Enter the musician
JT (aka Jerry)’s “small town America” rock star journey started at age 15. Influenced by The Beatles, Pink Floyd. Tom Petty, The Knack and many other rock/punk bands of the 70s and 80s, JT taught himself guitar and bass. He played in bands with Tipton High School and IU Bloomington mates, writing tons of songs and mixing tracks using a cassette recorder.
After college, JT joined the Army, got married and started a family; playing and writing music went on the back burner. His songs would play in his head while pulling guard duty in Desert Storm and they were still playing in his head after he retired 20 years later. He thought, “the kids are older now, life is completely different – it’s time to bring back the music.”
Enter the karaoke girl
Dusty always loved to sing and enjoys entertaining audiences. Karaoke provided the perfect outlet for expressing joy through music. Hosting karaoke shows gave her the opportunity to share music with both young and old. She created her own karaoke company and put on unique singing events and created stages where singers could feel like a rock star. It was at one of Dusty’s shows that Jerry met Dusty for the first time.
Hey, was that Cupid?
Dusty Dawn and JT met at karaoke several years ago, but it was just that, a meeting. In a weird twist of fate, they were brought together at a party a few years later, and bamm! – Cupid flew in and unleashed his arrows. Sparks flew, the world exploded and the magic was born that night on the dance floor. A whirlwind romance ensued, followed by a surprise engagement as JT proposed to Dusty while they were playing a Whiskey Fingers New Years Eve gig (right in the middle of “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”) and a Chuckstock guitar-infused wedding – a sign their union was destined for music and magic.
Making music = JOY!
A chance meeting with Mike of Whiskey Fingers started the ball rolling as JT joined the classic rock party band, playing bass, guitar and singing. Dusty cut her band teeth in Whiskey Fingers also, singing and learning keyboard parts. JT joined a local original rock band, The Hardway, on rhythm guitar and vocals. Dusty launched Dusty’s Spotlight for karaoke/rock star parties. She took karaoke to the schools to let kids experience the joy of singing and put on unique events like a ‘sing in the street’ event in Manitou. The Spotlight and Whiskey Fingers put on a ‘sing with the band’ to give the karaoke singer a chance to perform with a live band. JT also played guitar in party rock cover band Slang, and Dusty put together an 80s party band called The GR80s Band, where she sang backup, marketed the show, and JT helped out on guitar for a while.
Even though ‘learn to play drums’ was at the top of her bucket list, Dusty never thought she could learn to play drums.” With Jerry’s encouragement, Dusty picked up the sticks at age 42 and starting rocking out on an old kit gathering dust in the garage (just goes to show you’re never too old). She asked Jerry to teach her how to play and she wasn’t sure if he was joking when he said, “sit down, hold the sticks like this and go boom, tap” (gesturing to the kick drum and the snare). Really? Isn’t there more to it than that? Apparently that’s all you need to know to start. JT fired up his axe, resurrected his music library from the early years and he and Dusty started jamming = hey, something’s going on here.
But, what do we call it?
Dusty says, “One of the great things JT and I have in common is that we are both fuzzy bunnies. We’ve lived the rat race, survived some pretty tough life curveballs, and appreciate our fuzzy bunny philosophy”. The ‘fish fry’ part describes the spirit of community and joy that music brings – folks gathered together sharing good music and fun like a community fish fry. Fuzzy Bunny Fish Fry is about bringing folks together for a celebration of creating music and community.
Movin and groovin forward
Each day brings an opportunity to write a new song or learn a new skill and continue on a vast, beautiful musical journey. JT writes music daily and Dusty wanders the house spouting nonsense rhymes to ‘improve her lyric writing skills’. They jam and record whenever possible and experiment to create tasty melodies and sticky lyrics in search of the greatest songs ever.
The five year plan is to continue to create the Fuzzy Bunny sound, put our music out there and see if anyone likes it. Dusty says “we hope to have enough fans in 5 years, so we can take the Fish Fry on the road to different festivals around the country – in an RV with a tranformer mirrored stage.”
Will anything come of it? Who knows? But the fun is in the journey and the journey is a story.
Fuzzy Bunny Say…
we hope you’ll stick around to see what happens 🙂