Rusty Zinn


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This is a long-awaited release (on Black Top) by a promising guitarist. Rusty Zinn carries more weight than the guitar-slinger epithet tells. He is an exceptional songwriter, as the five tunes he wrote or co-wrote on this disc will show. Plus, he is a singer and is exceptionally good at handling other people's material. Give a listen to the treatment he gives to Robert Nighthawk's "Someday"; he makes it his own song without messing up the writer's intentions. A very large plus is that the material he is doing isn't the Chicago sound that is so popular with a lot of young guitarists. He is using Austin, TX as his base and has quite a bit of the Texas countrified blues influence in his music. This is music that at times strays into the West Texas bluesy countrified sound of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. It is definitely a more laid-back and rural sound that leaves room for each of the players in the two bands he uses to great advantage here, to give short but effective solos. It is more ensemble and group effort than individual flash. Both groups are equally tight and able to go with the song, one has just a little more of a citified sound while still avoiding that Chicago guitar-driven emphasis. He uses his bandmates very well; look at the room he gives Jimmy Pugh to stretch out on organ in "Confessin' About My Baby." Or maybe you'd prefer the space Little Charlie Baty fills taking over the lead guitar and solos on "Someday." If you have any doubts about his roots, just listen to what he does by himself on the Rick Estrin tune "Come Get These Blues Up Off Me." This is a another top-notch disc of interesting blues on the Black Top label that you'll want to get your hands on.

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