Moreland & Arbuckle – 1861

January 01, 1970

(Northern Blues Music)


Best known for college basketball, dead prairie dogs on the
highway, and the American prog-rock band of the same name, the state of Kansas is not what you’d
think of when considering the blues. If Moreland & Arbuckle have their say,
blues music fans may look upon the state more favorably. Finalists in the 2005
International Blues Competition, Moreland & Arbuckle – the trio of
guitarist Aaron “Chainsaw” Moreland, vocalist/harpist Dustin
Arbuckle, and drummer Brad Horner, with various friends as guests – put the
edge back in blues-rock with their big league debut album, 1861.


Following up on the promise shown by two
independently-released albums, the Kansas-bred bluesmen have pieced together an
impressive gumbo of Delta-styled country blues, heavily seasoned with rockin’
guitar and a soupcon of country twang.  “Gonna
Send You Back To Georgia” is a soulful jumper that wouldn’t sound out of place
roaring out of the windows of any back roads Delta juke-joint, while “The
Legend” mixes a driving roadhouse rhythm with a C&W bite and slash
fretwork. The Chicago blues-styled “Please, Please Mammy” features
Arbuckle’s inspired harp playing and rich vocals, “Wrong I Do” is a
sparse country-blues with passionate vocals and deep blue slide guitar.


The band’s R.L. Burnside cover, “See My Jumper Hangin’
Out On The Line,” sounds like Saturday night at Kimbrough’s in the
Mississippi Hill Country, swaggering harp dancing atop the band’s unrelenting
rhythm as Moreland’s fiery guitar play lights the way from the stage. The high point of 1861 (the year that Kansas
joined the union) may well be the explosive six-minute “Wiser Jam,”
which showcases the band’s chemistry and incredible instrumental skills. Keep
your ears open, blues fans, ’cause you’re going to hear a lot more from
Moreland & Arbuckle.


Standout Tracks: “Gonna
Send Ya Back To George,” “Wiser Jam.” REV. KEITH A. GORDON


Leave a Reply