The Dustbowl Revival With A Lampshade On LP + Download
Bluegrass. Swing. Hot jazz. Pre-war blues. Southern soul. New Orleans funk. The Dustbowl Revival is what you could call an American roots orchestra with eight full-time members - and they play it all, mashing the sounds of traditional American music into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party that coaxes new fire out of familiar coal. This isn’t a throwback band. It’s a celebration of the sounds that have kept America moving for more than a century, performed with all the flair of a medicine show and rooted in the sweat and swagger of a juke joint song swap.
With A Lampshade On, the Dustbowl Revival’s fourth album, finally shines a light on the band’s strength as a live act. They formed in L.A.’s bohemian enclave of Venice Beach in late 2007, the result of a hopeful Craigslist ad posted by bandleader Zach Lupetin, a Midwestern transplant who hoped to join together players in the string band and brass band traditions. Since then, one thing has become clear as the group grows more confident in their abilities: Dustbowl does its best work onstage. They’ve played dive bars, saloons and theaters, front porches and festivals.
To watch them onstage is to take part in an evolving conversation between an orchestra and audience. The horns blast, the fiddle and mandolin swoon, and the howling vocals — which Lupetin shares with Liz Beebe — rattle off stories about preachers, drinkers, lovers, and holy rollers. The crowd is encouraged to participate, of course…and the crowd often does during With A Lampshade On, whether it’s singing along during the call-and-response verses of 1930s drinking song “Whiskey in the Well” or shouting their approval during Beebe’s bawdy, ballsy original “Doubling Down on You.”
A good chunk of this album was indeed recorded live, with many songs taken from a pair of electric concerts at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco and the Troubadour in Los Angeles. The point wasn’t to release a live album, though. It was to capture a group of road warriors in their element, playing not to an audience, but with an audience. Noted L.A. live sound expert Alex Chaloff rigged up to twenty microphones to capture the group from every angle, and the sound is remarkably clean and warm. The album tracks that weren’t curated from those two shows were recorded during live studio sessions in New York, with everyone in the band playing at once. It’s raw, close and sweaty, and you can hear every breath.
That unique middle ground - the place where jazz, folk, gospel and blues all intersect - is where With A Lampshade On shines brightest. With this album, the Dustbowl Revival isn’t just paying tribute to the sounds of decades long sine past. Rather, the band is participating in the evolution of American roots music, tipping a hat to what’s come before while looking ahead to what’s on the horizon.
The Dustbowl Revival With A Lampshade On Track Listing:
1. Lampshade On
2. Hey Baby
3. Old Joe Clark
4. Feels Good
5. Standing Next To Me
6. Ballad Of The Bellhop
7. Never Had To Go
8. Bright Lights
9. Cherokee Shuffle
10. Doubling Down On You
11. Ain't My Fault