Lisa Gain & the Rusty Silos Ride a Natural High

By Zak Kolesar
Cover Photo by Carol Prior

If you’re engulfed in the Columbus music scene, there’s a really good chance that you’ve heard of WOSU Tiny Desk winners Lisa Gain & the Rusty Silos. A year ago Gain—who has been performing around Columbus for more than 20 years—and her band submitted a video that made her the judges far-and-away pick for Columbus’ Tiny Desk submission.

Fast forward one year and Gain appeared as a judge for the top WOSU Tiny Desk, a feat that local high energy rock-n-roll legends Zoo Trippin’ accomplished this year. Gain is an observant storyteller judging by her catalog, something that the Tiny Desk winner and the newly-released single “Natural High” have in common.

The song has an initial slow swing to it, which contrasts beautifully when Gain is trying to stretch those vocal cords to the stars. However, even though this song features Gain on acoustic rhythm guitar and behind the microphone, there’s a lot of moving parts to the Rusty Silos.

Bryan Rupejko keeps a steady hand, while Joey Rauckis gets down and dirty with his guitar to close out the nearly five-minute track.

Now although “Natural High” wasn’t written in the same three-day time frame that Gain & the Rusty Silos used to writer their award-winning song, both songs sounding very contemplative. Gain, a naturally born songwriter, was inspired by getting off of work after a bad day and just driving down 71 without a care in the world. What greeted her on the highway was a beautiful sunset, causing her to seek beauty in nature more regularly.

When Gain refers to her natural high, it comes from mother nature (raindrops, sunshine, the sky). In a way, Gain finds beauty in all of the above. The beauty also distracts the singer/songwriter from plummeting into loneliness or forgetting about the concept of time; a good lesson for those too sunk into a depression to get out of their lounge chair. Despite the lyrics being a little more introspective than in the past, the Rusty Silos sound still stays true to its Americana and folk roots

“Natural High” will be available on all streaming platforms on July 24. Lisa Gain & the Rusty Silos will also be playing at Craft & Vinyl on July 26. Music starts at 7 p.m.

Michael Thomas