Tuesday, April 24, 2018     Volume: 19, Issue: 7

Santa Maria Sun / Music

The following article was posted on May 17th, 2017, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 11 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 11

The Dustbowl Revival to perform cuts off new album at Standing Sun in Buelton


When you think old-time string band, the logical next step is not a horn section. But, it’s a winning combination for The Dustbowl Revival.

The eight-piece Americana group performs at Standing Sun Wines in Buellton on May 19, bringing a set filled with cuts off the group’s new album, due out June 16.

Titled The Dustbowl Revival, the new release represents a more seasoned, developed album from the band. Founded by guitarist and singer Zach Lupetin, The Dustbowl Revival became known for its Dixieland jazz-infused folk sound from a bygone time.

The Dustbowl Revival performs a concert on May 18 at Standing Sun Wines in Buellton, including cuts off their new eponymous album, which releases June 16.

As the ensemble’s style progressed from its first album, The Atomic Mushroom Cloud of Love, more Americana sounds made their way into the music, like delta swamp blues, ska, and rock.

The latest album, however, lays heavy on the funk. It’s the sound of a group comfortable with its deep roots in Americana tradition, but not afraid to expand and make something all its own.

The opening track, “Call My Name,” begins with a heavy beat by drummer Joshlyn Heffernan followed up by a Stax-style horn arrangement. The work of trumpeter Matt Rubin and trombonist Ulf Bjorlin sounds like a full horn section—you would never believe it’s just two musicians.

That track also displays the solid vocal sync between Lupetin and singer Liz Beebe. They have an attitude together, confident and playful like a prospective lover. Fiddler Connor Vance also provides a ripping violin solo.

Other tracks hail more to The Dustbowl Revival’s acoustic roots, like “Debtors’ Prison.” But even then, the song is much more developed than a three-chord folk song, both sonically and in subject matter.

The first single that came out for the album, “Busted,” is a perfect example of the genre smashing that Dustbowl is up to. A subtle part by mandolinist Daniel Mark is reminiscent of a hip-hop piano part a la Alicia Keys. The drum part also gives that feel too, but the rest of the band is in a New Orleans-style minor groove.

Catch the show
Standing Sun Wines presents The Dustbowl Revival performing for Live in the Winery on May 19 at 7:30 p.m. at 92 2nd St., Buellton. Cost is $20 to $25. More info: 691-9413.

The funk feel comes through clearly in the album, but there are also whiffs of old blues and a heavy presence of Motown. To achieve this on one song in particular, the group called on the skills of another genre-blending performer, Keb’ Mo’.

“Honey I Love You” is the track that features Mo’s signature electric guitar sound. The song also includes some fantastic harmonizing by Lupetin and Beebe on an already engaging melody.

The Dustbowl Revival has performed more than 200 shows a year over the past four years, and Standing Sun Wines was often a stop along the way. The ensemble always brings its collection of acoustic instruments to please audiences, but now it has a little something extra—a maturity that could only come after 10 years of steady performance, life on the road, and discovery of musical identity.

Managing Editor Joe Payne always enjoys a mandolin groove. Contact him at jpayne@santamariasun.com.

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