Despite the two-person name of this group, Moreland & Arbuckle, this is actually a trio, because there is, in addition to Aaron Moreland and Dustin Arbuckle, Brad Horner. This powerful group, whose music merges Chicago Blues with The Delta sound, has the power of a Santa Gertrudis bull that is on the prod and coming at you on a dead run breathing smoke. They generate all this power even when they go acoustic (i.e., You Man Won't Ever Know or Red Moon Rising) and play with a gentle delicacy and touch that, when contrasted to their usual freight train style, is amazing. Yet when they slip into this quieter mode the power remains lurking, waiting to be tapped into, as with those five engine freight trains powering their way through a Rocky Mountain pass after the seemingly easy traverse when on the plains. They do all this without a bass player because of the way Moreland plays the guitar. This group adheres to the traditions, and yet push these same traditions with innovations that are extensions of all that has gone on before; they are free of the restraints to create new forms. Of the 13 songs they wrote nine of them.
Aaron Moreland plays the electric, Porter, Resonator, and Cigar Box guitars and also the banjo; Dustin Arbuckle handles the vocals and harmonica, while it is Brad Horner on drums and backing vocals. This is their first album on a label with the clout of Telarc and it is a worthy step forward. Telarc should be commended for letting them do what they do best, as Aaron Moreland produced the disc. It is a disc whose strength and thump springs from an earthiness, and in that sense it generates its own muscle.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles