Rusty Bladen
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Rusty Bladen

Band Americana Rock


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The best kept secret in music


"ALBUM REVIEW/Everything For Everybody"

By Steve Hammer, Music Editor
The name Rusty Bladen is a familiar one to anyone who has spent any amount of time in the live music establishments of Indianapolis. It's for good reason that he's one of the most popular live acts: Audiences love him.

That's because he's a straight-forward, solid Midwestern-American singer/songwriter with no particular chip on his shoulder. He's as honest as the day is long. You could trust him with the keys to your car when you go on vacation and he'd bring it back to you with a fresh wash job and a full tank of gas.

His voice is warbly in the way John Hiatt's voice is a bit warbly: It's an idiosyncrasy that makes this Hoosier's songs about relationships all the more endearing.

His band, the Shakin' Jakes, is a crackerjack unit of musicians that provides the solid pop music underpinnings to Bladen's smart music. His music harkens back to the power-pop of the late '70's with some Wilbury's and pop country added for extra tartness and sweetness.

"Portable Love Song" and "Running Me Ragged" are just two examples of the well-played music on this album, whicis accentuated by guest appearances from the Why Store's Charlie Bushor and the ubiquitous Michael Clark.

Fans of Bladen's live show will enjoy Everything For Everybody as a souvenir. The unconverted will be won over by the songwriting (which is excellent), the playing (which is flawless) and the sincerity, which is omnipresent. A solid album. - NUVO - Indianapolis

"Bladen Rocks Through Three Concerts in 19-hour Span During Madison Regatta festivities"

Saturday, July 3
8:10 pm
Rusty Bladen and the Shakin' Jakes take the stage for the Rally in the Valley Concert in Madison, Indiana, and proceed to rock the river with an outstanding 55-minute set. They play Blue Flannel Shirt, Running Me Ragged, I Walk Alone, doyamissme, Smoke Like A Train and Red White and Blue from the Everything for Everybody CD and Are You Happy Now? from Rusty's first CD. Covers include Not Fade Away, All Along the Watchtower, Mary Jane's Last Dance and a set closing, rip-roarin' audience singin' version of Chuck Berry's Living in the USA.

10:50 pm
The entire band reconvenes for a masterful first of three sets in front of a rabid hometown (for Rusty) private party audience on the river. 

Rusty and the band, plus guest guitarist Ronnie Green whip out the unrecorded Been Down that Road Before and the little-played original Too Late to Look Back plus Real Gone Gal, and Portable Love Song. In addition to favorites like Squueze Box, Sweet Home Alabama and Pink Houses, the band does a late night, tasteful cover of Turn the Page and a tight version of Walking the Dog. The show eventually ends at 2:20 am

Sunday, July 4
3:40 pm
On one of the hottest race days (97 degrees with a billion percent humidity) ever, Rusty performs a killer, if brief, solo show for the packed Budweiser VIP Party Tent. In a short 30-minute set, he had the crowd singing to Blue Flannel Shirt, doyamissme and a rousing, set-closing Are You Happy Now? 

Free beer had the crowd greased up and ready to roll when he hit the stage with the singalong Margaritaville. Playing between the end of the final heat race and the beginning of the championshp race, Rusty had to end the set before he could whip out the appropriate-for-the-occasion classic Winter Wonderland, which he had relearned from a Jerry Jeff Walker CD earlier in the day, complete with a reference to the heat with the line "we'll perspire and drink cool Budweiser, walkin' in a winter wonderland".

Maybe next year... -


"Are You Happy Now?" LP 1993
"Live At The Hoosier Theater" LP 1995
"Everything for Everybody" LP 1998
"Rockin' Your House Party" LP 2000
"Ride That River" EP 2002


Feeling a bit camera shy


A veteran of the Indiana music scene, Rusty Bladen has built his career playing nearly every club, frat house, bar , theater, festival, and roadhouse in Indiana. Bladen powers the crowds at his shows with an atmosphere of party songs, sing-alongs and a whole lot of audience participation.

With an email list of 3,000, Rusty has cultivated an extremely loyal Midwestern fan base for his band and his solo performances.

Selling more than 15,000 copies of his first three CD's, Everything for Everybody, Are You Happy Now? and Live Acoustic at the Hoosier Theater, Bladen ranks as one of the best selling independent artists in the state.

His latest Cds were recorded with John Mellencamp's band members. The most recent CD, "Ride that River" appears in the soundtrack for the MGM/HBO major motion picture “Madison” (starring Jim Caviezal and Mary McCormack.)

Bladen penned the award-winning theme song for the WQMF morning show in Louisville, and his original music is featured in a commercial documentary video on Indiana basketball legend Steve Alford.

His solo show is a high energy, freewheeling tour-de-force of Bladen originals, songs from the radio, and some excellent hippie country-rock tunes. The band show is an exhibition of what five guys holding onto the same roots rock and roll rope can pull an audience into. The band shows are fun, rockin' and loud. The solo shows are fun, rockin' and almost as loud.