just two months after being well pleased with how "My Troubles" came out, I returned to the same Nashville unit to work their magic on "Louisiana," and they did not disappoint. "My Troubles" and "Louisiana" lead off this album, just as these recordings originally galvanized the project.
3. Sunrise of Our Love
So far we've been in the dark about each other
Backstory: "Sunrise" was first recorded in 1978 at a small 8-track recording studio in the Montrose neighborhood of the Bayou City called "Magic Rat Studio," later redubbed "Musicians Recording Studio" (or just M.R.S.). I think of this song as my 1950s-style Elvis ballad. For this re-recording, I turned the song over to Steven Beasley, who provided a revamped arrangement, replete with lush guitar work. Pacific Northwest drummer supreme, Darin Watkins, added live drums.
I gave and I gave and I thought I'd made you mine
Rusty - vocals, guitars, synth strings
Backstory: Though written nearly three years before I packed up my van and moved back to L.A., "Careless" was one of my last Houston songs. Only five songs were written in that long stretch between "Careless" in late August of 1981 (a very productive year) and May, 1984, when I left Houston. With the slow demise of my band, the Unreasonables, a new relationship, practice with a new cover/party band, feverish work as a freelance journalist, the production of a trade magazine (the Houston Music Guide), all amidst continuing financial difficulties, I found little time or inclination for songwriting. "Careless" was written with my then-girlfriend, Kimberley Martin, a talented singer-songwriter in her own right. The Unreasonables played this song, our drummer's favorite (for reasons which will become obvious when you hear it), but it was not recorded. That was a mistake. We recorded a few clunkers instead of this one. When contemplating possibilities for Bayou Line, I stumbled upon a practice tape of the Unreasonables playing "Careless," and remembered how much I liked it. It's kind of a quirky New Wavey song; I think I was going for sort of an Elvis Costello vibe originally. It has a few unexpected melodic twists and turns that don't seem to make musical sense at first listen, but actually do. For this resurrection of "Careless," I turned to Mister Reliable (and honorary Unreasonable), Steven Beasley, who worked up the basic track, and sent it back to me for vocal and guitar overdubs. Jed Demlow added keyboards, and Darin Watkins provided the sassy drums, which boldly accentuate the frustration and angst of the lyrics.
5. Oh Well
Down around the bayou line
Rusty - vocals, guitars
Backstory: "Oh Well" was written in July of 1979 and became a staple of the Unreasonables. It was one of 16 songs recorded by the band in a marathon December, 1980 session at M.R.S. For backup for this version, I turned this time to the New York City rhythm section of Mike Vecchione and Hiro Sakaba. Those guys just knocked it into a different gear. This is definitely one of my favorite recordings that I've ever done, and just maybe the best lead guitar I've ever played. This album's title also comes from the first line of this song.
6. Words Don't Come Easy
Did I hear you say it's over
Rusty - vocals, acoustic guitar, keyboards
Backstory: In the Spring of 1973, I had returned to my hometown of Midland, Texas after failing to make much of a splash as a songwriter in Nashville or Los Angeles. The idea was to get back to the University of Houston for the fall semester. Meanwhile, I was in a songwriting funk. The music biz experience had left me unmotivated to write and doubtful - for pretty good reason - about my songwriting talent. For months, there were no new songs. But while moping there in Midland, I connected with fellow songwriter Jon Stone. We were introduced by our girlfriends, who were both ballet dancers. By that summer, we were writing songs together. "Words Don't Come Easy" was written in July at Jon's apartment in Midland. I returned to Houston at the end of August, and encouraged Jon to join me in further musical collaboration in the Bayou City. Jon moved to Houston in 1974, and in November of that year we recorded "Words" at the cheapest Houston Recording studio we could find, Dale Mullins Recording Studio. Despite the low rent status of the studio, I was pleased with how the recording came out, our vocal blend being particular noteworthy. I still like that recording. But this time around I wanted to try something totally different. I found jazzy multi-instrumentalist Ilia Skibinsky in Berlin and just trusted him to come up with that something. He did, providing a lush, modern take on the song. However, in a nod to that magical vocal blend of the original recording, I brought in a snippet of Jon's 1974 harmony part on the second bridge.
7. More Than St. John's
Though I left her long ago
Rusty: vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitars
Backstory: "More Than St. John's" was written in March, 1975 in Houston at the Foxhall apartments just off the Katy Freeway, where the cover shot of Bayou Line was also taken. Other songs written there include "Another Night With You," "Rio Frio," "Riding On," from this album, as well as several other of my songs: "Hot as a Pistol" (NWXSW), "Crossfire" and "Coldhearted" (to be included on a prospective Unreasonables album). "St. John's" and "Rio Fio" were taken into Jeff Wells Studio in December of 1976. This studio was a step up from Mullins Studio. By this time, another Midlander, multi-insrumentalist and talented singer Rick Plunk, had joined Jon and I in Houston, forming the band Southern Cross. Rick brought a higher level of musicianship to our project. On this session he played magical parts on both songs. I was really happy with these recordings. Indeed, as it turned out, the only old tracks I felt could be salvaged for this album (aside from Jon's harmony snippet from "Words Don't' Come Easy") were these from "More Than St. John's." Except for drums, that's Southern Cross, Rick on keyboards, Jon on bass, and 24-year old me on acoustic guitar and vocals. For this version, I added a few electric guitar bits, and brought in drummer Mike Vecchione to navigate the not quite consistent tempo where before there had just been the simplest percussion.
8. Rio Frio
Everything's quiet in Texas tonight
Rusty - vocals, electric guitar
Backstory: Ah, "Rio Frio." I still think this is one of my best songs. Though written in October 1975 at Foxhall, the genesis of this one starts back in the fall of 1971. Returning from Midland to Houston for my sophomore year at the University of Houston, I had the idea to compose a "rock opera" based on the history of Texas. So I got to writing, knocking off eight songs in a matter of weeks. Alas, they weren't very good. I just wasn't a very capable songwriter at that point. So the project stalled. But once in a blue moon I would try to work on another song for the opera. Finally, at Foxhall the last song specifically written for that ill-fated concept emerged. I was trying to come up with a song that would describe the days of the Nueces Strip. After the Texas Revolution, Texas claimed land south to the Rio Grande River, while Mexico insisted that the Texan claim ended further north at the Nueces River. The land in between was contested, and became lawless, and therefore a great place to hide out for outlaws. The Frio River, or, in Spanish, Rio Frio, flows into the Nueces down around those parts. As a child, our family had camped on the Frio River. It was the first river I ever bonded with, coming from out around Midland where are there no creeks, much less rivers. The song describes a young cowboy a long way from home, possibly wounded, hiding out beneath the cottonwoods on the banks of the Frio, missing his sweetheart back on some island, perhaps Galveston, far, far away. On Bayou Line, "More Than St. John's" and "Rio Frio" appear together, just as on the session back in 1976.
9. Home One More Time
The rain is coming down
Rusty - vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Backstory: "Home One More Time" was written in June of 1972, during my stint in Nashville. I lived on St. Edwards Drive in south Nashville, just off Nolensville Pike. I wrote this song shortly after returning from a trip to Atlanta with my songwriting buddy, Walter Carter (yes, the famous guitar historian and Carter Vintage Guitars shop owner). The "red mud" line comes from that part of the country, and the original lyric specified the "Georgia line." In later recordings, it became the "Texas line," and finally, for this version, simply the "county line," to make it more universal. Another lyrical change has "freeway strangled cities" replacing the original "smoke-stack crowded cities." When the song was written, nearly 50 years ago, cities still had smokestacks and a lot fewer freeways. Now the smokestacks are mostly gone, but the freeways just keep muliplying and getting more tangled. I have recorded "Home One More Time" five times, more than any other song. This version is helped immensely by talented multi-instrumentalist and producer Jed Demlow and crack guitarist Jason Roller, both of Nashville. Northwest drummer Darin Watkins plays drums, as he did on the previous version of "Home One More Time."
10. The Masterpiece of You
Maybe it's just the way the light
Rusty - vocals, acoustic guitar, synth
Backstory: In late Winter of 1977, I took my first trip to Europe, visiting Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and France. In Paris, I visited the Jeu de Paume art museum, which at the time housed a great collection of Impressionist paintings (most have since been moved to Musée d'Orsay). From an early age, I was drawn to the Impressionist painters, so seeing these up close was just amazing. So many masterpieces. When I got home, the trip continued to occupy my imagination. One day my girlfriend, who had beautiful long red hair, somehow reminded me of the girl with reddish blonde hair seated at a piano in Pierre-Auguste Renoir's famous painting. I thought, "Well, there's a masterpiece right there." So was inspired the first verse of the song. She was also a ballet dancer, which cued the second verse and Edgar Degas' "Dancers in Blue." With those two artists, I had a cool theme, and from there was able to continue the thread, weaving in paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet. Altogether, it's a musical painting. The chorus came last. I had to figure out how to bridge time and distance, and somehow bring them to her, and Texas. For the recording, I again enlisted Brazilian multi-instrumentalist Daniel Ribeiro, who contributed several songs on my Head to Heart album.
11. Another Night With You
It won't be long before
Rusty - vocals, electric guitar rhythm and 2nd lead guitar
Backstory: Another Summer of '75 Foxhall song, "Another Night With You" seemingly came out of left field. It's an unusual song for me in several ways. It's got this jaunty lilt to it, and I have no idea where the South Pacific theme came from, another imaginary setting in the vein of "More Than St. John's." It was definitely an oddball in my catalogue. and I always liked it, partially for that reason, plus I just think it has an interesting melody and lyrics. The song never made it into live shows or recordings. Until now. "Another Night" was the third tune delivered by the Nashville crew, this time with top session guitarist Tom Wild, with whom I share the instrumental break (I'm playing the second part).
12. A Matter of When
I do recall a time not long ago
Rusty - vocals, electric guitars
Backstory: "A Matter of When" is another Verone, 1977 song, somewhat autobiographical, depicting the end of a longtime romance. The song was recorded at M.R.S. in August 1978 at a session that also included "Corner of My Mind." For this version, Nashville ace, Jed Demlow, provided the basic tracks, and I overlayed chimey guitars.
13. That's When the Fall Began
The leaves of summer are counting their days
Rusty - vocals, guitars, piano, bass, drums
Backstory: "That's When the Fall Began" is another late summer '77 song, written at the Verone house a couple of months before "A Matter of When." Yes, they describe the same real-life breakup. This song was never recorded or played live in Houston; it just didn't fit with the rock and roll I was doing at the time. But I always felt it was a good tune, interesting lyrics and rhythm; I enjoyed playing it on acoustic guitar periodically. I always figured I would someday record it, but never did, until now. This version, with me playing everything, was supposed to just be a demo, but the more I listened to it, the more I liked it. So here it is.
14. Through His Name
Down by the river so wide and muddy, people say
Rusty - vocals, acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion
Backstory: "Through His Name" was written, as a lark, in late August of 1971 just after I had returned from Midland to Houston for my sophomore year at UH. Goaded by my irreverent roommate at the time, high school friend, Johnny Davis (yep, the well-known Texas map-maker), to try to write a "gospel" song, this is what I came up with. The two Midland heretics had a good laugh over it, and then the song was relegated to the status of forgotten ditty for decades. But when reviewing old Houston songs, I reevaluated "Through His Name." With the clarity of distance, to my surprise, it seemed to me, albeit a lapsed Methodist, that it might actually fit in a hymnal. I did tweak a couple of lines so that this song has a deeper, mystical, aspect to it, the idea that everyone, and everything, is inherently divine, made of godstuff. So if three hallejuhas beside the bayou can help bring you to find 'the Lord' in yourself and the rest of the Universe, I say go for it.
15. Our Love's With You
If you choose to leave us, baby, that's the way it goes
Rusty - vocals, guitars
Backstory: "Our Love's With You" was written in May 1973 for my little sister upon her high school graduation and presumed leaving home for college. It is one of the handful of songs I wrote on piano. It was recorded in 1974 in Houston at Mullins Recording Studio. I played piano and guitar in a very stripped down arrangement. That recording was pretty sweet, though plagued by the low quality of the studio. The song was never played live. This one was the last of this collection to be re-recorded. I sent the old recording to crack Nashville multi-instrumentalist, Jed Demlow, with instructions to copy it pretty closely while adding his own touches. The result is true to the original piano version.
16. Corner of My Mind
When I sit in concentration
Rusty - vocals
Backstory: "Corner of My Mind" is one of my earliest collaborations as a songwriter. Home in Midland for spring break in 1971, I discovered that high school (and theatre troop) friend, Paige Kemper, wrote poetry. So I asked for a sample of her works, and she provided this poem. Back in Houston, I put music to these amazing words written by a 16-year old. This was one of the songs that secured me a songwriting deal in Nashville in 1972. Alas, it was not recorded there. Recording of the song would wait until August of 1978 in Houston. That was a nice recording, but I always felt something was missing. The song had three strong, philosophic, verses but no bridge, and no more personal, intimate insight into the unique romance described. Because the song structure closely resembled that of Donovan's "Catch the Wind," one of my favorite songs, I didn't prioritize any addendum to "Corner." It was fine, as is... until the album Bayou Line came into view. I knew 'Corner of My Mind' should be on this album, and here was the chance to finally provide that missing part, a bridge, that would delve deeper into this relationship and provide a glimpse of why this person still lingers in memory. I thought the song needed to go back in time and be in that relationship at a special moment. And so the idea of a vacation in Ireland came into play, encompassing the shared peak experiences of joy and sadness and wonder and magic and desire compressed into a few very special days of a love that somehow (still mysteriously) eventually disconnected. There is just no way I would have ever thought of this bridge back when Paige and I were teenagers. It's taken me that long to think of something profound and unique enough to complement her beautiful verses.
17. Riding On
Do you get the feeling lately, somewhere beyond us
Rusty - vocals, guitars
Backstory: "Riding On" is another Foxhall song, written in March of 1975. It was never played live or recorded previously. It's a song about persevering through pain, overcoming obstacles and gathering momentum in your life, and sharing that trajectory with another person. Steve Beasley helped immensely to get this one shaped up. I hope one day we are "Riding On" free of the selfishness that has so stunted our individual and collective evolution. That day is out there, if enough of We the People demand it.
All songs Copyright © Rio Paso Music Propductions
© Copyright Rio Paso Music Productions