If the name Dustbowl Revival suggests a band with songs patterned after folk icon Woody Guthrie, you
might be disappointed by this group’s self-titled album. When Zach Lupetin sings lead, which only
happens a few times here, the group can, in fact, come off like Okies from Venice, CA. This is especially
true during “Debtor’s Prison,” a quiet, mostly acoustic musical meditation. “Got Over” also includes
these gentler moments. These instances are few and far between, though.
Whenever Liz Beebe sings, the music is far more soulful. She’s backed by a strong horn section, where
she vocalizes with a classy, sassy style. Opener “Call My Name” rocks back and forth, while the horn
section blares out like Earth, Wind & Fire. Both Lupetin and Beebe harmonize over its lumbering, funky
Lyrically, these songs are much lighter than, say, Guthrie’s California blues. Instead, there’s a lot of tough
talking love songs. One exception to this toughness rule is “Honey I Love You,” a sweet love song
featuring Keb’ Mo’. It’s soul music as cool as a summer breeze.
Few would associate summer breezes with the trials and tribulations of dustbowl survivors. But what’s
in a name, anyhow? And with music (this) good, who really cares?