'The Independent Music Show Magazine' July 2019 - Page 15

Featured Artist

31- May - 2019

As a young man, Rusty Smith made his living as a working musician playing bass and then transitioned into the field of

recording and mixing in his thirties. He grew up in Dallas, Texas and was active in the local music scene as a bass player in the early 70's. The first band he was in was in 1965 at the

age of 12. One of his band mates was Mickey Mantle Jr. , son of the New York Yankees player. Other local musicians he crossed paths with over time were Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Johnson, Eric and Larry Tagg, Brent Bourgeois and Rocky Athas.

After playing in club bands for several years, Rusty moved into being a session bassist in Dallas and played on several tracks for artists such as Texas songwriters, Don Magee and Jon Early. Soon he realized the process of making records was something he loved and he moved into being a recording engineer.

Rusty relocated to Los Angeles in 1987 and moved into the field of sound mixing for movies and television.

It was during the big switch from analogue post production to digital and he got to ride the wave of change while working on some high profile shows. The biggest show being The Simpsons. The opportunity arose in 1992 to mix the dialogue and music for "The Simpsons" and it turned into a 15 year ride with over 350 episodes mixed. He also earned three of his 7 Emmy nominations mixing the Simpsons.

His career in mixing television included HBO's "Deadwood", "Rome", Showtime's "Masters of Sex" as well as "Ray Donovan". He mixed for 20 years at Sony Pictures Studios and for the last 2 years at Universal Studios.

In 2008 he started sitting in with local musicians in Big Bear California, a small mountain resort town that

had a lively music scene. Th Skeleton Key Band performed a lot of Grateful Dead which was something he had never really played before. It was a jamming environment and there was a lot of freedom. Making some good friends in Big Bear, he ended up collaborating with some other songwriters there and released his first album, "Time for Things to Change" in 2015. He followed with the release of a second album in 2016 called "Paint Brush Monkey". It contained selections from his pre 2015 recordings along with some new material.

Rusty released a third album in 2017 that was a little more experimental than the previous releases entitled "Out of the Ordinary". He had been listening to some new releases from one of his longtime favorites, Todd Rundgren, as well as a lot of Jackie Greene and those had an impact on the sound of the record.

"Make Some Noise" and "Take Me as I Am" are the first songs released from Rusty since his 2017 release of the album, Out of the Ordinary. There will be an album later this year which will continue the forward momentum of Rusty's continuing journey in the creation of music to move both the mind and body.

Rusty is starting new projects with artists he has discovered and plans to debut his new You Tube channel and website, Record, Mix, Repeat.com. later this year. The site will feature live performances in studio

and on stage of Rusty and various artists form the southern California area. Stay tuned!

As Wootton states, "There's nothing fancy about them and they don't try to be something they're not. And that's what I like about them."

A Stephen's Indie Picks


”Out of the Ordinary”