The Dustbowl Revival
-Album Reviewed by Diana Mumford–
The Dustbowl Revival’s first full-length album, Carry Me Home, is a refreshing jaunt to the past. The Venice, California-based band has an old-school sound that transcends genre. The band borrows and fuses together a little bit of everything, from jazz to folk to bluegrass. Mix together one part front porch jamboree, one part dingy nightclub blues, and add in a dash of whooping and hollering and you’ve got The Dustbowl Revival.
The band has eight core members with a rotating cast of special musical guests. Drawing on a wide range of musical talent, the main collective and their special guests are able to incorporate an eclectic combination of instruments—everything from big band brass to washboards and kazoos. The group integrates the sounds of these instruments with finesse, seamlessly jumping from twanging banjos in one song to brassy trumpet solos in the next.
This album is full of gems, but a few songs in particular stand out. John the Revelator, a cover of a traditional 1930’s gospel blues song, opens with a chanting call-and-response style and dives into a slinking jazz ensemble. “Who’s that calling?” Z. Lupetin growls, his voice staying true to the raw temper of the original, but slightly changing the lyrics. In fact, half of the album is comprised of covers of traditional songs yet the band has improvised considerably, passionately adding their unique point-of-view.
Another standout is Riverboat Queen, a creeping jazz song about love and desire. The talented Liz Beebe, the band’s lead female vocalist, headlines on this track. Her voice is meant for crooning. Paired with the band’s musical accompaniment, The Dustbowl Revival echoes the streets of New Orleans circa 1930.
The best description of The Dustbowl Revival’s sound comes from the band themselves: “Old Crow Medicine Show meeting Louis Armstrong’s Hot Seven Band in New Orleans or Bob Dylan and Fats Waller jamming with Mumford & Sons on a front porch in 1938.” Simply put, they make music that makes you want to boogie down, cut a rug, and all that jazz. With their heartfelt and fresh take on music borrowed from another time, The Dustbowl Revival sounds like pure Americana; they sound like home.
Currently touring in venues across the States, The Dustbowl Revival is one to watch for 2014. Interested in giving their new album a listen? It’s now available at Bandcamp.com: http://thedustbowlrevivalcollective.bandcamp.com/
Or you can check out their official website: http://www.dustbowlrevival.com/
Post Photo Courtesy of: http://themintla.com