Rob Husty is a professional musician and lead guitarist with the band Three Imaginary Boys. He also is a guitar instructor with Andrea Bogusko Music Co. and works full-time in the accounting department with Guard Insurance, both in Wilkes-Barre. Husty, a Wilkes-Barre native, graduated from Bishop Hoban High School and Wilkes University, where he earned a degree in accounting. He lives in Wilkes-Barre.
Meet Rob Husty…
You’re only 30 years old, but you’re considered one of the best guitarists in NEPA. When did you first discover the instrument?
My dad always played. He used to play in bands back in the ’70s, before I was born, so when I came along, there were always guitars and things like that around the house. I picked it up really early. His story is that I was humming Yardbirds songs before I could even talk, and he was pretty happy about that. (Laughs) I started taking lessons, seriously, when I was about 7 at Bogusko’s, and 23 years later, I’m still there, teaching. It just snowballed from there. My guitar teacher from there just had his 82nd birthday, and he was into all of this old county music like Merle Haggard … so I was listening to that. And then I’d come home, and my dad was teaching me the Beatles and the Stones and Hendrix, so I was kind of getting hit at a very early age with everything.
Your brother, Tim, plays with you in Three Imaginary Boys, and you’ve released three albums. What’s next for the band?
We’re writing some new stuff right now, and we’re really excited about it. In the past, it was me and Tim doing a lot of the writing, and now, with Mike Wintermute in the band, he is such a great musician that it’s taken on a whole new direction. We’re really excited about it. We didn’t start recording yet, but we have a bunch of demos done.
You play with quite a few other artists as well. You play with 40-Lb. Head and, from what I’ve heard, you’re also working with Eddie Appnel on his next record.
Yeah, I get random phone calls all the time (like), “Hey, are you free tonight? Can you sit in with us?” (Laughs) That happens a lot.
You’re also a big part of the weekly open-mic jams at Tony’s Wine Cellar in Pittston. Those seem like really fun shows.
It’s just a fantastic experience. I get to play with all of these people that are fantastic. And it’s catching on, where people just want to hear live music, and they just come because they don’t know what they’re going to see or what to expect. It’s just grown, every week. Initially, there were just five or six people there, and now it’s hard to get a seat.
Who are some of your all-time favorite
Jeff Beck. And early Eric Clapton, from the Cream days. And Jimmy Page. Paul Kossoff is another big one, from Free. And now, Joe Bonamassa. He’s probably my top guy that’s out now.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love hiking. Every Sunday, that’s what I’m doing, and I’m always trying to find new places. My life is so loud, being around music, that I love just going out to the middle of nowhere and not hearing anything. It’s nice. And when I’m not playing music, I’m learning it and trying to absorb whatever I can.
All-time favorite movie?
“They Live” and the original “Night of the Living Dead.”
Favorite TV show?
“The Walking Dead.”
New York City is great. They have everything. Food, entertainment — they’ve got it all.
Favorite vacation spot?
My favorite vacation was last year, when I went to the country of Georgia. It was just the most mind-blowing experience I’ve ever had. I went with two friends, one of whom is from there, and she lives in the mountains. There’s no electricity. There’s nothing. We rode horses for two days to get to the village that she’s from on top of these mountains, higher than the clouds. We camped in tents. It was pretty cool.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”
Favorite things about NEPA?
The music scene is fantastic. There’s talent everywhere. And there’s just so many people that are so welcoming. In other areas, it’s a competition, and you don’t find that around here very much. That’s another thing that I like about Tony’s. Everybody just gets together and just has a good time. I love that. And I love the scenery of this area. Again, I love hiking, and I love the outdoors. I was in Scouts my whole life — I’m an Eagle Scout — so I like the camping part of it. And the food is pretty good.
Favorite quote or catch phrase?
“What goes around comes around.”
Biggest pet peeve?
Arrogant people. People that put themselves on a pedestal. I’m not a fan of that.
Is there anything about you that might really surprise people?
One thing that people don’t seem to realize until they get to know me is that I have two different colored eyes. I have a brown and a blue eye.
Have you had an event in your life, or a person in your life, that has really helped shape you into the person you are today?
My dad introducing me to music and the guitar at such an early age. I have no idea what I’d be doing without music. Ninety percent of my day is devoted to music.
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL with ALAN K. STOUT is a regular feature in electric city, profiling people from all walks of life throughout NEPA. Reach Alan at email@example.com.