This 6th release from Los Angeles’ The Dustbowl Revival finds this band evolving in new directions; shaping and refining their music. Self-titled, the band that’s gained a reputation for a good-time vibe has expanded its sound to include a soulful, funky groove that exudes deeper emotion and thus taps a more now/modern vibe. This band has been known for their heady stew of quasi-Beale Street brassiness, mixed with some groove and roots music and yet again, they’ve raised their own bar higher.
“Call Me Now” kicks off the proceedings with a raucous, down-home, groove (yep, right there) filled with on-the-one harmonies, rousing horn charts and a get-down vibe; “If You Could See Me Now” has a sinister soundtrack feel – kind of a spy vibe mixed in with the clever melodic construction – and once again, those horns take center stage, punctuating the verses and lifting up the space between the choruses. “The Story” has a slightly ’70’s funk feel, although the tempo moves in a 4/4 Motown time – it’s a stomper that’s a definite centerpiece; “Debtors’ Prison” goes in a completely different direction as it’s got a country feel; acoustic based and slower – and another high point and “Gonna Fix You” immediately reminds me of Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ “Let’s Make This Precious”, with its breezy soul feel and uptempo motor. “Got Over” is another “quieter” piece; acoustic guitar and mandolin surround sweet harmonies and mournful horn interludes and “Leaving Time” is slick, in a New Orleans way – sly and no messing about.
All in all, a fine and solid effort from this ensemble. I could rhapsodize about the philosophy behind The Dustbowl Revival’s sound and style but this is one of those cases where I don’t need to explain. Put this album on and let the music do the talking. I think it’s evident that what I hear in their music, you will too. Which is more than enough reason to give this a spin.
The Dustbowl Revival’s self-titled album is currently available