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- rhythm and lead guitar, harmony vocals.


Rusty's instinctive rhythm guitar playing has long provided the solid foundation of the group sound. Raised in Annapolis, Maryland, Rusty took up the guitar as a teenager and was initially drawn to folk music and blues, and later to bluegrass. His earliest influences were Doc Watson, Jimmy Martin, and the Stanley Brothers.

Rusty’s first band work was in the casual settings of southern Maryland clubs. A college transfer took Rusty to Morgantown, West Virginia where he joined the band Mountain Grass. There he began playing with banjoist Jim Steptoe; their association lasted over three decades, and sadly ended when Jim passed away in August of 2009. In the late 1970s, Rusty and Jim relocated to the eastern panhandle of West Virginia and began their 30 year tenure with Patent Pending.