“Did we just join a cult?” my friend yelled into my ear as we raised our arms to the sky. Cued by the band, we swayed back and forth as we listened to the jam. “If this is a cult,” I thought, “I’m in.”
Dustbowl Revival hails from LA, but their musical influences span far beyond the west coast. Described stylistically as an American roots band, you can hear nods to blues, Americana folk, funk, and New Orleans brass in their music. The crowd was eclectic as the music styles, and folks young and old shook their hips as the band performed old favorites like Honey, I Love You and new staples such as Set Me Free.
Most bands I’ve seen in the last year or so have mentioned how it’s incredible to be back to live shows, and Dustbowl Revival was no exception. But they took it a step further, voicing how they feel a responsibility to speak up on political and social matters, a thing too many artists won’t do, for fear of losing an audience. Performing The Truth, a deeply personal song to frontman Z. Lupetin, the band shared their outrage at the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Folk music, specifically, gave a voice to generations in the 1960s who were protesting change for equality and justice, and Dustbowl Revival is continuing to act as a sound chamber for those voices today.
Towards the end of the evening the band invited opener, Stella Ruze, a local Philly band, to join them onstage. The gang harmonized to The Band’s The Weight and despite a few forgotten lyrics, the audience mouthed along in sync. Lupetin had one ask for us—to tell one person on the west coast and one person on the east coast about them. To share their name. To share their music. Consider this your notice.