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Moreland & Arbuckle: Promised Land Or Bust

High-voltage rootsy blues from non-traditional Kansas power trio.

Moreland & Arbuckle’s stripped-down template is a good fit for their 21st century take on country blues. Propelled by varied, often urgent drumming from Kendall Newby, Aaron Moreland adds rhythmic punch and gritty slide on guitar, punctuated by forceful gusts of harp from Dustin Arbuckle.

The material is strong, whether it’s the slow boogie of fellow Kansan Lee McBee’s Woman Down In Arkansas, the Slim Harpo classic I’m A King Bee or the high-energy original Mean And Evil.

On the closer Why’d She Have To Go (And Let Me Down) they get into a slinky groove, augmented by bass and organ and with rippling piano fills as icing on the cake. Crank up the volume to hear the M&A sound to maximum effect – more promised land than bust.