The beauty of being based in the heartland of America is that you are pretty much centralized and set to absorb influences from so many different genres of music. And, if you’re a band like Moreland & Arbuckle, Wichita, Kansas, is the “perfect storm” for these influences; it is perfect fodder for an album like their latest release, 7 Cities. If this record was any more American it would come packaged in the stars and stripes.
Essentially a concept album, 7 Cities is a modern day look at the explorer Coronado’s search for the Seven Cities of Gold in Kansas over 300 years ago. Through these songs Moreland & Arbuckle create a sonic tapestry that draws upon delta blues, rock, Americana, and country.
Guitarist Aaron Moreland and harpist/vocalist Dustin Arbuckle, along with drummer/vocalist Kendall Newby, can be compared to another great American trio of musicians known as ZZ Top. When just three guys can great music like this, you realize to your bones that they are the real motherfrakkin’ deal.
The production of 7 Cities makes you feel the expansive Kansas plains in songs like “Quivira,” “Kow Tow,” and “Red Bricks.” Kick ass cuts like “The Devil and Me” and “Tall Boogie” are fit to be cranked in a pickup truck driving down a dirt road as the sun sets. But, the kicker on this record is their cover of Tears For Fears’ “Everybody Wants To Rule The World.”
7 Cities is out now on Concord Music Group/Telarc Records.