Ruston Kelly: 2018
Ruston Kelly at WFUV (photo Nora Doyla and Dan Tuozzoli)
Here's a fact that might seem surprising: as a boy, the South Carolina-born, now Nashville-based Ruston Kelly was a competitive figure skater. As unlikely as a start in music as that may be, music was a big part of Kelly's life — he was the son of an ace pedal-steel player, Tim “TK” Kelly.
It wasn’t until his late teens that Ruston hung up his skates, picked up his guitar, and seriously began to pursue music. His family moved around a lot, but when he was 17, Kelly decided to give it a go in the so-called "Music City" of Nashville.
He first landed songwriting gigs for country music stars like Tim McGraw, honing his craft as an Americana singer and songwriter. (He also met his wife, Kacey Musgraves, along the way.) Kelly released his a 10-track EP in 2016, Halloween, which was produced by Mike Mogis of Bright Eyes. Now he’s back with a debut album, Dying Star. It features Kelly's dad on pedal steel — in fact, he came along for his son's stellar Studio A performance.