Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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20190306 RustyRierson IMG 3189Rusty Rierson has rocketed in popularity to rapidly become one of Winter Texans’ favorite entertainers.

Not only did he earn the Valley Star Award's Male Vocalist of the Year, but he did so in this, his first full year performing in the Rio Grande Valley. While the park activity directors select the nominees for the Valley Star Awards, it’s the Winter Texans who cast their votes to choose the winners.

Much of that popularity has to do with his wit, friendly demeanor and, of course, his smooth vocals.
Recently, however, at Trophy Gardens RV Park, his vocals weren't where he wanted them to be as he came down with a rough case of the crud.

And while his vocals weren't where he may have wanted them, his show went off without a hitch in front of more than 200 who were ready to see this Valley newcomer who is on a meteoric rise.

“I feel like a cowboy boot that stepped in a flaming pile of crap, then thrown in a wood chipper and then used as mulch for landscaping in Nancy Pelosi's backyard,” he joked with the crowd. “We had the show scheduled for more than a year but I was so sick that night,” he explains.

The audience, however, didn't seem to notice as they laughed at his “Let's Go To Texas,” a song that he wrote especially for South Texas and Winter Texans. They sang along with favorites such as “Sweet Caroline,” and John Denver's “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”

“He sounds terrific,” said Ralph Brulli, a Trophy Gardens resident who had seen Rierson before. “He puts on a great show and didn't let him being sick stop him from performing.”

That respect Rierson has for his shows, the parks and audiences is another reason why he's become so popular so quickly. Even with “the crud,” his emotional vocal style was still highlighted and his wide range of songs from romantic ballads to playful songs with comical lyrics to classics such as Johnny Cash's “Ring of Fire” still performed without notice of being sick. In fact, one person from the audience said it made his Johnny Cash songs even better.

Rierson said as a performer, being sick is more than just feeling bad and each entertainer has dealt with that situation and all have some type of remedy.

“When your ears are plugged you can't hear, and when your nose is plugged, you'll sound like Willie Nelson,” said Rierson, a Kansas native. “I think every singer has their own things they do. I used peppermint essential oil and loads of jalapenos and hot sauce. It seems to help melt out the crud.”

Rierson made his first trip to the Valley last year for the Winter Texan Entertainers’ Showcase. He drove from the snowy and icy tundra of Kansas to South Texas with a broken heater and said he had to make several stops just to thaw out. The trip, however, was a good one as he has remained busy throughout the Winter season.

Rierson, tagged as a country music traditionalist, grew up on the family farm in South central Kansas and earned a master's degree in animal science from Kansas State. He has released several albums, toured across the United States, Canada, Mexico, Scotland and London and enjoys writing and singing about the positive aspects of life, while also reflecting on events and people who have played a major role in his life.

He performed a little bit of all those influences while at Trophy Gardens. Despite being under the weather, Rierson still packed 15 songs into just the first half of his show, including “I Believe in Love,” “Long Black Train,” and the hilarious “Charmin Song.”

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