It’s a new year and Tim Rushlow is not slowing down! He’s had a successful music career for nearly two decades and we’re starting from the beginning.
Rushlow became a household name as the frontman for the band Little Texas, known for hits like “God Blessed Texas” and “What Might Have Been.” He has a series of accolades from that time including a CMA Award, ACM Award and three Grammy nods.
“I don’t think I realized the scope of how big Little Texas had become until it was kind of over,” he admits.
Although Little Texas was the beginning of him as a public persona, it wasn’t the beginning of his love for music. He was born with it in his blood, hailing from musical parents. There’s no question that the Okie’s love for music, and immense talent, runs deep.
Following Little Texas’ dissolution, Rushlow dipped his feet in the solo career pond. He signed a record deal and released the heart-shattering track, “She Misses Him.” Once that label closed, Rushlow took a break and refocused his energy. Following that, he put a new band together with some of the guys that are now in Jason Aldean‘s band (Kurt Allison, Tully Kennedy, Rich Redmond). They signed a record deal under the name Rushlow and charted two Top 50 songs. That label ultimately closed but the country singer’s musical career was far from over.
Following a few more endeavors, Rushlow toured as an unplugged artist. That’s a challenge many musicians wouldn’t dare try, but it was a welcomed challenge for Rushlow.
“I was intrigued by that because, sink or swim, it’s my butt on the line here. If this show sucks, it’s all on me. I’m the only one on stage. I performed hits, told the stories behind some of the songs and then I would play some classics watching the audience melt like butter hearing [them].”
That sparked new energy in the well-rounded musician and eventually led to his collaboration with a big band. He wasn’t sure if people would take him seriously in this endeavor but didn’t let that stop him.
“Would they believe me? Would they believe a guy who used to have a mullet singing “O Holy Night” with a symphony?” Rushlow asked himself. “It was a lifelong dream that I got to make happen.”
To get this going, he edited a three-minute video to showcase what the show would look like to interested parties. He was so dedicated he even choreographed his moves at his son’s Taekwondo studio. He bravely introduced this to his Nashville peers. Public television recorded and aired the Big Band show, making it into a pledge drive that lasted 18 months nationally. Not a bad way to start off a rather big career shift.
During his sets, Rushlow performs music from a variety of music legends like Bobby Darin, Dean Martin Frank Sinatra. Out of respect for the legacy of Darin, Rushlow sent a letter to his son, Dodd. He told Dodd his plans to honor Darin’s memory and the estate responded by endorsing Rushlow — a huge honor.
“The Great American Songbook is special, these songs were written at a time, an era when we were extremely hurting at the end of WWII, these songs were written by Jewish composers who knew the world needed some hope and some joy, tears laughter,” he explains. “Those songs have magical fairy dust sprinkled all over them when you play them today with a 24 piece big band, people melt like butter.”
It’s taken Rushlow approximately five years to build this brand with his Big Band and he’s found the fan support to keep that blessing going strong. The fans are flocking to see him in this unique light and they stay around following the set. Rushlow meets them, signing autographs and taking photos.
“I want to meet everybody, to be accessible; it’s my job to be as cool off the stage as I am on stage,” he explains. “If they want a selfie, want to buy a CD, a DVD, great, but if they just want a picture, I’m cool with that.”
Along with this successful Big Band endeavor, Rushlow is also gearing up to release a YouTube show called, Tim’s Place. The show starts soon and will give a voice to this magical music era and lifestyle “where culture, fashion, elegance, class big band music all meet.” It will include “great drink recipes, how to treat a woman and how to be better humans.”
Check out a preview of that below and stay tuned for more from Tim’s Place and Rushlow himself.