MORELAND AND ARBUCKLE
PROMISED LAND OR BUST
TAKE ME WITH YOU WHEN YOU GO–MEAN AND EVIL–HANNAH–WHEN THE LIGHTS ARE BURNING LOW–WOMAN DOWN IN ARKANSAS–MOUNT COMFORT–LONG DID I HIDE IT–WACO AVENUE–I’M A KING BEE–LONG WAY HOME–WHY’D SHE HAVE TO GO AND LET ME DOWN
Guitarist Aaron Moreland, harpman/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle, and drummer Kendall Newby are the members of roots/blues band Moreland and Arbuckle, based in Kansas. This power trio bring a fiery, raw urgency to their blues, with an edge borne from Aaron’s punk music background, and Dustin’s love for blues-rock. Their latest Alligator release is called “Promised Land Or Bust,” fusing elements of Delta and Hill-country blues with a contemporary bite. Adding to the edgy feel of this record is the production stamp of Matt Bayles, who has worked with metal bands such as Mastodon and The Sword.
The band wastes no time in getting down to bidness with the title cut, in the form of “Take Me With You When You Go,” detailing a modern-day Moses” looking for a God that I can trust,” and the signpost up ahead reads, “Promised Land Or Bust.” “Long Way Home” brims with powerful slide guitar as Dustin sings of a “little slice of Heaven that’ll drag you down to Hell.” “Hannah” is dark and brooding, a “love story” of sorts, who, “when she gets high, she gets mean,” and now “sleeps twelve feet under the old olive tree.”
We had two favorites, too. The loping, harp-driven sway of “Woman Down In Arkansas” is pure joy, while the set closes on a “lonesome” note, as it seems all of Dustin’s love interests always manage to disappoint, the tale of careless love entitled “Why’d She Have To Go And Let Me Down.”
Moreland And Arbuckle have matured into one of the most exciting trios in contemporary blues. Strong material and dazzling instrumentation make “Promised Land Or Bust” a mighty fine listen! Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.