Like many classically trained musicians, Rushad Eggleston started playing music at a young age, picking up the violin at 3 and moving to the cello at age 8. But unlike many classical musicians, he straps his instrument to his body like an enormous guitar, and occasionally hangs from the ceiling—if the situation calls for it. “It was a huge deal,” says Eggleston, remembering the first time he played the cello with a strap while standing. “I mean can you imagine? I guess it’s like a bird realizing it had wings.” Following Eggleston’s epiphany, it didn’t take long for him to bring his new technique to the stage, first with his rock band, Tornado Rider, and then solo.
His live performances are characterized by a variety of antics, including full-on sprinting, stage dives, and some attempts to become the world’s first flying cellist. Besides his stage energy, Eggleston is also a skilled musician, and his solo work—much of which can also be found online—showcases his immense technical skills and his ability to compose stirring melodies and rhythms. Regardless of what he’s playing, he never goes without his pointed green hat. “You know it represents a lot of stuff,” Eggleston explains. “I mean, it’s kind of an abbreviation too, the hat. I’m into casting a kind of mythical vibe—a little bit Robin Hood and Peter Pan and a little bit of flying. You know, that kind of business … I like to sing about stuff that’s pretty wild.” His forthcoming set at Don Quixote’s on Sunday will feature some of his solo work, followed by a collaboration with Lily Henley and her band. “She’s a singer and fiddle player and [her band] really has just some of the sickest instrumental type of bluegrass players, but they don’t play bluegrass in the band, they play her own songs and Hebrew folk songs and stuff,” says Eggleston. “It’s weird and dark and awesome—they’re really good.”
INFO: 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 13. Don Quixote’s, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $10/adv, $12/door. 603-2294.