Mary Booth Contributing writer
A local band, consisting of six members, has signed with Spin Doctors Music Group out of Nashville, TN.
This comes after years of sharing stages with national artists and gaining a reputation as great musicians and songwriters. Rutledge consists of lead vocalist and guitar Adam Rutledge, guitar Jason Weeks, guitar and vocals Brian Holt, drums Brett Fulghum, drums, keyboards and vocals Roger Rutledge and the newest member of the band, Andy Neikirk, bass and vocals.
Rutledge formed back in 2009. They released their first music video in 2012 to their single “I Love My Life”. They have shared the stage with big artists like Lee Brice, Montgomery Gentry, Frankie Ballard, LoCash, Lauren Alaina, David Nail and many more.
“I’m proud to be a musical witness of such an amazing group of hometown men,” Donna Austin, a long time fan of Rutledge, said.
Rutledge has seen much success on the stage and in the studio. Their latest single “Rub A Little Dirt On It”- a true country song about getting the girl- was sent out to country radio Monday, Feb. 28. This is just one exciting achievement to come of the band’s new record deal with Spin Doctors.
Spin Doctors Music Group is a recording label set in the country music capital of the world. They signed Rutledge into their group on January 27. Jessilynn Kidd, Director of Promotions at Spin Doctors Music Group, spoke on the phone about the group. “I’ve known the guys for several years,” she said. “As soon as I played their music, there was no question to [the label] that we wanted them… They were believers from the beginning.”
Some of the band members spent a week in Nashville as part of Country Radio Seminar (CRS) week. The guys ran into big names like Chris Stapleton and Darius Rucker who were there to thank the radio stations for playing their music. “Everybody was so amazing,” Holt said. “Everybody from the Uber drivers to the cashiers get you. They get why you’re there.” He went on to talk about hanging out with some of the big names, one of which was Salem’s own Ross Copperman. Copperman was there to receive his ‘Songwriter of the Year’ award.
“It kind of blew me away,” Adam Rutledge said about seeing him again. “He’s the man to know in Nashville right now.”
Weeks also had nothing but good things to say about the city and the experiences he gained. “It was an eye opener to see how that city does not stop. There is constantly something going on, something to do, someone playing… I think the band did well and made some good contacts.”
Up-and-comers like Rutledge attended the event to promote their music to country radio stations.
Lead singer Adam Rutledge recalled all of the good reviews from strangers, radio personalities, and other musicians. “These are people that don’t have any reason not to tell you the truth,” he said. “All the money spent and time writing seemed justified.”
When asked if they had always seen Rutledge going this far, Adam did not hesitate a moment. “Yes. Of course, it’s the ultimate goal.”
“Adam is a visionary guy,” Holt said. “He always has fifteen ideas floating around and they may seem crazy until they happen.”
It seems that those ideas and hard work from the band continue to pay off. The band plans on heading back to Nashville in the coming months to attend the iconic writer’s nights. Kidd spoke about radio tours and traveling the country. “We want to build their fan base nationally. We do that through radio tours and booking shows across the United States.”
Other exciting events include their CD release party on March 25. The CD is already available for pre-order online on iTunes.
Rutledge and Holt took a moment to thank radio stations 94.9 Star Country and 107.9 WYYD for all that they have done. “They have been incredibly helpful,” Adam Rutledge said. “They have gone above and beyond for us.”
“They’ve given us opportunities that set us in front of the right people,” Holt added.
Waynette Anderson, President at the Dr. Pepper Park at the Bridges, is certainly one of those people. Anderson has only positive things to say about her experiences with the band. “I have never witnessed a national artist outperform Rutledge yet. To ensure that every guest leaves happy they should always be the last band of the night.”
Rutledge started out as a local group that quickly gained followers and loyal fans. They have played events such as the Salem fair and Salem Star-B-Q. They shared the stage with numerous big names and have written original songs that are big hits among the fans. Now that Rutledge is signed with Spin Doctors, a new world of opportunities has opened up and their families and friends could not be happier for them.
Make sure to keep and eye (and ear) out for these guys as they continue to find success in the music world.