Interview With Dusty Leigh Huston
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with the phenomenal Dusty Leigh Huston. This young lady is the 2022 ISSA Female Vocalist Of The Year and istening to her music, it is not hard to see why she won.
Dusty is best known for her strong vocals and the massive amounts of Confidence she exudes. Dusty started singing at 6 years old at her Lincoln Elementary School when she performed in a Christmas play and grew up with an eclectic taste in music played in her family home. Listening to an array of great artists such as Dolly Parton, K. T. Oslin, Fleetwood Mac, The Judd’s, Bob Seger, John Coungar so, she has many influences in her musical career. However, Dusty advised that she fell in love with the Judd’s music and she knew every song they had on every album they ever made.
So how did this young lady get started in Country Music? Dusty says that Reba McEntire was her idol growing up. Dusty's first country concert that influenced her in becoming a singer was seeing Reba McEntire in concert. She was ten years old and went to see Reba perform in Boise, Idaho watching in awe at how phenomenal Reba was at story telling. After watching the Reba concert, Dusty was hooked, she decided this was what she wanted to do, be a performer.
Dusty married her high school sweetheart. After marrying her husband joined the Coast Guard and Dusty traveled across the country as a military wife. Her professional career started in 2014 where she and her husband started a band with active duty Coast Guard members in North Carolina named “Whiskey Creek.”
During this time, Dusty Leigh & Whiskey Creek performed from Washington D. C. down to Raleigh, N. C. and everywhere in between at any venue that would have them. After her husband left the military, they moved back to Idaho and Dusty was able to convince her former bass player and drummer from Whiskey Creek to move to Idaho to form the new band, Dusty Leigh & The Claim Jumpers.
Dusty and her band mates wanted to pay homage to Idaho in their band name so Dusty’s husband came up with the name The Claim Jumpers. Which alludes to the history of Idaho during the gold rush era. This is when frontiersmen would jump from one gold claim to another even if they did not even own it.
This young lady is not without challenges in her life and musical career. Dusty lost her mother early in life. She has had many challenges that influenced her music, however Dusty embraced these challenges and helped her make her lyrics more like a story telling adventure.
When I asked her about her newest single, “The Hell I Won’t”, Dusty advised me she considers this song her anthem. When asked why she said, “I wanted to write a song that was my story. That delivered the feelings I had and the wisdom I have learned and the experiences I have gained.”
Dusty says this song goes out to all of those people who told her she was not good enough, that she would never make it and anyone who talked poorly about her. She says there is a line in her new single, “fuel to my fire” that relates to those people who told her she can’t do something. She says to them all “The Hell I Won’t”.
In this song Dusty relates the message that no matter how old you are, where you are in your musical career that if you want it you have to fight for it. Her drive behind this song is to prove her doubters wrong. A line from her song stuck with me. This lyric is “Tattoo on the back of my neck says respect, So I don’t forget where I’m from, what I’m made of, and where I am headed next.” I related to Dusty that this lyric makes me think she is telling her doubters that nothing is going to stand in her way of where she is going next in her musical career and their opinions do not matter to her. Dusty confirmed she agrees with that reflection.
In closing, Country music lovers should pay close attention to Dusty Leigh Huston as she is on the move. She has an album coming out in the Fall of 2023 entitled the same as her most recent single release “The Hell I Won’t.” Dusty Leigh Huston provides great music that is influenced by her life experiences, which always makes for some great Country music.
By “Jammin’ James” Finchum