The Dustbowl Revival
The Dustbowl Revival is a Venice, California-based collective that merges old school bluegrass, gospel, pre-war blues and the hot swing of New Orleans to form a spicy roots cocktail. Known for their roaring live sets, Dustbowl bravely brings together many styles of traditional American music. Some call it string band-brass band mash up. Maybe it's called Swing grass or good old Americana. Imagine Old Crow Medicine Show teaming up with Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens, or Bob Dylan and The Band jamming with Benny Goodman and his orchestra in 1938. It’s infectious, joyous music - a youthful take on time-worn American traditions.
Named "Best Live Band in LA" by The LA Weekly, each Dustbowl performance promises to be a white-knuckle ride through the history of American folk music that rarely stays just on the stage. Call it the new old-timey dance party sound made fresh by some of the best soloists in the business. Most of the gang is classically trained though you might not know it when some of the funk breaks out.
After placing several songs on ABC and Fox and having tunes featured in independent films like "Made In China" (winner of SXSW) winning Americana song of the year from the Independent Music Awards (Tom Waits judging), playing festivals like Outside Lands and opening for bands like Lake Street Dive, Rebirth Brass Band, Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Trombone Shorty, the band began barnstorming more extensively across the USA. Festivals on tap in 2015 include Floydfest (VA), Clearwater Hudson Revival (NY), The Winnipeg Folk Festival, Naked Song Fest (Netherlands) and Bergenfest (Norway) where they will join Tori Amos, First Aid Kit and Jackson Browne.
Founder Z. Lupetin came west from Chicago in 2007 and placed a humble Craigslist ad to get the circus started. The group has grown steadily from a small string band playing up and down the west coast, into a traveling mini orchestra featuring instrumentation that often includes fiddle, mandolin, trombone, clarinet, trumpet, ukelele, drums, tuba, organ, a bass made from a canoe oar, harmonica and plenty of washboard and kazoo for good luck. They have settled into an eight piece touring machine - rattling ceilings and sometimes bringing their grinning sound into the street.
With their latest offerings Holy Ghost Station and Carry Me Home getting solid play on NPR and rising on the Americana charts, the band is slated for a big 2015. A small European tour is in the works. They have recorded their first live album at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall and LA's famed Troubadour and will be releasing it in June. In the meantime they will tour the Pacific Northwest, The Midwest and East coast.
The Two Man Gentlemen Band
Irreverent songwriters, expert instrumentalists, former street-performers, and consummate showmen, The Two Man Gentlemen Band has been barnstorming from coast to coast for half a decade, developing a reputation as a must-see live act on the roots and retro music circuits. A tenor guitar and string bass duo in the tradition of the great Slim & Slam – with the occasional pyrotechnic banjo feature thrown in – Andy Bean and Fuller Condon have an obvious affection for pre-war American Jazz and Western Swing—but they’re no period piece. The decidedly contemporary feel of their lyrics and the hilarious, often ridiculous, improvised banter that peppers their live shows combine with the music for a thoroughly modern ruckus.
The Gentlemen (namely, Andy Bean and Fuller Condon) began The Two Man Gentlemen Band in 2004 strictly as a street-performing outfit. For three years, whenever the weather permitted, they played marathon sets in New York City’s Central Park (with occasional forays into the city’s subway system). After developing their act on the streets, The Gents hit the road for good in 2007 and quickly grew to be regarded as a premiere touring act in their genre.
In 2013, the Gentlemen were invited to submit a theme song for the Disney cartoon series Wander Over Yonder; The Gents so impressed the show’s producers that not only was their theme song selected, but Andy—the band’s songwriter—was invited to be the series composer. Wander of Yonder was an instant hit upon its September 2013 premiere, and Andy was honored with an Annie Award nomination for his composition work on the series, which he will continue for further seasons of the show.
After a near two-year hiatus from recording and touring, 2014 has brought another full-length album release - Enthusiastic Attempts at Hot Swing & String Band Favorites -the band’s very first collection of tunes from the American jazz and string band songbook. Recorded live to monophonic tape using a single vintage RCA microphone, The Gents cheerfully zip through tin-pan alley tunes, banjo breakdowns, easy swingers, and mandolin rags made famous by the likes of Bob Wills, Slim & Slam, Red Nichols, and Cliff Edwards, along with a handful of delightfully revived obscurities.
Despite having relocated to dual home bases in Los Angeles and Charleston, SC, The Two Man Gentlemen Band is working together as effortlessly as ever. Come Summer/Fall of 2014, the band will return to its steady diet of national and international touring (with a hearty tour across the USA and UK). Having fully realized their musical identity as a duo, The Gents will be expanding their line-up with additional musicians on stage (as they have in the studio with Enthusiastic Attempts). But fear not, no name change is in the works: duo, trio, quartet, or octet, they will always be The Two Man Gentlemen Band.