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Rusty Lee Springfield
Veteran musician Rusty Lee Springfield's honest acoustic formula is winning over fans and returning something to music that has long been missing.

Much can be gleaned from the music of veteran musicians and Rusty Lee Springfield is no exception. Rusty is an award-winning musician from Australia. He has been gigging since 1986 performing original songs ranging from country, country rock to slide/blues and soft rock. He also performs songs from The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Credence Clearwater, The Eagles, Cliff Richard, Jimmy Buffet, John Denver, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and more. Cleverly conceived lyrics and no-nonsense production have quickly made his debut single 'School Day' a radio hit. Interestingly, it seems that what this honest, hard-working musician has to offer is now precisely what fans are seeking- musical integrity. Reporter Alexis Adams caught up with Rusty recently to learn more about this artist:

ALEXIS: When did you first discover your love of music?
RUSTY: I first discovered my love for music around the age of nine after I was given some old 45 records from friends of my foster parents who my older brother and I used to live with on a small mixed farm near Goulburn, Australia, NSW. The records were a mixture of 50’s and 60’s rock n roll and country. I used to play and sing along to them as often as possible.

ALEXIS: Your song 'School Day’ has been a big hit on radio for its third straight month. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
RUSTY: When hearing ‘School Day’, I was extremely pleased with myself knowing that there was someone who thought my song was good enough to receive radio time and that all the time and effort I put into the song wasn’t wasted.

ALEXIS: What was the inspiration behind ‘School Day’?
RUSTY: I wanted to write something that was lighthearted because I’d been rehearsing for an upcoming gig and was over singing serious tunes when I remembered what a music teacher said to me a long time ago which was why don’t you sing happy songs instead of sad ones. I also wanted to give parents with school age kids that are a handful on school day something relate to. The main reason behind this song is that I really wanted to use the names of my three daughters Sarah, Mary and Sharon, who are now adults and have kids of their own.

ALEXIS: Would you say that the mood of your other songs is in the same vein as 'School Day’?
RUSTY: To me, most of my other songs may be in the same vein as School Day because I write about what I know or have experienced or events I may have seen on television or newspapers.

ALEXIS: How would you characterize yourself as a musician? (ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving...)
RUSTY: I’m just a muso who enjoys performing and what you see and hear is what you get.

ALEXIS: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family? 
RUSTY: I once had a look through our family history/ family tree and I seem to remember there may have been one or two musicians among our clan and I think there was someone who played the violin. I also remember my late mother told me that she used to do a bit of singing in the pubs a long time ago. One of my brothers used to play the piano when he was primary school.

ALEXIS: What do you find most rewarding about being a musician? What do you find most challenging?
RUSTY: I suppose the most rewarding things about being a musician is you get to make other people forget about their problems even just for a short time. I laugh to myself when someone pretends they don’t like what you’re playing but under the table they’re tapping their feet. Through my music I’ve been able to help raise money for charity groups as well. The most challenging and frustrating thing for me is when I want to learn a new song. The reason is that I have a speech impediment and I find it very challenging to get the phrasing right. There are times I get really mad with myself then and I just don’t try to sing the song. Sometimes I can get away with it if I drop some of the words or just do my own version. I get really ticked off when I am ringing up a venue for a gig and if I’m having a bad day, the person on the other end of the phone has trouble understanding what I’m saying. I just say I’ll ring back and I have a bad connection but I never ring back.

ALEXIS: Who are your role models in music?
RUSTY: My role models in the music industry are performers like Cliff Richards, Elvis, Frankie Lane, The Beach Boys and Patsy Cline because these are the type of artists I grew up listening to and back in their day there was no social media or Internet. They had to earn every bit of fame the hard way.

ALEXIS: What advice would you give to young, aspiring musicians out there who are unsure and need guidance?
RUSTY: Young musicians today need to take advantage of social media, the Internet and get on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter etc. because they have the power to change their lives and follow their dreams with just one click of the mouse. I also think they should go to as many muso jams and songwriters sessions as possible. Join music clubs and talk to other musicians. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or take advice.

One thing they should keep in mind is that it is good to perform in front of your friends but they won’t always tell you what they really think about your performance. My advice is every now and then, get out of your comfort zone and perform where no one knows you. By doing this you may not get the reaction you’re looking for. You could even go down like a lead balloon. If this happens just take a step back regroup because the world won’t stop spinning just because no one liked your performance and someone told you that you can’t sing. You have to learn to take the good with the bad.

If you’re a songwriter, try not write about one subject. I’ve known musicians who just do this and after a while it can get very boring. And the last bit of advice to young singers is if you’re not taking vocal lessons, you should be because you only have one voice and you should look after it.

ALEXIS: What's next for Rusty Lee Springfield? Is there a follow-up single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
RUSTY: I’ve been working on several ideas for another single and have also been going through some of my old songs to see what I could come up with. There is one song I would like to record properly and it’s called ‘Ride Little Cowboy’. I wrote the song about fifteen years ago. This song is about the time in my life when I used to live on my late foster parents farm out of Goulburn, Australia, NSW. The subjects in this song are a raw hide cowboy suit I was given one Christmas, one of my dogs, a cowboy hat, a horse I used to ride called Mac, watching cowboy shows and saving the day. Like anyone else in the music game I’ll just keep plugging away writing songs, rehearsing, lining up gigs and taking it one day at a time for you never know what tomorrow may bring. There’s a rough demo of this song on my ReverbNation site and it’s been receiving some good feedback. I’ve performed ‘Ride Little Cowboy’ many times at my gigs and it’s always got a positive reaction from the public.

ALEXIS: I look forward to hearing it! Thanks for your sharing your story with me. I wish you continued success and good luck!

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