Rusty Milner was born and raised in Spartanburg, South Carolina. At age 9, after several years of piano lessons, his Uncle introduced him to the Ukulele. Soon, he would receive his first acoustic guitar, followed by an electric, which became a passion that developed in to a talent that continues today. As a young teen, Rusty sold his favorite motorcycle in order to purchase his first Gibson guitar. A Gibson SG, which would become his first true love. In 1974, with a strong desire to perform, and armed with lessons from legendary guitar teacher Joe Bennett, he was instrumental in forming a new Spartanburg band named Fresh. The next year Fresh won the local Battle of the Bands contest, and went on to capture the esteemed title in the state of South Carolina. A 76 Graduate of Dorman High School, he was actively involved in the jazz band and the chorus. After one year at USCS he set out to pursue his dream. He would spend the next few years touring with several regional Bands.
In 1981, he was asked by Artimus Pyle (long time Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer), to join his newly founded group, ”The Artimus Pyle Band”. Under a record contract from MCA, APB opened for the likes of Kansas, Charlie Daniels, Atlanta Rhythm Section and many others including hometown band Marshall Tucker. APB recorded with and befriended several members of MTB while touring and recording in their studio, Creative Arts. And in 1984, after the departure of lead guitar player Toy Caldwell, Rusty was asked to join Spartanburg-based Marshall Tucker in the role of lead guitar. For the next 18 years, he played well over 3000 shows, traveling hundreds of thousands of miles bringing the unique sound of the Marshall Tucker Band to fans worldwide. Along with playing, he wrote, engineered, and produced on many of the band’s CD’s.
Rusty actively plays in and mixes praise bands at both Life Song and Milestones Church and is involved with several local groups playing guitar, recording and mixing both in studio and live. Bands including, “The Undecided”, Back 9, Jeremy McComb and a new up and coming artist “Noah Guthrie” are just some of his clients.
Most recently, after engineering, mixing and mastering the new jazz fusion band, “Watson’s Riddle”, he was asked to join the group lead by Greenville virtuoso guitarist, Steve Watson, and Marshall Tucker founding member, drummer Paul Riddle. Now alone with the release of his second record, Steve Watson is receiving major attention throughout the U.S.
For the last several years along with playing and studying Jazz with Steve, Rusty has enjoyed Studio work and teaching private guitar lessons with students of all ages and levels, both privately and in classroom formats. Rusty has also taught guitar and recording classes at both Converse and Wofford Colleges as well as other schools. Most recently Rusty has joined the Faculty of Dorman High School as Sound Technician in their new State of the art Fine Arts center in Spartanburg SC where he continues to spread his love for Music, Guitar, Sound Recording and Production.
Currently, Rusty lives in Spartanburg, SC with his wife and three children. He is Co-Owner of Mill Street Recording Studio in Inman, SC.