Singer, songwriter, guitarist, producer Rusty Zinn takes his music to a new level with his latest CD, ReggaeBlue. The sounds displayed on this set are a musical marriage of reggae and soul, seasoned throughout with the blues. Zinn doesn’t just merely perform genres and styles, he sings and plays from the heart, sharing his intense passion for music, while displaying a wide range as a vocalist and songwriter.
“Rusty Zinn is a one-man eclectic circus, taking us on a wild ride through his various passions and proving good music is its own category. He seems to have been everywhere, absorbed everything, and made it his own,” says Rogers Steffens, founding editor of The Beat.
Gaining initial acclaim as a blues guitarist, and later as a singer/songwriter, Zinn’s multi-faceted talents are continually evolving. This evolution created the unique melding of soul and reggae in ReggaeBlue. Zinn wrote 11 of the 12 songs on the CD, which takes the listener on a musical journey filled with love, hope, peace and optimism guaranteed to soothe one’s soul. “I love his voice. His writing is great. He talks about what we talked about,” said Fully Fullwood, founding member of the popular 70’s reggae band, Soul Syndicate. Zinn has also gained respect from rhythm guitarist Tony Chin, another Soul Syndicate member, who lends his talents on six of the ReggaeBlue tracks.
Zinn touches on musical styles with an approach uniquely his own. Some of the musical ingredients include roots reggae (My God, The World Is In Rewind), lovers rock (She Comes From Nothing), singer/songwriter meets hip hop (Everytime I See A Rainbow), and classic soul (Take Your Time, A Song Of My Own).
Zinn was introduced to soul music as a teen, listening to the Stylistics and The Spinners as well as Doo-Wop from the Wolf Man Jack Show in his parents’ car. Inspired by their music, Zinn picked up the guitar at age 17 and honed his skills playing in several Bay Area bands. As his reputation grew, he backed up touring blues legends Snooky Pryor and Jimmy Rogers. Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds was so impressed with Zinn’s monster tone and technique that he invited the young guitarist to play on his 1993 album, Tigerman and later asked Zinn to join his band. Soon after, Zinn was signed on with Black Top Records and released two critically acclaimed solo albums with the label, Sittin’ & Waitin’ in 1996, which earned him a W.C. Handy Award nomination for Best New Blues Artist, and Confessin’ in 1999. In 2000, he signed with Alligator Records, where he recorded The Chill. He signed with Bad Daddy Records in 2001 as a producer and later as an artist, releasing Zinfidelity, Vol. 1 on the label in 2005.
Today, Zinn continues his musical exploration, weaving an eclectic mix of his musical influences. Drawing from his love of soul, R&B, blues, reggae and rock, Zinn’s music is ever changing. His killer guitar licks and intense vocals showcase his songwriting talents, as he conveys a message that speaks to a multi-cultural, multi-generational audience.