"Not only a great player, but one of the best singers around!"
-- The Aquarian
In his first solo CD, "East to West," New Jersey rocker Troy Rusnack takes his fans on a high-powered emotional journey that captures the rollercoaster ups and downs of modern life while evoking such diverse musical influences as Rob Thomas, John Cougar Mellencamp, The Outfield, Melissa Etheridge, Stevie Wonder and, appropriately enough, Journey.
"For me," Troy says, "the album is about the journeys we've all had; about getting from where we started to where we are now; about the experiences that twist and turn our lives, and make us who are."
The CD's catchy melodies and riffy countermelodies ably support Troy's from-the-heart lyrics which touch upon his own personal growth, both as a man, and as a musician who has thrilled audiences all over the Garden State, and across the country in such venues as Ho Chunk Casino in Dells, Wisconsin; Carlos and Charlie's in Austin, Texas; and Atlantic City's own Hard Rock Cafe.
Closer to home, he has thrilled audiences with his vocals performing with The Thrill, Dangerous Age, Milestone Seven, The Troublemakers, Push, Concrete Donkeys,Simon Sez, the Chris Delis Band, Backstreets: The Springsteen Tribute and 52nd Street: The Billy Joel Tribute.
And he's certainly paid his dues, playing "every middle-of-nowhere dive you never heard of" to performing as the opening act for such legendary performers as Spin Doctors, Dave Mason, Buster Poindexter and even Billy Joel.
What was it like for a singer/guitarist to open for the Piano Man himself?
"It was an amazing opportunity," says Troy. "A thrill a minute to be able to warm up Billy Joel's crowd! We weren't sure what to expect, but they cheered through our entire set!"
Today, with his first solo CD under his belt -- and under his trademark 12-inch beard -- Troy is first and foremost a performer, and one who has a keen appreciation of today's ever-changing music scene.
You name it, and Troy's done it, from the countless auditions early on in his career to the relentless touring today. (His own personal record: 4 gigs in 48 hours -- in four different towns.)
Along the way, Troy has been played on WPLJ for their New York Idol contest and was also a finalist in their American Standard vocal competition, and has also been on Q104.3 and WPST.
Troy then gained national notoriety when he achieved national finalist status in the net 10 jingle competition in October, having his commercial aired on MTV and VH1.
As he prepares to go out in support of "East to West," Troy says, "Completing this CD was a milestone in my music career. My inspiration for the title came from early American pioneers, who could have stayed in the east, where they were established and comfortable, but chose to head west, into the unknown. And for me, after working with several original collaborative projects over the past few years, I wanted to have the freedom to create a picture of my own journey as a form of personal expression to which others could relate."