Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
An absolutely perfect melding of funk, country, ska, and rock and roll. This album runs the spectrum when it comes to categories. So do we call it country? Americana? rhythm and blues? It is all of the above, but none of the above, in aggregate. Something new was created here. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a fantastic trombone solo on Good Egg (Track 3). The best trombone solo since A Cave from The Mighty Mighty Bosstones on their debut album The Devil’s Night Out from way back in 1989!
So stylistically, it is very difficult to pin down. Let’s just call it good music and leave it at that. The Dustbowl Revival is from the Los Angeles area by way of somewhere else. It seems there is a more solid lineup of eight members than there was in the early days when up to 15 players was not uncommon. The more stable, current lineup is as follows: Z. Lupetin – guitar and vocals; Liz Beebe – vocals and ukulele; Daniel Mark – mandolin; Connor Vance – fiddle; Matt Rubin – trumpet; Ulf Bjorlin – trombone; James Klopfleisch – bass; and Joshlyn Heffernan – drums.
There is one song that is quite country and folky and it is Debtor’s Prison. But there are times in the song where it sounds like The Beatles or The Temptations (instrumentation). This song is outstanding. It tells a good story, has tremendous lead and backing vocals, and has a very infectious sound to it.
I mentioned ska and there is a very serious ska song on this self titled album. Gonna Fix You (Track 6) is straight up ska. It reminds a little of that LA ska band Self Doubt. I mean No Doubt. This song is also teeming with flawless lead and backing vocals. They blend together beautifully like cotton and silk.
Calling this album good is a gross understatement. I think great can be used here. It seems that each review I do the material either tops or matches the previous one. Well The Dustbowl Revival is definitely top shelf. This is no rail liquor, this is the good stuff.
Listen to Dustbowl Revival here