C. L: : Country Music has many new fans in Europe who may be learning
about you for the first time. How would you describe the music you
play to someone who's never seen or heard you before?
say that I cross some borders (or get pretty close sometimes)
with what I sing. I am definitely country, but I think alot of
what I sing has a bluesy sound to it; The Country Legends Association
has been real supportive to me. They were talking to my manager,
Robert Keister, one day, and made the statement that no matter
what I sing, it sounds country! I like to sing and record what
I feel; I have to like the song! If I can't get into the song,
the delivery of the song doesn't seem as believable. For me it's
all about the song.
L: What is your current CD and how is it doing?
just completed production on my new album "Chip Chip,"
but it hasn't been released yet; however, the release date is
set for October 12th,
L: How did you find the title for the CD and what inspired you?
"Chip Chip" was the first single from my album; It was
written by Whisperin' Bill Anderson and co-writer Melba Montgomery.
It has been at radio for about 5 weeks (in the U.S. and overseas)
and doing really well, thanks to the very supportive DJ's and
fans! It's a great song; It's one of those tunes that get in your
head. For those out there that haven't heard the duet yet, you
can go on my website at http://www.rustieblue.com and "Chip
Chip" will start playing.
L: Do you write the songs yourself and if not, how do you go about
finding songs for your albums?
actually written several songs or I should say started several
songs; Sometimes I come up with a really good Chorus or maybe
I'll write a good first verse and can't find a good second verse
to go with it; I did write the cut "Honky Tonkin' Diva"
on the album. I usually write best when I'm at home and have some
quiet time. As for the other songs, I just put the word out, that
I'm looking for songs (country songs), though sometimes I get
all kinds of songs, even rap, for some reason. This is my third
album and I took much longer selecting songs for this one; I guess
I was much more picky. Bill Anderson contributed 4 of the 15 songs
on the album. 3 of the 4 songs that Bill sent were original, and
never been cut by another artist. I'm really honored that Bill
believes in me enough to send me great original songs! Also I
got to know Becky Hobbs after recording her song, "Jones
On The Jukebox" in 2002; It went to #1 on the E.C.M.A. Chart.
We got to talking, and she's just a real nice person, but anyway,
she sent me two songs for this album. I also have some tunes by
Billy Yates and Rich Fagan. I'm just real excited about the album!
L: What's your favorite song among all the songs you've recorded and
what's the story behind it?
favorite song is "Chip Chip." I met Bill back in 2001
after opening two shows for him at the Millersport "Sweet
Corn Festival" in Ohio. We had communication prior to that,
but we had not actually met. He was real nice, and I had the opportunity
to talk with him after the show. It was such a honor to set at
the table beside him and sign autographs. Some time went by, and
I emailed him and thanked him for everything and ask him if he
would be interested in sending me some songs; I remember adding
at the end of the email, p.s. I'm whispering so I hope you hear
me. I went on to record two of his songs "On and On and On"
and "I'm Not Going Til I'm Gone" on my last album "Enter
At Your Own Risk." When I started looking for songs for my
new album, I started thinking how nice it would be to have a duet
on the album with Bill. I ask Bill if he would consider doing
a duet with me, and he said he would consider it, and as they
say the rest is history. We recorded "Chip Chip" at
"Sony Studio" in Nashville and at the end of the day
Bill invited my manager and I backstage at the Grand Ole Opry;
I was just thrilled! What better way to end a great day of recording
with Country Legend Whisperin' Bill Anderson, and then to go to
the Opry; I have to say I was on cloud 9.
L: How much creative control do you have over your music?
the moment; I control most of it. I normally choose my own songs.
I do have other folks on my team that will help find songs for
me, but I end up actually making the final choices.
L: There's a lot of work that goes into a Number One hit ... what
does it take to make it?
think, you first have to have the talent, but it's always about
the song; You have to have that one great song, that everyone
wants to hear and wants to have in their CD player! Of course
you can have that song, but it has to be heard. You need the
right promotion behind you and the song to get it out there
and to be heard.
L: How much do your songs influence your audience?
think it depends on where I'm performing. I can go up on stage
with a set list and plan to sing certain songs, but I very Rawley
can follow a set list because I think a lot of what I sing depends
on what mood the audience is in. If I start going a direction
that the audience doesn't respond to, then I change what I'm
doing. I think, basically you have to feel the crowd out.
L: The Internet is playing a bigger and bigger part in the world of
music. Has the Internet hurt or helped you and how would you like
to see it evolve?
has for sure helped me and my career. You can be in contact
with many people from all over the world. The computer has just
become a way of life now. With all of the on-line music websites,
I definitely have more exposure!
L: Who do you look up to musically and where do your musical roots
of course, really respect and look up to Bill Anderson, which
by the way he is a fabulous Entertainer as well as Singer/Songwriter,
also other influences would be Dolly Parton. I think she is
so witty and very funny too! Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Loretta
Lynn, Wynonna, and one of the new comers, Gretchen Wilson. Also
L: What do you think about today's Country Music versus its roots
and where do you see it going in the future?
would like to see more traditional music being played on the
radio, but I think that traditional country music is much more
popular now than it was 3 or 4 years ago. Personally I don't
have a problem with some of the new country, but all of the
yelling, busy sounding type songs, I don't care for. I guess,
I like to hear more originality too, (not everyone sounding
L: If you had the chance to change something about the music industry,
what would it be?
don't think it should matter what you look like or how old or
how young you are; I think if a song is great, and you are able
to please the fans, that is what should matter. I know that some
disagree, because, as we get more and more into the world of video's,
some say that the music business is more visual than it was 20
years ago, but then I go back to, if your pleasing the fans, that
is all that should matter. I think we miss out on a lot of good
music because of image. Image is everything in music today!
L: As an artist you have to do so many different things such as recording,
touring, doing interviews etc. What do you like best, what's your
favorite thing is performing on stage! I could do that all of
the time! A very close second, would be recording; There's just
that special magic, when your in the studio, and the excitement
L: How did you get into Country Music ... is there a story behind
L: Well, actually I've been singing ever since I was about 8 years
old, but not really going out and playing the clubs, fairs and
festivals until later on. As I was growing up, I was surrounded
by country music and so I just knew that it was something that
I always wanted to do. I actually didn't start opening for folks
such as, Aaron Tippin, Bill Anderson, The Honky Tonk Tailgate
Party, which consists of Jeff Carson, Daryle Singletary and Rhett
Akins, until 2001, that's when things starting getting busier
L: Has your journey to success been a hard or an easy road?
think for the most part that it has been hard. The Music Business
definitely has it's ups and downs. What is the saying, for every
door that opens, there's 12 that shuts; Something like that, but
just to let you know, that statement is true. <smile> I
work really hard and what I do, and I'm very determined. I think
that an artist that is wanting to make it in the Music Business,
not only needs the talent, but needs the determination; You can't
give up. There are just to many very talented artists out there
doing and wanting the same thing that you do. It takes a lot of
L: What drives you? What inspired you to become an artist?
of all, if somebody tells me I can't, then I do or try to anyway.
I'm driven very much by my fans! I have an overwhelming love for
L: What does it take to be a Country Star?
determination, stamina (the road gets pretty tough), it's a must
is to take care of yourself. Which is actually the number one
thing that you have to do, because if you don't take care of yourself,
the rest isn't going to matter. I'm also always learning everyday
something new about the music business, I would tell folks that
want, or are just breaking into the music business. Learn all
you can about the business; You really miss out on a lot in helping
yourself succeed if you don't know what's available!
L: What's unique about you that differentiates you from other artists?
I don't try to sound like anyone else! I have many influences
and some of them are transformed in my music. It would be best
to ask my fans what is different about me. I'm just me!
L: What has been your greatest challenge in music business?
have given me some of the most difficult questions that I have
ever had in an interview! I guess, the hours of time that it takes
to things. I always want to do things right and I know that good
enough, really isn't good enough, things have to be really great!
L: What moments in your career stand out in your memory as highlights
and achievements which you're proud of?
that one is easy! Having the opportunity to record with an Icon
like Bill Anderson! I'm also very proud of my new album; I'm proud
of my last two, but I feel I've grown alot, as an artist in the
last few years with touring so much!
L: Who's your biggest critic, yourself or others?
The longer that I'm in the music business, the more I expect of
L: When you get time off, how do you like to relax?
hot bubble bath! I have to admit too that I like to get lost in
a good movie and eat popcorn! <smile>
L: Is there anything in your life that you would change if you could?
not at the moment; I'm pretty happy to be able to be doing what
I enjoy and to have the opportunity to do it full time. I use
to work full time as a Nurse, but as my music expanded more and
more, I realized that being a Nurse, and actually being an Artist
both take 100%, I decided to put my nursing on hold.
L: What private hopes and desires do you have?
sure if this is a secret or not, but I would love to perform on
the Grand Ole Opry someday! Hopefully, if that ever happens, I
won't faint while on stage, then it be all over. Just kiddin.
L: What has been the biggest disappointment in your life?
have been disappointments and sad times. I feel the loss of my
mother. She was much to young to die. She didn't even get to hear
my first album. My mother was much of my Country Music inspiration.
I miss her very much!
L: When you're on tour, do you have time to play tourist?
not normally. Altlhough, I did get the chance to go shopping one
day while I was in Germany, but so far I haven't had the time
to really site see while on tour.
L: Can your European fans look forward to seeing you in concert in
I will be touring in Europe in 2005 with my band "The Stallions."
The dates haven't been confirmed yet, but they will be posted
to my website as soon as I know. I really look forward to seeing
some of the DJ's and the fans again, that I made while I was there.
I really look forward to meeting new ones!
L: Many music fans today get their information about artists via the
internet. Do you have your own website and what information can the
fans find about you on the Internet?
they can find my second home at http://www.rustieblue.com
and listen to some music samples from my new album "Chip
Chip"! They can find out where it's available. They'll also
find fan club info, bio, news updates, my touring schedule. I
also have a few fan sites under the interaction section that I
would love for them to visit! Every once in awhile I pop in and
try to keep up with them that way. My website also has lots of
L: What are your plans for the future?
hope to continue what I'm doing now, which is performing, but
even more of it. It doesn't matter how bad of a day I'm having,
when I hit that stage I just come alive! Stage is where I'm probably
the most comfortable. I just got word that I'll be performing
at the "Midnight Jamboree" with Bill Anderson in Nashville
on November 20th. I'm really excited about that! I'm going to
be heading to Norway in 2005 with my band "The Stalllions,"
which are a great bunch of guys! In addition to that, I have never
been to Fan Fair yet so I have that on my list of things to do
next year and possibly attend the CRS.
the best compliment a fan has ever given you?
I was overseas, a fan came up to me and told me that they really
enjoyed my show because I came down into the audience and danced
with the crowd while was performing, and I didn't only stay
on the stage. They felt that they could relate to me more because
I got right down with the crowd.
your favorite song that you didn't record and why?
a tough one, because I have so many favorites! I would have to
say my all time favorite song is "I Will Always Love You."
by Dolly Parton. I'm thinking that it was a #1 hit 4 times. Twice
for Dolly (once with Vince Gill). When Dolly sings it, it sounds
so pure and beautiful! When I go out to perform, I usually like
to pick some unexpected person from the audience to sing to. One
night I invited a gentlemen up on stage to sing to him, the song
"I Will Always Love You," but during singing the song
, I started thinking that really it's more of a breaking up song.
I don't actually sing it to anyone anymore, but still love singing
the song, as a cover tune in my shows. I used to be really shy
on stage, but I joined a show called "Center Stage Legends",
and started doing a Dolly Parton Tribute. Every time I would go
out and perform as Dolly, I was a big ham; To make a long story
short, I got away from my shyness by doing tributes, because you
could be someone else, but now I don't really do tributes anymore,
I just like to go out an be myself. (It's much easier).
message would you like to send your European fans?
would like to thank you all so very much for listening to my music
and coming to see me at my shows while I was in Europe in 2002!
I can't thank you enough for the support, because without you,
I couldn't do what I love to do best, and that is sing! Thank
you so much! Hope to meet many more of you during my tour next
L. Thank you for this interview.