Dustan Louque (pronounced Luke) hails from Cajun Louisiana, derives his inspiration from R&B, trip hop, and funk. He grew up listening to Ice-T while he did his homework, and New Orleans R&B singer Irma Thomas at the dinner table. As he grew up, he became interested in Depeche Mode, New Order, and U2 because their storytelling took him to other parts of the world. Eventually, he moved to New York to pursue theatre, although he eventually left school to pursue music full time. His debut album So Long represents a fusion of these myriad styles into a sound he calls "faya".
The album consists of eight original songs and a cover of Mazzy Star's Cry Cry. Louque's primary cowriters are bandmates Donovan Guidry and Seth Gold. Just like his influences, So Long is Louque's attempt to combine his world of experiences into his music. Louque's voice is reminiscent of Dave Matthews with a tinge of U2's Bono (especially on Lifeline). Perique (named for a type of tobacco grown only in his Louisiana hometown) explores his native culture, but also how the modern world has influenced it. Kenny the Jet features MC Pauley Ethnik and is an homage to the kids Louque played street basketball with in his Brooklyn neighborhood. The most compelling track on the CD is Art, which has a driving, infectious beat overlaid with Louque's piano. His cover of Cry Cry was arranged and recorded on the spot in the studio — it was a recording too good not to include on the CD.
So Long is one of the most different sounding albums that I've heard in a long time. Whether it classifies itself as Folk and Acoustic Music is questionable. Nevertheless, if you like old school reggae, dub, or world music, you may find this album one of your favorites.
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