Zach Lupetin and his mates in Dustbowl Revival have been traveling the country on a summer tour, performing unique orchestra-style American roots music. Most concert-goers pay to see shows, but thanks to the Arts Council of Big Sky, fans can catch a performance on the house Aug. 23. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE DUSTBOWL REVIVAL

Beware the trombone

Eight-piece mini-orchestra The Dustbowl Revival hits Big Sky soon

Lone Peak Lookout: We read in a recent Facebook post you’ll be bringing some new musical experiments our way. What might that entail?

Lead singer, guitar and founder Zach Lupetin: We have an eight-piece “mini-orchestra” of sorts with a brass section and a string section so we can shape-shift into a lot of different types of roots music. We love breaking a song open—like our psychedelic cover of “My Sharona” where the fiddle and drums have a conversation with each other across the stage...

 

LPL: What song of yours would you recommend for someone who has never heard your music, but wants to get a solid idea of what Dustbowl is all about? 

ZL: Tough question—I would say two songs off our newest album: “The Story,” which is our soul sing-a-long and “Debtors’ Prison”—which tells a story that I think really needs to be heard.

 

LPL: Way back in 2012 The LA Times reported that the band doesn't have a set list, or even rehearse for that matter. Is that still the case? If so, why and how does that work? If not, what’s changed since then? 

ZL: Really wish they didn’t lead with that headline—but in truth we do rehearse, arrange and create set lists much more now than we used to. A lot of our earlier songs were more improvised in the jazz and folk tradition, but many of our newest songs are much more intricate and need more in depth practice to pull off!

 

LPL: You guys have been all over the country on tour this summer. What was your favorite performance and or venue, and what made it stand out?

ZL: Playing the beautiful meadow outside the Von Trapp Lodge (yes the Von Trapp’s from “The Sound Of Music”) in Stowe, Vt. a few weeks back was pretty dreamy. In the mountains with perfect weather, the crowd danced into the night. So fun.

 

LPL: Speaking of touring, there are eight musicians that comprise Dustbowl Revival. What are the ups and downs of traveling in a large crew? 

ZL: It can be a bit like herding cats—but we are pretty good at touring with our big crew. We travel pretty lean and mean. Though one time, one of our vans (with four of us) drove the wrong way to New York City for hours—not to upstate New York as planned—and barely made a festival we were scheduled at. Our bass player who was driving never heard the end of that one.

 

LPL: Locals and visitors alike look forward to our weekly Music in the Mountains performances. We’ve had everything from bluegrass to soul, instrumental, country, Celtic and more. What sort of music and performance can we expect from Dustbowl Revival? 

ZL: We love meeting new audiences and playing in beautiful places. We will get folks up and dancing —just watch out if you’re near the trombone player. He’s a wild man.

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