I know that some, if not most do not know Rusty Wier or his music, and this is a tragedy beyond the fact that the legendary Austin, Texas songwriter died Friday at the age of 65 from Cancer. He was one of the original Austin Outlaws; a founder of the scene. He was a great songwriter, but more so, possibly the best performer ever to grace Austin, rivaled maybe only by Willie Nelson in his prime, and rivaled by none as a storyteller. Rusty also used humor in his music like none other.
It is such a shame that I am first introducing him to you here on this site at his death, instead of when he still had years of more music to give. I was going to write a lengthy tribute, but THIS ONE hit the nail right on the head. There is also a great article about him on austinchronicle.com
All that is left to say is that if you fancy yourself a fan of Outlaw country, then you need Rusty Wier and his music in your life. Unfortunately a lot of his best music is out-of-print, and very hard to come by. I can’t begin to express to you how good Rusty’s music is from the 70’s, and it frustrates me I have no way to share or even give you one full Rusty song that does his music justice. Rusty might be one of the best American songwriters of any genre whose music isn’t readily available.
Copies of his Black Hat Saloon regularly sell for $60+. You can listen to samples of the album HERE. Another great Rusty album is Stoned, Slow, Rugged from 1974. Hopefully the availability of his music changes soon, but until then, never pass up anything on vinyl that has Rusty Wier’s name on it from the 70’s.
For over 15 years the best place to get a hold of Rusty’s music was the Saxon Pub in Austin on Thursday nights. That run has ended, but Rusty’s stories are enduring and everlasting, and will continue on.
(PS: Hopefully in the future when I can get proper samples of Rusty’s music, I will feature him in a Forgotten Outlaw article)