Rusty Lemmon — singer-songwriter and traveler — has left the wandering life to settle into the music scene in Key West. His likes and dislikes of life in the Keys are a little different than most people’s, but let him tell you about it in his own words”
Q: Where did you call home before moving to Key West?
A: Well I moved to Key West a little over a year ago after a very short stint in Denver, Colorado. Before that I was living in Biloxi, Mississippi working as a boat captain for the BP Oil Spill Relief. Previous to that, I was in Nashville. But I will always call North Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee, where I’m from, home.
Q: What brought you to Key West the first time and when was that?
A: I came down only once before I moved here. That was for a three-day vacation about four years ago. I don’t really remember much from that trip. Ha . . .
Q: Assuming your given name isn’t Rusty, how come you’re called that?
A: No it’s Russell. But no one has ever called me that except for the first roll call at the beginning of a new school year. I make sure to correct them promptly.
Q: What do you like best about Key West?
A: So many things. Personally, I feel it is a power point, which has inspired me to do some great things both musically and professionally. And Key West has great arts, awesome ocean views, and plenty of booze.
Q: What do you like least about Key West?
A: There’s no Taco Bell or Krystal’s! Of course I’d weigh about 300 pounds if there were.
Q: Is Key West a place you can write? If so, why; if not, why not?
A: Yes and No. When I actually find the time to relax and clear my head then, yes, it’s awesome. But the problem is finding the time.
Q: If you had to classify your music, what would it be?
A: Schizophrenic! Seriously, there are many many musical influences floating around in my head. So I’ve written everything from rock to country, blues to pop, and even Christmas songs. But most of my material has been about love, loss and heartache. But living down here I haven’t been able to write those as much. Thank you, Key West.
Q: Where would you be now, if you weren’t in Key West? Doing what?
A: No idea. But I’d have to be doing something. But I don’t know what. Man, do I sound like an idiot right now?
Q: Do you play other instruments than the guitar?
A: Well my main instrument has, and will always be, my voice. But I dabble in a little piano and other stringed instruments. I play by ear so I will just pick up an instrument and figure it out. I’m a terrible drummer, but I love to sit down on a kit and beat the hell out of ‘em.
Q: Where do you play in Key West and are you always a single act?
A: I have played almost every venue down here but mostly you can find me poolside at Southernmost Hotel Collection. And as far as clubs go, Smokin’ Tuna has been my favorite spot. The staff and owners have been really great at providing a quality music venue for guests to listen to some great artists. I play everything from solo shows to full band there. We have the freedom there to mix it up. Keeps it interesting.
Q: Have you recorded?
A: Yes, I have recorded three albums of original music. You can listen to the tracks by visiting my website www.rustylemmon.com. I have also done countless studio sessions recording demos for writers and lead/backing vocals for other artists.
Q: Music business wise, where do you hope to be in five years, 10 years?
A: I have recently started a full-service wedding music company that will provide professional as well as talented musicians for weddings and private/corporate events throughout the Florida Keys and South Florida. Keep an eye out for www.floridakeysweddingmusic.com
If all else fails, I can just write a song about a truck and go back to Nashville.
Q: How can readers find out more about you?
A: Look me up on Facebook by searching for Rusty Lemmon, or visit my website: www.rustylemmon.com.