Ruston Kelly On His South Carolina Roots And His New Album 'The Weakness'

Ruston Kelly

Alysse Gafkjen

About Ruston Kelly

The South Carolina-born Ruston Kelly moved all over the world with his family, eventually ending up in Belgium before relocating to Nashville to start his career. But before his music, he pursued a figure skating dream that left him feeling alone, but also led him to writing songs. Since then, he’s struggled with addiction and was married to one of the most famous women in the music business. He penned his latest album, 'The Weakness,' from his Victorian bungalow in Portland, Tennessee.

What Ruston Kelly Talks About On This Episode

  • Growing up in Georgetown, South Carolina
  • His relationship with his grandmother
  • Moving and living in Belgium
  • Relocating to Nashville to start his career
  • Pursuing a figure skating career
  • His grandmother's sausage balls
  • Struggling with addiction
  • His dad's musical aspirations
  • Renovating a Victorian bungalow in Portland, Tennessee
  • His marriage to Kacey Musgraves
  • His third album, 'The Weakness,' which was released on April 7
  • Making a record with his dad

Quotes From Ruston Kelly

"It's really in those moments we find out who we are and what we're made of. And so many times in my life, I wasn't able to sit with that and I had to numb it. And so I decided to sit with it this time. And I'm really glad that I did because I learned so much about myself, so much about the situation that I left and what it was that I wanted to do." - Ruston Kelly

Ruston Kelly

I remember sitting there and just having such a complete sense of joy. Watching him in the booth, recording a song, 'Old Friends,' that I'd heard since I was a kid that started me on this journey, and even more so that he was there with me every step of the way. When we were in a car, he'd pack in there with us and go and play for no one. And then we moved up to a van and we did that. And then we moved up to a bus and people started showing up to shows. And he also was there when I was at my ugliest and at my worst. All of these things kind of coalesce into a real moment of joy.

— Ruston Kelly

"When I was at my lowest, those were things that I felt the deepest, which was emptiness and a lack of perspective on hope. And songwriting, again I turned to it just like I did when I was 14, and I could make sense of something that I thought I'd never be able to make sense of. I might not ever make complete sense of it, but writing about it gave me the belief that I can at least get out of it." - Ruston Kelly

"There's so many elements about Southern culture that I love. There's so many that I kind of roll my eyes at, you know? But with the right people, Southern culture can bring out the best of community. A lot of times through food, a lot of times through SEC football. And I love those things. Whenever I'm around my people that are kinda very deeply in that type of culture, I feel very at home and very at peace and comforted. It's like when you're there you truly have a sense of family and community in those circles." - Ruston Kelly

About Biscuits & Jam

In the South, talking about food is personal. It's a way of sharing your history, your family, your culture, and yourself. Each week Sid Evans, editor in chief of Southern Living, sits down with celebrity musicians to hear stories of how they grew up, what inspired them, and how they've been shaped by Southern culture. Sid takes us back to some of their most cherished memories and traditions, the family meals they still think about, and their favorite places to eat on the road.Download and listen to this episode of Biscuits & Jam with Ruston Kelly on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, or everywhere podcasts are available.

Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors.

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