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Dustbowl Revival: Two sets today at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival

BY SCOTT CUNNINGHAM // Two chances to catch a must-see act today

In early June, the Dustbowl Revival came through town for a date at Mississippi Studios and absolutely rocked the place. I did a preview of that show describing their music and talking about their latest album, so check that out to get more of a background on what they have going.

They play two sets today at the 2017 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival and I'd consider them a must-see. You can catch them at 3:00PM on the Brewery Stage and then they help close out the night at 9:50 back on the Oregonian Front Porch Stage. Both sets should be killers, but I've got a hunch that the second one will be a genuine throwdown.

I recently talked with Zach Lupetin of the band about their music and how they fit into the larger blues genre. He had some really interesting comments.

You grew up in Chicago, how did that blues sound influence what you are doing with the band?

Growing up in chicago it is one of my favorties things to play, but it is more of a jumping off point. I think the blues is more the heartbeat of great music, but we like to expand from there instead of only playing that.

Dustbowl covers a lot of territory in terms of genres, how are you received at festivals?

Really well most of the time. I think over the last five years, there's been a really beautiful progression of jazz festivals and folk festivals embracing blues music as part of both. Obvisouly the blues festival in Portland is including a lot of artists that can reference the blues in a myriad of ways. We just played some folk and bluegrass festivals in Colorado. People a lot of times are very happy to see the horn section going in full force at those festivals because we're the only ones doing that. We're sort of the wild card at every festival.

What is the main driver behind your music right now?

I think the soul stuff has sort of risen to the top as the thing we all dig the most right now. I know our drummer is a big fan of the Meters and the Neville Brothers. Our producer also loved the idea of having this kind of Al Green sexy back beat to a lot of the tunes. It just feels so right, you can't explain it.

What were some of your big musical influences personally?

One thing for me, definitely, is Dylan and The Band are big influence. Especially the song The Debtor's Prison, where you have the elements of these folk story songs but with a soul rock and roll drive. It's kind of hard to pin down what The Band was, they have elements of Zydeco and the blues. It's just good song writing. That's the way I look at it. I listen to those songs and they just hold up.

What are your thoughts about coming back to Portland so soon?

We're looking forward to coming to the blues fest, looks like it is going to be a good one. Get people dancing, it's going to be a lot of fun. We had a huge beautiful show at mississippi studios a while ago and hopefully some of those people will come out to the fest.

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