Moreland & Arbuckle

Eighteen Sixty-One

by Dave Heaton

13 May 2008

 

“This record is dedicated to the great state of Kansas,” the blues trio Moreland & Arbuckle declare in the liner notes to 1861, an album named after the year Kansas became a state. “We have cultivated a strong love for our home state,” they state, “We hope that love is reflected in our music.” The shame is that, when it comes down to it, there’s nothing uniquely Kansan about their music. I’m not sure what a specifically Kansan version of the blues would sound like, so I’m fascinated by the notion. Instead, this is your basic electric blues, albeit played by musicians steeped in the traditions of the music, and certainly accomplished at playing their instruments. Strict genre fans, listeners who love well-played blues, will eat this up and be more than satisfied. But I’m stuck on the promise of regional variation, on the way musicians devoted to a home state not associated with this genre can bring the unique qualities of that state into their music, forging something new. I’m stuck on a dream they aren’t trying to fulfill.

1861

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.

 

//comments
//related
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Saul Williams Commands Attention at Summerstage (Photos + Video)

// Notes from the Road

"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.

READ the article