The Dustbowl Revival celebrated the release of their fourth full-length album, a self-titled affair, on Saturday at Teragram Ballroom. This record, produced by Ted Hutt (Flogging Molly), finds the genre-blending band weaving soul and funk elements into their roots-inspired music, and they delivered a string- and brass-fueled party that kept the crowd moving. The eight-piece band has entered its 10th year of existence, originally founded by Zach Lupetin through a Craigslist ad. Currently, the band includes Liz Beebe, Daniel Mark, Connor Vance, Joshlyn Heffernan, James Klopfleisch, Matt Rubin and Ulf Bjorlin. To say they were skipping around genres doesn’t do justice to the band’s ability to blend multiple traditions in each song into a big ball of wholesome fun. The audience sang along to almost every tune.
Husband-and-wife duo Birds Of Chicago made for an excellent opener. JT Nero and Allison Russell explained that the origin of their band name; they just like birds and are from Chicago. Simple enough. Their music was soulful and rootsy, propelled by Russel’s beautiful voice. In one of the most moving moments of the evening, she sang an acoustic version of the song “Barley” in honor of her grandmother, who they lost to Alzheimer’s. Her soaring vocals filled the room, and she did it without a microphone.
Photos by Ashly Covington