Caryn Tramel | MTSU Seigenthaler News Service

Ruston Kelly performs at Bonnaroo's That Tent June 15, 2019 in Manchester, Tenn.

Now-Sober Ruston Kelly Shows Off His Diversity

Up-and-coming Nashville new country singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly made his Bonnaroo debut Saturday afternoon at That Tent, and dedicated fans made him feel at home by singing along with the lyrics to his 2018 single, “Asshole." …

Up-and-coming Nashville new country singer-songwriter Ruston Kelly made his Bonnaroo debut Saturday afternoon at That Tent, and dedicated fans made him feel at home by singing along with the lyrics to his 2018 single, “Asshole.” 

During his performance, Kelly called attention to the date celebrating six months of sobriety, drawing supportive cheers from the crowd. He also told the crowd that he wanted to clarify that just because he’s now sober that it doesn’t mean he can’t  put on a great show like other artists.

He then launched into a spirited “Teenage Dirtbag,” the 2000 tune from pop-rockers Wheatus.

Throughout the set, Kelly showed his musical diversity by playin guitar, harmonica and piano, and his band also included steel guitar in the mix. The sounds aptly spotlighted Kelly’s 2018 release, “Dying Star,” which is is an exploration of the human condition with personal insights into his experience with addiction and the aftermath.

In appreciation the crowd clapped and sang along to the album’s and set closer, “Song of a Highway Daughter.”