At the rear of Rusty Bladen’s 1837 historical home in Madison, Indiana sits a music room. The rectangular space – 10 feet wide and 20 feet long functions as a storage area for Rusty’s guitars, strings, amps, and anything music-related that needs a home.
This is also the area that became the home to a six-night a week livestream series in 2020.
Occasionally, Rusty would head to the covered back porch to play. Or across the river in Milton, Kentucky, at a property he and his wife, Andra, own on the banks the Ohio River.
But most of the time, and especially in the beginning of the series, it was the studio that was home to the webcast. From nearly three months of performances six nights each week, something magical and mystical was created. The room and webcast replaced the live shows – all cancelled in the year of COVID. The live streams gave Bladen a way to do what he has done for nearly 40 years: perform his music for an audience, even if it was now watching on a mobile device or computer.
From those live streams (nearly a 100 of them), we have taken some of the favorite moments and put them into a series of YouTube videos called The Bladen Quarantine Shows. From the hours of the footage, we’ve created a video series of songs that capture the vibe of a Rusty Bladen show. That live essence came through time and again, via cover songs, originals, musical partnerships with friends and family, and moments of inspiration and magic that played out, night after night.
Sure, there were some video bandwidth-related glitches, a few flubbed chords or lyrics, and the glorious imperfection that is a live performance. Those moments were not enough to take away the beauty and passion of the performances. In fact, it added a ragged elegance to them. Every piece felt real. It felt alive.
Enjoy the videos. And turn them up. That’s how we like to do it.