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RUSTY ZINN

Rusty Zinn's talents run deep. He’s a soul-satisfying singer, a guitar maestro of the first order, and an insightful and thought-provoking songwriter. Still, having established himself from his youth as a top-shelf blues player and soul/R&B singer touring and recording with a virtual ‘who’s who’ of legends from these genres, and even after being nominated for the very prestigious W.C. Handy Award, Zinn found himself looking for more musically and spiritually.

Most artists, having discovered a niche that captures the approval of fans and critics alike, are reluctant to alter their 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 2007 release, Reggae Blue, is the expression of that passion. Here he’s joined by key members of legendary reggae band The Soul Syndicate – Fully Fullwood (bass), Tony Chin (rhythm guitar) and Santa Davis (drums) – who help Zinn shape his highly personal brand of reggae topped with a healthy portion 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." In the summer of 2007 shortly after the release of Reggae Blue, the late Joe Higgs’ daughter Marcia was so taken by Rusty’s authentic, soulful reggae sound that she flew him to her Boston residence to perform some shows. Rusty made quite an impression on the Jamaican reggae community there and by the end of the year was nominated for the Joe Higgs Music Award for ‘Best International Reggae Artist.’ Other legendary Jamaican music veterans who have befriended Rusty over the years and have taken him under their wing for musical and spiritual guidance are Mikey Chung, Barry Biggs, Winston Francis, Clinton Fearon, Leroy Brown, and Milton Henry.
 

Rusty is inspired by such Jamaican vocal legends as Joe Higgs, Alton Ellis, Jimmy Cliff, Delroy Wilson, and Slim Smith, 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. Rusty wisely uses these influences as a base for his own eloquent expression of the form. In keeping with his belief of nurturing the human element in reggae music, he records and performs with real people 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”. He also feels that reggae is a music where the message is the most important ingredient. “To me the vocals should be in the forefront so people can hear the message. It could be about the love for a woman or the love for Jah, but no matter what the story is, it needs to be heard”.

Reggae Blue was also reviewed in The Beat by Chuck Foster, who gave raves to Rusty’s singing and songwriting skills. He also said that “My God” and “Heaven Is A Place Called Zion” “show his interest in Jah music is not of the bandwagon variety”. Zinn feels that he has finally found himself and arrived at his musical destination. As a very soulful and spiritually inquisitive individual, the natural mystic of Rastafari is a major influence not only in his music but in his outlook on life as well. Rusty’s music is simply a testament to that reality.
 

Rusty Zinn Links:

 

Rusty Zinn Videos:

Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You

My God (Live)