The Dustbowl Revival - With a Lampshade On
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With a Lampshade On (Signature Sounds, 2015)

The Dustbowl Revival

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

If you're not already a fan of The Dustbowl Revival, your first reaction is going to be, "What's this?" You may still be asking that when the CD ends. Be patient, it's interesting stuff, but you have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy it. Throw out your country music, bluegrass, rock or pop mindsets. Old-time? This may be a distant cousin. Think of a small-town band with anyone who can play anything a member performing in front of their neighborhood.

Band member names aren't likely to be familiar, but Liz Beebe bears mention as one of the lead singers (plus playing ukelele, washboard and tambourine). She has a strong, jazzy voice that is quite enjoyable. Zach Lupetin is the other lead singer and composer of all the tracks, several take-offs on well-known songs. Lupetin is a good vocalist, but his voice takes a bit of getting used to. He plays guitar, harmonica and kazoo. He sings lead on "Standing Next To Me," an easy-flowing love song. They next kick into "Ballad of the Bellhop" with a Dixieland sound that features a nice mandolin break by Daniel Mark, co-writer of the title song. You'll hear some wild trombone and trumpet as well. Drums (and a good job by Josh Heffernan), upright bass, fiddle, sax and clarinet are part of the mix. With that list you can see where the Dixieland reference fits.

There should be a prize for anyone who figures out what the title song is supposed to mean, but that seems to be the point of their music. There is no deep, mystical philosophy, no attempts at political correctness or incorrectness. It's just fun. "Hey Baby" has an infectious beat that you have to snap your fingers with and shuffle your hips just a little. "Wrapped Up In My Heart" is a bluesy, bad-love song heavy with brass instruments while "Whiskey In The Well" should be played in a '30's honky-tonk. "Bright Lights" has a calypso beat with a bit of mystery.

The only guarantee about this music is it's something you've never heard before.

CDs by The Dustbowl Revival

The Dustbowl Revival, 2017 With a Lampshade On, 2015

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