"I could see the change,” Blair Dewane tells me. “I saw it when we were starting out. Bands before us that were big. We’d get on their bills, and they’d have the crowd. Then slowly we’d have the crowd. And now I see the new bands coming up that used to open for us—they’re the ones with the crowd now. Everything goes through changes.”
His words apply to last Friday’s release show for Rusty Maples’ new album, Detach. The Vegas-scene mainstays—who arose in early 2011 and appeared set to break big not long ago—drew an enthusiastic group of supporters to the Bunkhouse, but not quite like the days of rooms packed with fans singing along to every word.
The band is still delivering the goods, however, as Detach demonstrates. “Bloodstained Highway” is a well-paced anthem that should get fists pumping. Longtime live favorite “Runner” feels like a lead single in waiting. And the jagged “Won’t Work” cuts you in just the right ways.
Detach, Rusty’s first full-length LP after a string of EPs, has been finished for almost a year, but with each completed step, a new issue arose. The band had to stop to raise money for mixing, then for mastering and finally, for remastering. But at last, it’s here.
The show found Rusty’s ranks expanded to six. While the core remains the same—Blair on lead vocals and guitar, brother Ian Dewane on lead guitar, Mike Weller on bass and Mike McGuinness on drums—Monica Sterling (keyboards) and Nick Boswell (guitar) added depth to the sonic landscape. Might they become permanent members? Blair isn’t sure. “I’d like to have them in the band, but that also would mean we’re going to continue like we used to, and I don’t think any of us have it in us anymore to play every couple of weeks in town or go out on tour for no money. It takes it out of you.”
Mostly, Blair wants listeners to know that when it came to Detach, he and his bandmates gave their all. “It was something that we really tried on. We really went all-out.”