14 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Taking their rootsy sound several steps further, Moreland & Arbuckle build on their blues base in unexpected ways on 7 Cities. The Kansas-bred duo benefits from the forceful, flexible drumming of new recruit Kendall Newby, spurring guitarist Aaron Moreland and singer/harmonica player Dustin Arbuckle into exploring wider musical terrain. There’s a compelling edge to these tracks, whether the band veers toward rowdy workouts (“Stranger Than Most”), ominous boogie excursions (“Tall Boogie,” “Road Blind”), or simmering Southern rock–style pieces (“Broken Sunshine”). Arbuckle has gained an increasingly soulful edge, heard in the gospel overtones of “Time Ain’t Long” and “The Devil in Me.” His harp work carries plenty of bite and swagger, meshing with Moreland’s potent guitar work on tasty numbers like “Quivara” (a wailing tale of a doomed Spanish conquistador) and “Red Bricks” (a down-home instrumental track). Most startling is an incisive blues-rock reworking of Tears for Fears’ synth-pop hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” 7 Cities finds Moreland & Arbuckle doing right by their roots by taking chances and succeeding admirably.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Taking their rootsy sound several steps further, Moreland & Arbuckle build on their blues base in unexpected ways on 7 Cities. The Kansas-bred duo benefits from the forceful, flexible drumming of new recruit Kendall Newby, spurring guitarist Aaron Moreland and singer/harmonica player Dustin Arbuckle into exploring wider musical terrain. There’s a compelling edge to these tracks, whether the band veers toward rowdy workouts (“Stranger Than Most”), ominous boogie excursions (“Tall Boogie,” “Road Blind”), or simmering Southern rock–style pieces (“Broken Sunshine”). Arbuckle has gained an increasingly soulful edge, heard in the gospel overtones of “Time Ain’t Long” and “The Devil in Me.” His harp work carries plenty of bite and swagger, meshing with Moreland’s potent guitar work on tasty numbers like “Quivara” (a wailing tale of a doomed Spanish conquistador) and “Red Bricks” (a down-home instrumental track). Most startling is an incisive blues-rock reworking of Tears for Fears’ synth-pop hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” 7 Cities finds Moreland & Arbuckle doing right by their roots by taking chances and succeeding admirably.

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3:42
3:36
3:17
3:51
2:52
2:38
2:22
3:40
3:12
3:34
4:22
3:27
3:45

About Moreland & Arbuckle

Guitarist Aaron Moreland and harpist/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle have fashioned an old/new 21st century roots sound by merging several American musical strains, from blues, folk, and country to rock and soul, and when at their best, they do it all with a raw and energetic passion. Moreland and Arbuckle met at an open-mike session at a club in Wichita, Kansas in 2001, and since both were exploring country blues, they began playing together, starting a quartet called the Kingsnakes. Personnel came and went in the band, including drummer Brad Horner, who joined the Kingsnakes in 2003 but didn't stick around long. Hanging on to a bassist proved to be a problem, but when Horner returned in 2006, Moreland and Arbuckle realized that they didn't really need a bassist, and the current trio took shape.

Three self-produced albums quickly followed -- Caney Valley Blues in 2005, Floyd's Market in 2006, and 1861 in 2008. All three releases garnered critical attention and Moreland & Arbuckle signed with Telarc International, which released Flood in 2010. Issued in 2011, Just a Dream featured a guest spot from guitarist Steve Cropper. Horner left in 2012 and was replaced by Kendall Newby. The revamped trio emerged with 7 Cities in 2013, produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, the Sword). The band toured almost nonstop for the next two years, headlining their own club, small theater, and festival dates across the United States, Canada, and Europe. During a break, they signed to Chicago's Alligator Records and entered Omaha, Nebraska's Arc Studios with Bayles to record their debut for the label. Promised Land or Bust was released in the spring of 2016, preceded by the single "When the Lights Are Burning Low." ~ Steve Leggett

  • ORIGIN
    Wichita, KS
  • FORMED
    2001

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Albums

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