Philly Folk Fest Artist Preview: SoCal Roots N’ Soul Band Dustbowl Revival

Bringing a vivacious blend of Americana roots and soul to the airwaves and stages, Dustbowl Revival has us steeped in summer-mode still despite autumn slowly creeping in.

The band’s latest single, “Lying to Myself,” is a quintessential demonstration of their unique amalgamation of roots soundscapes and soulful harmonies. The group’s reflective lyrics flow seamlessly with their organic instrumentation, and the desert-themed music video adds that much more to the overall impact of the song. 

“Lying to Myself” showcases a galloping beat complimented with a haunting steel guitar, and is chock full of rich harmonies. As lead singer and songwriter Lupetin sings, “Everybody knows / Every time I try to go you’re always waiting,” his ability to deliver a memorable hook is evident. The bridge takes the song into a different almost semi-psychedelic gear, as does the video, keeping the listener and viewer on their toes as horns take their turn jumping in the mix.

The always evolving group of string and brass players led by founding members Z. Lupetin, Josh Heffernan, and Ulf Bjorlin have welcomed a new wave of talent to the band after emerging from a pandemic touring hiatus.

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With a devoted coast-to-coast fanbase and amassing millions of streams – with their most popular song “Honey I Love You” hitting over two million streams – Dustbowl Revival has staked their claim in the modern roots canon. 

The group also saw acclaim for their 2020 album, Is It You, Is It Me, which was acknowledged by Billboard Magazine as “the biggest sonic work of the Venice, Calif.-based troupe’s career.” 

Performing live throughout the UK and United States this summer, Dustbowl Revival is one of the top tier acts playing the Philadelphia Folk Fest this weekend. Being held north of Philly at the Old Pool Farm in Upper Salford Township, PA, the group will be delivering their down-to-earth ditties at 8:00 PM on Friday at The Martin Stage.

While the band played virtually for it last year, they expressed how excited they were to be taking part in person for such a storied tradition of music and community within the area. “It’s about people who really care about music – folks who really listen, all gathering in the same place to celebrate artists from around the world,” Lupetin told us.

When asked if fans and patrons can expect any new music or fun covers, he told us, “We have been working on some new songs that we’re pumped to try at the fest. Watch out for our new Beatles cover, which we tested out in England last month.” Consider us intrigued. Personally hoping for something off of Rubber Soul or perhaps Revolver.

Aside from the impending Philadelphia Folk Fest appearance, Lupetin gave us some insight on what else we might expect from the band in the near future. “We are putting out a new single every month this summer – and shooting some crazy videos. We’ll be playing outside Zion National Park in Utah in September, which should be very cool.”

Dustbowl Revival will conclude their international tour on October 15th in Agoura Hills, California, but this certainly won’t be the last we hear of the dynamic band. 

Note* Paul Howard contributed to this article.

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