After years of
playing sideman with other bands, Rusty Sterling decided to put
together his own concept of a band with his own distinctive brand
of red, hot rock n' blues Rusty Sterling & Friends.
Rusty got his
start in bands on the East Coast 20 years ago. He toured in the
'80s and early '90s with East Coast blues bands and was considered
one of the best harp players in the Washington, D.C., blues scene.
He brought with him to the West Coast a repertoire that is familiar
to many listeners but also has a distinct East Coast influence.
Audiences hear tunes that are endearing and familiar to them
but not generally played by other West Coast bands.
Rusty's home and he rode back into town a dusty unknown in the
San Francisco Bay area music scene in 1994. Nonetheless, he made
an impression on those who first heard him on harmonica or bass
guitar at local jams and he quickly started gigging.
Over the last
few years he's become steeped in the West Coast scene, having
played in such San Francisco area bands as Borrowed Time, Souls
of Blue, The Mike Roche Band, The High Rollers, The Stan Erhart
The Juicers, and The Bart Shea Band. Rusty has also been a special
guest with Big Bones & Bonafide, Marshall Law, Big Mamu,
Muddy's Sons, Mojo
and The Jukes.
rhythm guitar, and harmonica, Rusty uses his versatility to charm
and entertain audiences. The distinct snarl and rasp of Rusty's
lead vocals leads many to ask about his consumption of cigarettes
and whisky over the years. Together with his driving bass lines,
searing harmonica, precise rhythm guitar chops, Clapton-esque
vocals, and shiny silver stage wear, he can blind and hypnotize.
Some of Rusty's
influences include: Jimmy Rogers, Muddy Waters, Michael Bloomfield,
T-Bone Walker, Howlin' Wolf, Bo Diddley, Junior Wells, Willie
Dixon, all the Kings (BB, Albert, Freddie), Little Walter, Junior
Walker, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Delbert McClinton,
Etta James, Little Feat, The Meters, Koko Taylor, Uncle Dave
Macon, James Cotton, Eric Clapton, Charlie Musslewhite, Alberta
Hunter, Paul Butterfield, Eric Burdon, James Cotton, Elizabeth
Cotton, Albert Collins, Sam & Dave, Elvin Bishop, Rufus Thomas,
Al Kooper, Cephus & Wiggins, Jimmy Reed, and too many others
that deserve to be on this list.