Growing up in small town America in the 70s and 80s, JT was influenced by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Tom Petty, R.E.M, The Knack and other rock/punk bands. At age 15, he picked up a guitar and taught himself how to play. He played in bands with Tipton High School and IU Bloomington mates, writing tons of songs and mixing tracks using a 4 track recorder. After college, JT joined the Army, got married and started a family. 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."
Dusty has always loved to sing and entertain. From old country favorites by Dolly Parton and Ronnie Milsap to Ozzy to Celine to Nickelback, Dusty loves to belt out all different types of music. As a teenager, she found that karaoke provided the perfect outlet for expressing her singing joy. She started hosting karaoke shows and DJ'ing parties and weddings, eventually starting her own entertainment company and putting on unique singing events for all ages. She created stages where singers could feel like rock stars. It was at one of Dusty's karaoke shows that JT and Dusty met for the first time. She had no idea then that this would be the man she would spend the rest of her life with.
Even though Dusty and JT met at karaoke a couple of years earlier, a twist of fate brought the two together and bamm! - Cupid flew in and unleashed his arrows. Sparks flew and the magic was born that night after a kiss on the dance floor.
A whirlwind romance was followed by a surprise engagement as JT proposed to Dusty while they were playing a New Years Eve gig with Whiskey Fingers (right in the middle of "Keep Your Hands to Yourself"). A guitar-infused wedding during Chuckstock sealed the deal with a sign their union was destined for music and magic.
JT and Dusty's first band experience together was with Whiskey Fingers in Colorado Springs. JT played guitar, bass and sang and Dusty played keys and sang. The band went from playing in Chuck's garage to the biggest stages in Colorado Springs.
Both were bitten by the music making bug and looked for opportunities to make music with others. JT played guitar and sang in a local original rock band called The Hardway and Slang. Dusty put together an 80s party band called The GR80s Band, an interactive 80s experience. They supported the Springs music scene and put together jams for musical fellowship.
Even though 'learn to play drums' was at the top of her bucket list, Dusty never thought she would actually play. 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 (proving you're never too old to learn something new). She asked Jerry to teach her how to play and wasn't sure if he was joking when he said, "sit down, hold the sticks like this - and go boom, tap" and gestured to the kick drum and the snare. That's it? Apparently that's all you need to know to start. JT fired up his guitar, Dusty started boom tapping and they resurrected Jerry's lyrics and music library from over the years.
Dusty and JT were creating music, but now what do we call it? Dusty says, "One of the great things Jerry and I have in common is that we are both fuzzy bunnies. We try to be positive even in the tough times and we're nice to people. We've lived the rat race, survived some pretty tough curveballs in life 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, joy and community. No fish though.
Each day brings an opportunity to write a new song or learn a new skill and continue on this vast, beautiful musical journey. JT writes music daily and Dusty wanders the house spouting nonsense rhymes in foreign accents for creative songwriting practice. They jam and record whenever possible and experiment to create tasty melodies and sticky lyrics in search of the greatest songs ever.
The original plan was to continue to write music and polish the Fuzzy Bunny sound, put our music out there and see if anyone likes it. (We have since then released Fuzzy Bunny Fish Fry's first album - SHOW)
Dusty says "we hope to have enough fans in 5 years to take the Fish Fry on the road and play festivals around the country in an RV with a transformer mirrored stage, plus a disco ball."What will come of it - who knows? But the fun is in the journey and the journey is a story. It's a musical fairy tale in an ordinary life, and what a blessed journey it's been.
The piano lessons didn't take, and he sold his middle school trombone long ago, but Corbin Collins has been playing bass off and on since the 1980s, where he attended high school with JT. Corbin's band in the early years, The Howl (or sometimes called Spazm), was composed of two sets of brothers. The Howl played a curious mix of prog rock and bar favorites together sporadically for nearly 30 years before a way overdue middle-age implosion finally switched off their amps for good.
Meanwhile in the 90s, Corbin traveled the world and gave up the bass in favor of a beat-up acoustic guitar, on which he noodled irregularly. In the 2000s, he attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop and focused on writing stories. Two unfinished novels languish even today on an external hard drive.
A book editor by trade, Corbin moved back to Indiana and has recently taken a break from writing in favor of the bass once again, inspired by the songcraft and creative energy of Fuzzy Bunny Fish Fry.
He is also a fledgling songwriter and imagines himself one day becoming the George Harrison of FBFF, or perhaps playing the Colin Moulding role to JT's Andy Partridge.