Rustee Allen
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Rustee Allen

Oakland, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2018 | INDIE

Oakland, California, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2018
Band R&B Funk




"29 Jun 2013 Rustee Allen - In Time with Sly and the Family Stone"

Growing up with musicians playing on almost every Sobrante Park doorstep, Rustee Allen was bound to pick up an instrument. After a short time strumming a guitar Rustee found the bass felt better. Before he was out of school, the gifted musician was drawing a pencil moustache on his face to help him get in to San Francisco night clubs. His talent was spotted by Freddie Stone and soon Rustee was introduced to Sylvester Stewart, better known to the world as Sly. After the inventor of slap bass, Larry Graham, left Sly and the Family Stone, Rustee joined the band - his first task was to play on the funk classic In Time, for the album Fresh. He sat down with Nick Atkinson to talk about those classic sessions with Sly, which were the prelude to a glittering career, often darkened with stories of fellow musicians, including Sly himself, whose lives were ruined by addiction and bankruptcy. - RNZ MUSIC

"Bass player adds a little thump to Sunday sermon"

Rustee Allen’s personal parable still perplexes him.

“It’s all just been so wonderful,” said Allen, who played bass for 18 years with Sly & the Family Stone and Bobby Womack. “It seems like my life was predestined.

“I’ve always believed in God. I always had faith in him. His hand on me prevented straight-up death. I should have been shot. Murdered. In jail. All kinds of suffering and years and years of insanity.”

Instead, Allen survived the craziness. He’s found a center of calm at Stockton’s New Life Worship Center, where he adds bass rhythms to pastor Thurnell Clayton Jr.’s Sunday messages.

“He’s amazing,” said Clayton, an Edison High School graduate and 50-year Stockton resident. “He’s a competent professional and that’s the attitude he brings to church. He’s just such a present personality. In four years, I’ve never seen him upset. I’d hate to lose him.”

Allen, a Stockton resident, has played for huge crowds — and befriended Sylvester “Sly” Stewart, Larry Graham, George Clinton and Womack — but retains his humility.

“I’ve never considered myself an upper-echelon bass player,” said Allen, 64, who moved here from Hayward eight years ago. “Apparently, there’s something there I’m not hearing. To this day.”

Now, Allen, drummer Prince Prior, 16, an Edison student, and organ player Kevin Rios energize the West Lane Pentecostal church’s 150 members.

“I’ve always believed in God. I always had faith in him. His hand on me prevented straight-up death. I should have been shot. Murdered. In jail. All kinds of suffering and years and years of insanity.”

— Rustee Allen

“We have a real upbeat service,” said Clayton, 65, a former trumpet player whose church turns 10 in April. “We’re really rockin’.”

Allen, born Elbert Allen in Monroe, Louisiana, knew he would become a musician. He just didn’t know how.

Neither dad Elbert, a member of the U.S. Navy, nor mom Lela, a cannery worker, were musical. Allen was the “third son born on the third day of the third month” in a family of five. His musical odyssey was unorthodox.

The family moved to Oakland when he was 3. His musical baptism occurred as he listened to the radio during mom’s Whist parties: Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Tommy Tucker, Lowell Fulson, Jimmy McCracken, Muddy Waters, Ahmad Jamaal.

While living near Sobrante Park, the 10-year-old watched a guy (“visiting his girlfriend”) in a ’57 Buick, “James Brown pompadour” and a long case.

It was Larry Graham, who later recommended that Allen replace him in Sly & the Family Stone. Sly Stewart, then a radio DJ, played those records. Brother Freddie Stewart became a friend.

At 14, the Castlemont High School student started “messing around with guitars,” lugging his entire bass set-up on and off buses for two-hour trips to West Oakland — spending three years with the Casuals, a James Brown-Joe Tex thing.

One day in Berkeley, Allen ran up to a guy getting his shoes shined. He told guitarist Johnny Talbot he wanted to play in his De-Thangs band. He did.

“I got a lot of seasoning,” Allen said. “A lot about what it means to be a professional musician.”

That led to a year with Oakland’s Edwin Hawkins Singers: “I was thrilled, of course. At the same time, music takes precedence.”

His friendship with Freddie Stewart evolved into a spot in Little Sister, which opened for Sly & the Family Stone. When Graham departed, “here was a guy I used to see across the street as a 10-year-old kid asking me to take his place in Sly. It’s so crazy. Great gigs with some of the funkiest, greatest musicians on the planet. I thank God I was able to handle that.”

He proudly proclaims he’s been in “uninterrupted recovery” for 11 years: “It was very fast-moving. Yeah, and drugs. I’m this impressionable kid, with, like, the greatest funk band.”

Then came British blues-rocker Robin Trower, with whom he toured and recorded for 18 months. When he and Freddie Stewart checked out Womack (1944-2014), a soul-gospel singer and songwriter, in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park, they wound up on stage.

Some of Allen’s West Oakland friends formed a band and he spent 16 years touring and recording with Womack, a Cleveland native who died June 27, 2014, at 70.

“He coulda been my dad,” Allen said. “I coulda been his son. Sometimes, I still can’t believe he’s not on this planet. His birthday was March 4. One day after mine.”

Allen’s working on a Womack “greatest-hits” CD and has teamed with Clinton. He’s recorded with Vallejo’s E40 (Earl Stevens, 44) and is “lucky enough” Oakland rapper Tia Nomore, 23, is a protege.

Allen participated in a Jan. 24 tribute to Sly Stone at Oakland’s Fox Theatre and plays in three “corporate” bands at Northern California casinos.

Fittingly, Allen was “discovered” four years ago at Mr. C’s Music in Stockton. A “young man” heard him “messing around” on a guitar and took him to meet Clayton. A bond was formed.

“We’re able to create some fire,” said Allen, who lives in Spanos Park West with wife Nadine, retired after 36 years with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. They have two sons, Dakari, 12, and Demarco, 22. “I want to bring as many souls to church as I can.” - RECORDNET.COM


That Thing You Do (Auteria's Mix) [feat. Bobby Womack] released 01/01/19



Legendary Bassist extraordinaire Rustee Allen has performed and recorded with some of the greats — most notably with Sly and The Family Stone (’72 – ’75), Robin Trower (’75 – ’78), and Bobby Womack (’94 – present). Throughout his career, Allen has also played bass with a number of other influential artists, including George Clinton, Lenny Williams, The Temptations, and Lighthouse for the Blind. In the late ’70s, he led his own group, the jazz fusion band Second Wind. In 2006, Allen once again performed with Sly & the Family Stone at the 48th Grammy Awards

And now, Rustee presents himself to his fans with his 1st solo album released in July, 2018, SIMPLE RULES.  Rustee is bringing the funk to you!!

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