The Dustbowl Revival
2050 W Division St
Chicago, IL, 60622
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 8:30 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
The Dustbowl Revival
Dustbowl Revival is an Americana and Soul band with eight full-time members who mash the sounds of New Orleans funk, bluegrass, soul, pre-war blues, and roots music, into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party that coaxes new fire out of familiar coal. The band was founded in 2008 in the bohemian enclave of Venice Beach, California.
Dustbowl just recorded their fourth studio album with Grammy Award winning producer (Old Crow Medicine Show, Dropkick Murphy’s) and Flogging Molly founding member Ted Hutt, to come out on Signature Sounds this summer. While the band launched with an old-time style and deeper bluegrass roots (a fateful Craigslist ad got it all started), they recently departed toward a more modern soul sound, still with their mixture of New Orleans swing, Americana, a little blues, and roots-rock. The soul-dipped first single of their new collaboration, came out on a 45 with a music video in the end of 2016, with a premiere via Relix Magazine.
“I moved to Denver on a whim,” says King Cardinal founder Brennan Mackey. “I’d been living in Chicago, working a finance job that I didn’t love, and I knew exactly what the rest of my life would look like if I stayed there. I decided I wanted to throw everything up in the air and see where it landed.”
It makes sense, then, that the cover of King Cardinal’s stellar debut album, ‘Great Lakes,’ depicts a man catapulting himself headlong into the unknown, trading safety and security for adventure and excitement as he leaps over a protective railing. If the record is any indication, Mackey’s own bold leaps have paid off in spades. Pushing raw roots rock into lush, sonically daring territory with hints of cosmic country and delicate folk, ‘Great Lakes’ showcases the five-piece group’s exceptional musicianship and the powerful emotional depth of the vocal interplay between Mackey and fellow singer Texanna Dennie.
In its earliest form, though, King Cardinal was a far lonelier enterprise. Ever a self-starter, Mackey adopted the King Cardinal moniker to record his self-titled first EP as a mostly-solo project, and after relocating to Denver, built up a fanbase using Reddit to crowdsource a network of house concerts.
“I didn’t know a lot of people at first and it was difficult trying to put together a band, so I decided I would just do it on my own,” he explains. “Once I made that decision, everything started to click.”
Those early songs were sparse, acoustic, and poetic, inspired by the likes of Steve Earle and Ryan Adams, and they earned Mackey an invitation to perform at the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass Festival alongside stars like Punch Brothers, Brett Dennen, Lake Street Dive, and more. Perhaps most importantly, though, the music attracted a crew of kindred musical souls who would go on to help Mackey flesh out King Cardinal’s follow-up EP, ‘Once A Giant,’ into a full band affair. Marquee Magazine hailed that collection as “excellently crafted Americana,” while Westword praised the band’s “raw, gut-wrenching emotion,” and Scene called the EP “elegant and blissful” while applauding Mackey’s transformation “from solo singer-songwriter to confident and earnest frontman.” Dates with Ben Sollee, Sam Outlaw, Darlingside, and more followed, as the band expanded its reach beyond Colorado for the first time with national touring.