Tim Rushlow has sold 11 million records, won CMA and ACM awards, has three Grammy nominations and has been on eight world tours, so he’s earned the right to be discriminating when it comes to the equipment he uses. The former voice and front man for the well-known country group Little Texas recently came off of an eight-week residency at the Nashville Palace in Nashville, Tennessee. To support the many sound requirements of his new act, a 20-piece big band experience reminiscent of a Las Vegas Rat Pack concert, he decided to use FBT. Despite the challenges presented by the space, Rushlow’s manager and show co-producer, Clif Doyal, said the brand was just what they needed to compliment the big band’s big sound.
Nashville Palace is a landmark in Music City that’s hosted big country acts since the 80s (when Randy Travis was a dishwasher in the venue’s kitchen). But when Doyal and Rushlow were asked to design a sound system there, there was a lot to consider, including the hard surfaces in the 600-seat, back-room honky tonk, a space with plenty of obstructions.
“We knew it was going to take just the right rig to make the sound work, because when you put 20 instruments – that big and complex a sound – into a system, if you don’t have the right equipment it’ll turn muddy pretty quickly,” said Doyal. “On top of that, the room’s large, and so long that it’s hard to fill the room adequately without killing people in the front rows. We needed to be strategic.”
Doyal and Rushlow tackled the problem by flying and angling three FBT MUSE 210LAVs on either side of the stage, one HiMaxx40a on each side as side fill, and two large Subline 218sa’s on each side of the stage, totaling 12 FBT boxes all together.
“The sound was incredible,” said Doyal. “The clarity, the true voicing, the highs and lows the system captured and the throw and disbursement amazed me – and that’s really unusual for speakers in that price range.”
Ultimately, though, it was Rushlow’s standard that had to be met. The Big Band project has long been a passion of the versatile entertainer who, according to Doyal, believes that music from the Great American Songbook was “a salve for the American psyche” during times of uncertainty and war. Paying respect to the material meant delivering it through a high-end sound system that was as rich and full as the band that was playing it. Doyal says the artist couldn’t have been happier.
“It is always the top priority to me that an audience hears my show as authentic and accurate as possible,” said Rushlow. “FTB and Italian Speaker Imports have been fantastic to work with. Their top notch gear allowed every seat in the room to hear my 20-piece Big Band sound authentically, yet crystal clear. In today’s market, people want what they are used to, which is great sound. FTB has helped me bridge that gap, allowing me to still be retro and authentic, yet slamming with today’s sound specs. Simply stellar gear; I am a fan for sure!”