CLINTON, Ark. — A 66-year-old blind pianist from Clinton, Arkansas will finally be living out his dream by performing with his rock band in front of live three-hundred plus audience.
This Saturday, Russell Allgaier, better known as “Rusty” — will be performing at the Ozark Heritage Arts Museum in Leslie, Arkansas.
This will be the first time Rusty has every been featured on stage at a venue that can seat more than three hundred people.
However, Rusty has an unusual eye disease called, Retrolental fibroplasia, causing him to be legally blind from birth.
“I first starting playing the piano with my brother,” says Rusty. “He showed me before he went to the army.”
However, that didn’t stop the piano man from pursuing his passion for music — something he encourages others to never stop doing.
“I play here at the Clinton Senior Center,” he says. “And then one day Jeff Stansbery comes in and discovers me.”
Jeff Stansbery, is a musican from Texas, now living in Arkansas he was looking to get back to playing. Stansbery says the moment he heard Rusty playing he knew he was the real deal.
“He can hear things that we can’t see if that makes sense,” says Stansbery. “It’s like we get distracted by the things we see but he can focus on the sounds – he amazing.”
As for Rusty, well he says he is just blessed to be doing what he loves.
“This is great, I met Jeff about 6 months ago and I joined the band,” says Rusty.
Now, Rusty is set to play some of his favorite music this weekend from some of his favorite bands like, Pink Floyd and Moody Blues.
Rusty says he feels blessed by his community who helps take care of him, which is why all proceeds from the concert will go to help the Ozark Heritage Arts Museum.
You can visit the Ozark Heritage Arts Center’s website here to find out more.