The Rollin' Rust is a folk rock group from the foothills of Central New York. Led by singer-songwriter James VanDeuson, The Rollin' Rust celebrates the distinguished writing style of a vagabond folk artist. Joined by his talented friends and bandmates, Jim Hearn (lead guitarist) Kyle Dennis, (percussion/vocals) and newest member, Nash Robb (upright/elec. bass and vocals) James' songs now have a distinct edginess to them, sounding almost as if you took a classic folk song and corrupted its mind with years of crazed festivals and long nights in smoky southern bar rooms. The Rollin' Rust boys have been playing music together since they were just teenagers, crafting a truly unique sound that could only be formed by such long-lasting friendship and intimate evenings with the highway itself.
In 2023, the boys performed at several notable music festivals, sharing lineups with Watchhouse (previously Mandolin Orange) Ryan Montbleau, Cabinet, Fireside Collective, Donna The Buffalo, Driftwood and many others. Throughout their breakout year, they also had the opportunity to open for 10x Grammy-nominee Brandy Clark, Donna The Buffalo, Driftwood, Pressing Strings, Argonaut & Wasp, Hunter Root and others. While enjoying their never-ending travels, The Rollin' Rust's debut album, "Road Rats" was nominated for Best Americana Album at the SAMMY Awards in Syracuse, NY.
More: Through their polished live performances and colorful lyricism, The Rollin' Rust tells the noble tale of a rambling group of young dreamers, unafraid to live out of vans, buses, hotels... and at times... tents. Their truthful stories of misfortune, and their unmistakable tone, allows them to leave their mark... wherever they happen to end up for the night.
"At least we don't have to worry about being genuine. This type of grind is really good for musicians. It's very humbling; it's tiring, and more than anything, it chews up and spits out any of your junk. Traveling sharpens a new band's sound like taking it to an oilstone. The beginning of any journey is sloppy, but we know we're doing it right... making the rounds and getting our foot in the door. I'm incredibly proud of how far we made it in just two years. The 2023 festival season gave us the ammo we needed to crush 2024. We put ourselves around the right folks last year and have huge goals for 2024. This year, we are focusing on our new songs, recording our second album, and creating more moments throughout the show that stick around far after it's over." - James VanDeuson
The Rollin' Rust recently completed their first studio album, “Road Rats.” The whole LP was tracked live at Another Recording Co. in Omaha, NE and is set to begin its release in the Summer of 2022. In doing so, The Rollin' Rust is now on the list of ever-popular musicians who have had the opportunity to work with the skilled folks at ARC including: Justin Townes Earle, Jason Mraz, Bright Eyes, Conor Oberst, Phoebe Bridgers, The First Aid Kit and many, many more.
The boys have confidence that the album will serve as the catalyst for a promising career in the music industry. "This record is a perfect blend of the traditional folky undertones that we all know and love, with a touch of indie rock influence that the guys so naturally bring to the table. Recording it live made it way more gritty and unapologetically true to The Rollin' Rust sound. If folks are looking for a fresh new band to follow, Road Rats should help us reach them." - James VanDeuson
The project was driven by Ben Brodin, a nationally acclaimed producer and internationally touring musician, currently residing in Omaha, NE.
The Legend of The Rollin' Rust
As legend tells it, James asked Kyle to meet late after work one evening. Both driving rusty, salt-soiled vehicles at the time, they plotted for a future of musical righteousness. They knew in their hearts, that together, they could find a way to get out of their 9 to 5 rust filled situation. Using nothing but the songs within them to manifest a fat career in the music industry, they set out to do just that. Some have said that James and Kyle even contemplated fast-tracking their success by taking a trip to the crossroads, but later decided on the holier, more enticing option of kidnapping their multi-talented buddy, Jim Hearn, from Colorado. By blindfolding him and taking him back to NY in a rusty... but still rollin’... pick-up truck, they would inevitably write the album that would kickstart their utopian dreams. When Jim saw the two boys coming up the mountain pass, blasting the Grateful Dead and playing three different keys of harmonica simultaneously, he already knew. Without hesitation, but still blindfolded for safe measure, Jim Hearn surrendered to a life of music with the boys. On one rainy spring day, with darkness looming over the midwest, driving in a rusty vehicle home to Central NY… “James VanDeuson and the Rollin’ Rust,” was born.
Roughly three months later, Jim Hearn's blindfold was removed... after trust was established.
The Rollin Rust – “Banjo in my hand”
"I suppose the actual genre for this track is Americana, but we’re definitely happy to feature here. It’s got an up tempo style that somehow manages to reflect some old timey sounds. The electric guitar licks even feel a little like roots country. The blending of styles on this one is a definitely a feature. Some of the lyrics are humorous, featuring living a life on the road despite others who may not support your dreams or lifestyle. It’s an old fashioned story in and of itself, told in a timeless genre style."
- Ear To The Ground Music Review -
Feb 20th 2023 - The Rollin' Rust's debut album, "Road Rats" was nominated for Best Americana Album at the SAMMY Awards in Syracuse, NY