Opening for Trombone Shorty on the Santa Monica Pier as part of the 2013 Twilight Concert Series was a Veince, CA based folk/bluegrass/swing band named The Dustbowl Revival. Upon retrospect, they were more of a mini-orchestra than a band with 10 members playing a wide range of instruments from trumpets, trombones and bajos to washboards and kazoos.
I arrived before they started their set, and scanned the audience to find a good spot to take some pictures when I noticed an open area front and center against the railing. Behind this open area, there were some concert goers who set up their lawn chairs and such, and though I felt a bit awkward stepping into a spot right in front of them, I figured that if they didn’t want someone standing in front of them, they should have moved up. Of course, when I got there they gave me “a look” and in a grumpy way asked that I not stand in front of them the whole time. I told them that I’d be standing for a few songs during Dustbowl Revival, but also added that they should expect people dancing when Trombone Shorty took the stage.
When The Dustbowl Revival started their set, the music was a refreshing throwback to traditional Americana fusing the styles of blues, swing, bluegrass, roots and folk. With the strong musicality of the entire band, and the congenial nature of their front man, The Dustbowl Revival gained the audience’s respect and attention. They expressed their sincere appreciation for being able to perform in front of such a large audience in their home town and would acknowledge those members of the band who grew up, or went to school, in Santa Monica. As the music kept coming, those in the VIP area started dancing, showing those sitting behind me how a concert and music like this should be enjoyed. If you check out the video from 2:30 on, you can watch the couple dancing, and it’s a joy to watch.
Get to know Dustbowl Revival by checking out their Facebook Page and dance your way to one of their gigs.