"Hearing all those sweet Doo Wop sounds and deep Soul music, Motown, all of it helped shape my idea of what elements music should embody." All this roots music led to Rusty's deep passion for the Blues, Soul and R&B, and ultimately the Jamaican sounds that he holds so dear to his heart in the form of Rock Steady, Reggae, and Ska! Rusty's talents run deep. He’s a soul satisfying singer, a guitar maestro of the first order, and an insightful and thought provoking songwriter. And, having established himself early on as a top shelf Blues player – he’s got an impressive resume, touring and recording with a virtual who’s who of the genre including Jimmy Rogers, Snooky Pryor, Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton, and Kim Wilson – and even after being nominated for the very prestigious W.C. Handy Award, Zinn found himself looking for more musically and spiritually. Most artists when discovering a niche that meets the approval of fans and critics alike are reluctant to alter the course.
Such is not the case with Rusty Zinn who, always following his heart, sensed that he wasn’t at a destination point but rather at the beginning of his musical journey, and followed the path to his deep rooted passion for Reggae. His latest release, ReggaeBlue, is the expression of that passion. Here he’s joined by key members of the legendary Reggae band, The Soul Syndicate – Fully Fullwood (bass) Tony Chin (rhythm guitar) Santa Davis (drums) – who help Zinn shape his highly personal brand of Reggae sprinkled with a whole lot of Soul. Fully says "I really like Rusty's voice and his songwriting.
He sings about the same things we talked about in Jamaica back in the day." Zinn subconciously channels his Jamaican heroes – singers Joe Higgs, Alton Ellis, Jimmy Cliff, Delroy Wilson and others as well as guitarists Tony Chin, Earl "Chinna" Smith and Mikey Chung – and credits Joe Higgs and Clinton Fearon as having a profound influence on his approach to crafting a song. But Rusty wisely uses these influences as a base for his own eloquent and elegant expression of the form. And he does it old school. With his belief of keeping the human element in Reggae music alive, he prefers to use actual players playing real instruments.
In his own words, “Reggae is music for the heart and soul – something that can’t be captured by a drum machine”. To the casual observer it might appear that Reggae is just another phase in Zinn’s career, but that couldn't be further from the truth. The fact is that as a very soulful and spiritual individual, the mysticism of Rastafari is a major influence not only in his music but in his outlook on life as well. ReggaeBlue is simply a testament to that reality. Read more on Last.fm.
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