Rusty Banks is a composer/guitarist/teacher originally from Jasper, AL, now living in Pennsylvania.

His compositions benefit from themes relating to regions or environments. For example, his composition commissioned by the Alabama Music Teacher Association's 2004 convention featured audio samples from the Cahaba River, Alabama's last free-flowing river. Another work, "Long Pine Creek: New Year's Day," uses sounds from Long Pine Creek in Nebraska. His compositions range from traditional concert music to sonic installations where boom boxes are scattered throughout a room. His music is described as thoroughly modern, yet accessible, a description he shudders at, but reluctantly accepts. His compositions may be heard on Living Artist Recordings, as well as his web site,

Thursday, February 12, 2009
John McCain: Ignorant of Economics as Ever

Today, John McCain said: “$50 million in funding for the National Endowment for the Arts — all of us are for the arts,” McCain said. “Tell me how that creates any significant number of jobs?"

Here's an open letter to someone woefully ignorant of economics at a time when our leadership needs to understand economics MUCH better than this.

Dear Senator McCain,

I composed music for a ballet that resulted in speaking engagements and community outreach gigs for me, employed 16 dancers, 2 choreographers, 4 instrumentalists, a sound and lighting crew, and numbers of other support crew. Around 1000 people saw the two performances. Many of the audience went out to dinner after, and bought gas (which was nearly four dollars a gallon at the time) before. The dancers stayed in a hotel (12 rooms) and imbibed at the local bars. The instrumentalists were flown in from all over the country. Only a little state funding went into this, so I promise you more tax dollars came back than went in. Senator, if you don't see how arts funding creates employment you are as ignorant of economics as you claim.

Rusty Banks, composer/guitarist/economy stimulator