Local singer and songwriter Rusty Rierson, from Leon, has been keeping busy with his music career.
Most recently, he performed his latest single “Souvenirs” on the Shotgun Red Variety Show. It will air on RFD-TV at 4 p.m. Thursday, then again at 3 a.m. Friday and noon Sunday, as well as three more times in August. This will bring his music to an audience of 1.5 million people.
The show was filmed on the General Jackson Showboat on the river right behind the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
“I sent in some material and my act was chosen,” Rierson said. “That was an honor to be chosen as well because only about 75 acts were chosen to be on the show this year and they had over 2,000 entries.”
Rierson also is promoting “Souvenirs” on the road this week.
“Me and my dad Roger are on a 4,000 mile radio tour,” Rierson said Monday. “We had about 16 hours on the road today.”
That tour had them in Iowa Monday evening. They’re going through Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri and then back to Kansas.
In addition to his work in the United States, Rierson also is seeing success in Europe. “Souvenirs” debuted at number one on the Country Hotdisc Independent Chart in Europe on Feb. 10.
The Ray Grundy’s Metro Country chart’s Web site states, “It is a very rare occurrence for a new singer with a new original song to have such an instant impact on European DJs but his ballad, which is a real heartbreaker about a son looking through the box of souvenirs left behind by his late father.”
“We released ‘Souvenirs’ two weeks ago using Europe’s Hotdisc,” Rierson said. “It went out to 800 stations in the UK, Scotland, Ireland, and many other countries in Europe as well as Australia.”
The DJs rate their favorite songs and “Souvenirs” came out at number one in the first week on the Hotdisc Top 40. Toby Keith came in at number three with his new song “Hope on the Rocks.” This week “Souvenirs” remained at number one on the chart for the second week in a row and Toby Keith moved into the second position.
“I wasn’t expecting the song to go to number one at all,” Rierson said. “I thought it might chart because in Europe they like ‘traditional country’ but it blew me away that it went number one so fast. When I did some research on it and found how many stations were involved I felt more honored. Then to kind of help the reality sink in, a British gentlemen called me on my cell phone today and wanted to talk about songwriting for me. He is working some with Nashville and artists like Kenny Rogers, and Trace Adkins.
Page 2 of 2 - “It amazes me the doors that have opened up in the last year for me,” Rierson said. “I believe the Lord has been blessing my career and will continue to do so as long as I am trusting and following Him.”