Oh, Dusty


For those of you new to Elli Writes, you may not know the other side of my writing. For years, I worked the music beat for several newspapers, magazines, and online publications. I interviewed artists like New Found Glory, Mayday Parade, Otep, Emery and The Rocket Summer.

A great portion of my life has been rooted in the music scene, and though you don’t see it often on Elli Writes, it still is. My passion for music matches my love for fantasy, and so when my dear friend, Dusty, reached out to me a few weeks back asking for a review of his new album, well…

Who says no to free music?

Dustin “Dusty” Newcombe is a dear friend of mine in the music industry. He is the former frontman of the rowdy James Younger Gang. Shortly after they announced their retirement from the music industry, he embarked on a new journey as a solo artist.  I have watched his talent swell tenfold over the years. He continues to surprise me with every new album as he flaunts a fearless taste for diversity. Dusty doesn’t limit himself to one sound, one voice, or one genre. He is a natural born rockstar who is always pushing the envelope.

I recently did an album review for his upcoming album, Released, which you can read below (or click here to read it on his website)

RAW Artists Photo by Ryan Brandoff Photography.

RAW Artists Photo by Ryan Brandoff Photography.

When the James Younger Gang split, former frontman Dustin Newcombe could have hung his hat and called it a day. No one would have blamed him.  Even if he had replaced his old band mates, the soul of the southern rock quartet would have never been the same.  The original members had gone their separate ways, splintering the sound that had made them a hit.

Instead, Newcombe (taking on the new persona, “Dusty”) dusted off his boots and proved he wasn’t a one trick pony.  In fact, he was a jack of all trades. In his debut solo album, Released, he fuses rock, rap, funk and pop into a sound that is as catchy as it is sexy.

“I Wish I Knew Her Name” showcases his trademark rock vocals in an addictive single perfect for radio while assuring old fans he hasn’t forgotten his roots.  Yet Dusty isn’t afraid to try something new.  In the song, “Jesus Willie Nelson”, vocals reminiscent of Butthole Surfers, “Pepper”, mutter over bluesy guitar riffs while “Bad Girl” tempers a rock melody with a pop rhythm and twist. It’s a mash-up of genres that remains consistent through several songs on the album.

At first listen, the shock feels slightly like an identity crisis, but the album doesn’t clash the way you think it would.  Dusty finds a way to make it work, creating a sound that will entice a diverse crowd.

By the end of the album, it becomes evident that Released will boldly pave the road to a promising solo career for an already notable artist.

PSSST: Listen to a teaser of his new album on his website, www.dustylive.com.

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