Tuesday Feb. 14: The Down Home • 300 W Main St., Johnson City • 8 pm, $20
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.
They formed in L.A.’s bohemian enclave of Venice Beach in late 2007, the result of a hopeful Craigslist ad posted by bandleader Z. Lupetin, a Midwestern transplant who hoped to join together players in the string band and brass band traditions. To watch them onstage is to take part in an evolving conversation between a high spirited group of music conjurers and their 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.
Over the last few years, the band has steadily gained recognition while playing festivals and venues across North America and Europe, notably with Lake Street Dive, Trombone Shorty, Rebirth Brass Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. With every show, 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. Their new soul-dipped singles “Busted” / “Only One” – produced by Grammy winning producer Ted Hutt (Old Crow Medicine Show, Dropkick Murphys) show the striking new direction the band is headed – and with the new album and international tours on the way in 2017, Dustbowl is ready to reach a whole new audience.