Dustbowl Revival

Mar 6, 2020

Dustbowl Revival
Credit NPR

Muddy Bottom Blues

Program #207 (March 6 at 8:00 p.m. and March 7 at 3:00 p.m.)

Based out of Venice, California, the Dustbowl Revival are a large string and brass ensemble whose colorful combination of swing, bluegrass, jazz, and Americana have earned them a national following.

The core group was formed in 2007 by bandleader and principal songwriter Zach Lupetin, who placed a craigslist ad searching for collaborators and instrumentalists.

Known for their rowdy, energetic live shows, the group's lineup has swelled to as large as 15 members including various horns, mandolin, banjo, accordion, clarinet, and the dueling vocals of Lupetin and co-vocalist Liz Beebe.

Their first LP, 2011's Holy Ghost Station, introduced their versatile sound on record, with an emphasis on old-timey rave-ups and early gospel and swing. A follow-up called Carry Me Home arrived in 2013 and followed a similar path as they continued to mix brass band music with old-time string styles and big group vocals.

Their third album, 2015's With a Lampshade On, took a more direct approach, capturing the band live on-stage in San Francisco and L.A. While not necessarily a proper concert album, the record also featured the Dustbowl Revival live in the studio in New York and was the most honest presentation of their sound to date. Two years later, the group returned with its fourth album, an eponymous record produced by Grammy-winning producer Ted Hutt.

(provided by Allmusic)