Rusty Maples
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Rusty Maples

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States | SELF

Las Vegas, Nevada, United States | SELF
Band Rock Americana

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"BEST LIVE BAND Las Vegas Weekly 2013 READERS CHOICE"

Best Live Band 2013 from Las Vegas Weekly Magazine - Las Vegas Weekly


"BEST LIVE BAND Las Vegas Weekly 2013 READERS CHOICE"

Best Live Band 2013 from Las Vegas Weekly Magazine - Las Vegas Weekly


"Rusty Maples headlines SxSW V2V"

Rusty Maples headline the first ever SxSW v2v - SxSW V2v


"Rusty Maples headlines SxSW V2V"

Rusty Maples headline the first ever SxSW v2v - SxSW V2v


"Rusty Maples trade Day Job for Shot Of Success"

“You guys in a British rock band?” asks a Fremont Street passerby as members of Rusty Maples enjoy a smoke before a photo shoot.

The band just completed a two-week tour that took them from New Mexico to Wisconsin. The Maples look cool enough to pass for an overseas sensation. They sound even better. They’re the Vegas indie-Americana band of the moment, currently toiling in the studio on a proper full-length album. Their songs, like the anthemic “Pockets” off last year’s Make Way EP, are emotional and engaging. The Maples do melodic rock minus a formulaic approach and posturing.

But this fall is make-it-or-break-it time. Rusty Maples need a strong showing at the Life Is Beautiful fest to impress club-booking agents and glom onto the U.S. festival circuit. Proving they can go toe-to-toe with top acts such as Kings of Leon will help the Maples hitch their wagon to bigger, more established fests such as Sasquatch!, Bonnaroo and Coachella.

“We might get the noon slot at Life Is Beautiful,” frontman Blair Dewane says. “I’m just happy to see our name on a poster with bigger bands.”

Dewane is too humble. The Maples played SXSW last year alongside a slew of great bands. In any case, his brother, guitarist Ian Dewane, knows the Maples’ recent show for SXSW V2V, a Vegas extension of the Austin festival at the Cosmopolitan this month, was equally important. A buzz is, in fact, building around the band. So are the crowds, which get bigger with every Maples show.

When the band opened for Lord Huron at Beauty Bar recently, the audience was as excited to see Dewane and Co. as the headliner. And a packed gig in Reno, with people up front pressing the stage and singing along as intensely as they do at home in Las Vegas, opened the band’s eyes. This whole professional rock band thing might actually work out. Maybe we should knuckle down and play L.A. next.

No wonder, then, that the Maples musicians unanimously quit their jobs in April to focus on their band full time.

“We’re all in the same spot,” says drummer Max Plenke, who now ekes out a living as a freelance writer. “When we come back from the road, we’re picking up odd jobs, making enough to buy groceries for our girlfriends. Any creative energy that we might’ve spent at work we’re now putting toward this band.”

Giving up a steady paycheck is a scary proposition for your average weekend-warrior rock stars. But the Maples’ leap of faith seems necessary, inevitable. It also seems to be working. Right off the bat, their body language and style of dress communicate poise, turning the heads of hipsters along Fremont East, another of whom asks me if the Maples are famous.

“I comb my hair and tuck my shirt in,” Dewane says. “Ten years ago, I’d have said to myself, ‘What am I doing?’ Now I pay attention to how many times I say ‘fuck’ onstage. We still need to work on our confidence of being onstage and what we’re displaying to an audience. To realize we have people’s attention up there.”

Adds Blair: “Bottom line—we suck if they’re not into it. We can’t let that happen.” - Vegas SEVEN


"Rusty Maples trade Day Job for Shot Of Success"

“You guys in a British rock band?” asks a Fremont Street passerby as members of Rusty Maples enjoy a smoke before a photo shoot.

The band just completed a two-week tour that took them from New Mexico to Wisconsin. The Maples look cool enough to pass for an overseas sensation. They sound even better. They’re the Vegas indie-Americana band of the moment, currently toiling in the studio on a proper full-length album. Their songs, like the anthemic “Pockets” off last year’s Make Way EP, are emotional and engaging. The Maples do melodic rock minus a formulaic approach and posturing.

But this fall is make-it-or-break-it time. Rusty Maples need a strong showing at the Life Is Beautiful fest to impress club-booking agents and glom onto the U.S. festival circuit. Proving they can go toe-to-toe with top acts such as Kings of Leon will help the Maples hitch their wagon to bigger, more established fests such as Sasquatch!, Bonnaroo and Coachella.

“We might get the noon slot at Life Is Beautiful,” frontman Blair Dewane says. “I’m just happy to see our name on a poster with bigger bands.”

Dewane is too humble. The Maples played SXSW last year alongside a slew of great bands. In any case, his brother, guitarist Ian Dewane, knows the Maples’ recent show for SXSW V2V, a Vegas extension of the Austin festival at the Cosmopolitan this month, was equally important. A buzz is, in fact, building around the band. So are the crowds, which get bigger with every Maples show.

When the band opened for Lord Huron at Beauty Bar recently, the audience was as excited to see Dewane and Co. as the headliner. And a packed gig in Reno, with people up front pressing the stage and singing along as intensely as they do at home in Las Vegas, opened the band’s eyes. This whole professional rock band thing might actually work out. Maybe we should knuckle down and play L.A. next.

No wonder, then, that the Maples musicians unanimously quit their jobs in April to focus on their band full time.

“We’re all in the same spot,” says drummer Max Plenke, who now ekes out a living as a freelance writer. “When we come back from the road, we’re picking up odd jobs, making enough to buy groceries for our girlfriends. Any creative energy that we might’ve spent at work we’re now putting toward this band.”

Giving up a steady paycheck is a scary proposition for your average weekend-warrior rock stars. But the Maples’ leap of faith seems necessary, inevitable. It also seems to be working. Right off the bat, their body language and style of dress communicate poise, turning the heads of hipsters along Fremont East, another of whom asks me if the Maples are famous.

“I comb my hair and tuck my shirt in,” Dewane says. “Ten years ago, I’d have said to myself, ‘What am I doing?’ Now I pay attention to how many times I say ‘fuck’ onstage. We still need to work on our confidence of being onstage and what we’re displaying to an audience. To realize we have people’s attention up there.”

Adds Blair: “Bottom line—we suck if they’re not into it. We can’t let that happen.” - Vegas SEVEN


"No wait necessary: Life is Beautiful fest plans monthly local music showcase"



Turns out you won’t have to wait until fall to start experiencing Life Is Beautiful. The upcoming Downtown music, art and food festival has revealed plans for a monthly local music showcase, beginning in February.

The first Downtown Las Vegas Music Showcase is set for Wednesday, February 6 at Artifice and will feature headiner Rusty Maples, along with five other Vegas bands: American Cream, Same Sex Mary, Coastwest Unrest, Play for Keeps and The Perks. The free, 21-and-over event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

And for whom, exactly, will the bands be showcasing? You, for one, but also the festival itself, which is in the process of selecting Vegas bands for the local component of its lineup. “It’s a platform for us to show off the talent that’s in Las Vegas and to discover new talent that might fit into the lineup for the festival,” says Craig Nyman, head of music and live performances for Life Is Beautiful.

Don’t look for an applause meter or a judging table. Acts will get 30-minute time slots and come to the stage in rapid succession, but this is no battle of the bands. “It’s strictly a showcase,” Nyman says. “They’re not vying for a title or an award ... other than to try to earn a spot at the festival.”

Interested Vegas bands are invited to apply for future showcases through lifeisbeautifulfestival.com, and Nyman says upcoming editions will be programmed by genre—jazz/soul, country/alt-country, mainstream rock, indie/experimental—though “there are no limitations for submissions.” He adds that an emphasis will be placed on original material.
- Las Vegas Weekly


"No wait necessary: Life is Beautiful fest plans monthly local music showcase"



Turns out you won’t have to wait until fall to start experiencing Life Is Beautiful. The upcoming Downtown music, art and food festival has revealed plans for a monthly local music showcase, beginning in February.

The first Downtown Las Vegas Music Showcase is set for Wednesday, February 6 at Artifice and will feature headiner Rusty Maples, along with five other Vegas bands: American Cream, Same Sex Mary, Coastwest Unrest, Play for Keeps and The Perks. The free, 21-and-over event is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.

And for whom, exactly, will the bands be showcasing? You, for one, but also the festival itself, which is in the process of selecting Vegas bands for the local component of its lineup. “It’s a platform for us to show off the talent that’s in Las Vegas and to discover new talent that might fit into the lineup for the festival,” says Craig Nyman, head of music and live performances for Life Is Beautiful.

Don’t look for an applause meter or a judging table. Acts will get 30-minute time slots and come to the stage in rapid succession, but this is no battle of the bands. “It’s strictly a showcase,” Nyman says. “They’re not vying for a title or an award ... other than to try to earn a spot at the festival.”

Interested Vegas bands are invited to apply for future showcases through lifeisbeautifulfestival.com, and Nyman says upcoming editions will be programmed by genre—jazz/soul, country/alt-country, mainstream rock, indie/experimental—though “there are no limitations for submissions.” He adds that an emphasis will be placed on original material.
- Las Vegas Weekly


""Make Way" Review"

Indie rock
Rusty Maples, Make Way (Self-released)

Every song here rules, but one really stands out. Introduced by Max Plenke’s galloping beat and Ian Dewane’s octave-vamping guitar, “Pockets” opened into a prayer, picking locks of grief and rage. “You’ve been dealt the cruelest fate,” sang frontman Blair Dewane. “One-too-many hardships than your heart can afford.” A hundred Maples fans sang along. I can’t stop playing it or the rest of this stunning EP. If you find a better band in town, or anywhere, let me know. ????? - Vegas Seven magazine


"Rusty Maples demonstrates why it might be poised for prime time"

The last two Las Vegas rock bands with followings as big and devoted as Rusty Maples’ local fanbase are both now famous. If Friday’s release party for new EP Make Way at the Bunkhouse is any indication, the indie quintet could be headed toward Killers or Imagine Dragons territory.

The group—think The Lumineers, with a bigger sound—sounded tight as could be throughout its 50-minute set, delighting an enthusiastic crowd that sang along to just about everything. Rusty Maples is incredibly good at showcasing each of its musicians within the greater context of each song, especially the case on new tune “Wake Up Now.”

The brothers Dewane—Blair and Ian—write damn catchy tunes. Lead singer Blair has a dynamic voice and makes a strong connection with the crowd, as demonstrated on new song “Stay Inside.” Guitarist Ian wins most improved band member, showing his prowess on jams like “Monsoon.” Also key to the group’s development have been versatile bassist Mike Weller and drummer Max Plenke. Plenke was dressed as if he were headed off to fight a hobo in an old-timey train yard, but the only thing Boxcar Max beat up on this night was his drum kit, as he poured in song-enhancing fills.

And then there’s the cello. Courtney Waldron has hands that demand your eyeballs’ attention to see the way she plucks her strings. She and her typically classical instrument add a dynamic that helps separate the band from others of its type.

Make Way features one radio-ready song after another; “Runner” has breakthrough potential. Where it falls short: capturing the reckless exuberance Rusty Maples plays with live, one of the essential elements that makes the band so much fun to watch. The band recently returned from a nine-show trek up the West Coast. The rest of the country might get its chance to see them soon enough. - Las Vegas Weekly


"Neon Reverb Night 4 @ The Bunkhouse"

We stuck it out long enough to see locals Rusty Maples. The crowd didn’t know that it was almost 2am, because they were too busy singing along to the young indie band’s lyrics. They’ve been more adventurous than a lot of locals, venturing out of town to do a moderate amount of touring. Singer Blair Dewane has a great stage presence, and drummer Max Plenke (who also pens for CityLife) keeps the rhythm tight. I look forward to seeing them again in a less zombie-like state. For now, sleep. - ArtVegas.com


"Ten to catch at Neon Reverb"

Rusty Maples (Friday, 1 a.m., Bunkhouse) If singer Blair Dewane’s off-color banter doesn’t put a smile on your face, the folk-pop tunes should. We suggest wearing your dancing shoes … and leaving your politically correct friends at home. - Las Vegas Weekly


"Three question about Rusty Maples"

. Who are they? If you’re a fan of local band The Skooners, you’re already familiar with the Dewane brothers. This time, Blair (vocals/guitar) and Ian (guitar) team up with fellow Skoonman Jake Farmer (drums), along with Courtney Waldron (cello) and Kyle Whitehead (bass) for an indie-pop adventure they won’t let you pigeonhole. “People kinda got the idea that we’re a country band, and that’s not the case,” Blair says. The brothers can see RM going in any direction—folk, Americana, pop …

2. What are their plans? Keep recording. RM just released an EP, Like a Lover Should, but that won’t keep the band from the studio. “We have enough material to span, like, two albums right now,” Ian says. The group also hopes to tour sometime soon.

3. Is this the end of The Skooners? Rusty Maples might be the Dewanes’ main squeeze right now, but Skooners fans needn’t worry—Ian says they aren’t gone for good, though the hiatus is “definitely indefinite.” In the meantime, you might just hear one of their songs at an RM show. “Who says we can’t do that?” Blair says. “We wrote that sh*t.” - Las Vegas Weekly


"Neon Reverb Various venues, Sept. 14-15"

Rusty Maples? Never seen ’em with long-absent celloist Courtney Waldron, recently returned from studying overseas. She makes the difference, singer Blaine Dewane‘s confidence bolstered as he belted out “Jesus and the Mountain Tops.” Ridiculously good band. - Vegas Seven magazine


"Rusty Maples - Bring Me Back to Life video"

The fifth track off of the new album "Like a Lover Should" from Rusty Maples, Formed in the aftermath of another beloved Las Vegas act, The Skooners, they took their trademark happy-go-lucky indie-pop sound and added an amazing cello player to take them into a more somber, mature land, but still makes you want to get up out of your seat to cut a rug, and sing along. - NME.com


"The view from SXSW: Vegas band Rusty Maples does Austin"

The touring Rusty Maples lineup—Blair Dewane (vocals), Ian Dewane (guitar), Mike Weller (bass) and Las Vegas City Life writer Max Plenke (drums)—sounded tight and their folksy sound felt like perfect fit for Texas. Not to mention Blair’s stage presence. “I think you’re missing Skrillex f*ck a fish downtown,” he told the audience. Yeah, it’s hard to resist Rusty Maples’ charm. The band’s 10-song set featured seven unrecorded songs, my personal favorite being “Beach Video” (that’s the working title, for now) and a revamped Skooners’ song “War Drums.”

- Las Vegas Weekly


Discography

Make Way EP (2012)

Like a Lover Should EP (2011)

Photos

Bio

With their new EP, The Western World, produced by Minus the Bear's Alex Rose, the Vegas born and molded Rusty Maples returns, stage-stomping and heartbreak-howling, to make good on their 2014 promises. 

 

What started in 2012 with brothers Ian (lead guitar) and Blair Dewane (lead vocals/guitar) soon pulled aboard Vegas-native songwriter Mike Weller on bass and Minnesota percussionist Max Plenke to create The New Sound, proper noun: colossal rhythms, gut-punch lyrical falsetto, and ocean-deep guitars.

 

On their highlight reel you'll find rambunctious performances at the Vegas-hosted Life Is Beautiful Festival, Virginia's Floyd Fest, Boise's Treefort Music Festival, Arizona's Viva Phoenix, official showcases at Austin's SXSW, a live set on Spike TV's Bar Rescue, and support roles for "Sugar Man" Rodriguez, Built to Spill, Bleachers, Deerhunter, and Chuck Ragan — and now they can be heard on ABC's Nashville and Showtime's Shameless

 

They've been called "Best Live Band of 2013" by Las Vegas Weekly, "2014's Best Indie Rock Band" and 2015's "Best Local Band that Might Actually Make It" by Desert Companion, and anything from surf rock to rowdy Americana pop. But at Rusty Maples' incendiary core is a sound patently theirs — and damn it, it'll make you dance.

Band Members