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The best kept secret in music


"Ex-rocker Answers call to Christian Music"

October 21, 2006
Music always has been a part of Russell "Rusty" Shields' life.
The Merrillville resident cut his teeth as a rocker, embracing a lifestyle of partying and making music.
However, all that changed four years ago, when Shields said the Lord came to him in a dream.
"He called me to play for him," Shields said. "I quit everything. My focus just completely changed."
He left his rock band, Rusty Nails, and began playing Christian music. Five months ago, he began the band Russell and Tenfold. The group recently earned the spotlight in a competition co-sponsored by the Gospel Music Association, the Christian Music Association and JAMM Records at The Gospel Lighthouse in Shelby.
Russell and Tenfold received a perfect score and will headline the final stage of the competition tonight in Shelby. They will take the stage at 7 p.m. The other three members of the final four begin performing at 4 p.m.
"At the end, when they announced our name, I couldn't believe it," Shields said.
He said the winner of the final contest earns a record contract. Shields said the preliminary round went so well, he already has had contact with JAMM about producing an album.
"I've been offered three contracts the last five months and didn't sign any of the three," said Shields, who intends to record a CD either with a label or independently and see what deal is best. "We'd like to make sure I give all the glory to God for everything that happens in our band.
"You can never say 'no' to the Lord," Shields said of his decision to begin playing Christian music.
Shields said he had never heard Christian music, so instead of listening to the radio, he began writing his own lyrics and music.
"As soon as I sat down in prayer, the songs just started coming one after the other," he said.
After Shields wrote about 40 songs, he began looking for the band members who would eventually make up Tenfold.
He found bassist Tom Linthurst through an ad. Linthurst liked the music and had a friend, a drummer, Steve Ziembicki. With the band taking shape, Linthurst and Shields brought in a back-up singer. Edith Willis and Stacey Vadas round out the roster of Tenfold. - Post Tribune


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