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Judge for In The Dust

Oakland, CA
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Portrait of In The Dust

“We aren’t a retro band…Just rock and roll.”

A statement heard all too often in this age, but there is one difference. This time it’s true.

Flying well underneath the rock and roll radar, In The Dust is a gypsy waiting to take residence in your tuned ear. A “power trio” described by lead vocalist Brett Ashes, this three-man ensemble has created a sultry yet smoky and upbeat bluesy tone that surprisingly comes easy to the listener. This is a porch side rock and blues band with a hint of pop. A blues sound that is revved up, given clean/catchy vocals and suspended by a solid backbeat. Not to mention the gritty slides that will splinter the toughest of canvas boot; best heard on the track “Runnin’ Down Blues.” All of this creates a simple but complex sound that will easily find followers. Lyrics will ring in your head and you will find yourself humming that tune on the way to work today.

When you first indulge the vocals appear to turn you away, but you refute. There is something in the voice that takes hold. The wavering vocals almost reminiscent of Jack White and The Raconteurs will keep you listening. With influences such as Iggy and the Stooges, Neil Young and Gram Parsons, you can really get a feel for where their sound has exploded from. A southern classic feel is also in the mix (as in the track “The Fog”) but proves to have an original and catchy sway that is worthy of a pressed vinyl.

The group originally formed roughly a year ago in May of 2008. Coming together between the bay of Oakland and San Francisco, they have been through many changes in the last year to reach their musical chemistry. Recently I had the privilege to speak with lead vocalist Brett Ashes and learn what a determined individual he really is. It was quite refreshing to see his love and respect for his fellow band mates and the attitude of reaching success. When asked what the bands goals were, Brett had to say this: “Doing what we love and being able to play as a living. Not so much being rich but comfortable with who we are and what we are doing. Even if it is only $20,000 dollars a year.” Bass player Dan Hanley and drummer Tim Cosgove round out this devilish trio. Brett also remarked on drummer Tim; “He is the only musician I’ve known to keep proper timing…all the time.”

In the Dust currently has four independent recordings that are of superb quality. The EP’s album cover consists of recycled cardboard and hand printed artwork that gives the album an excellent dusty and western feel. In the meantime, In the Dust is performing all over the Bay Area including popular clubs such as The Hemlock Tavern and Elbo Room. A recent personal success for the band was their chance to play a show at the infamous Fillmore in San Francisco. In the bands blog about the event at the Fillmore they had to say this: “Well it's just the poster room but to be playing our music under the same roof as so many great bands before us is really special.” That is just one example of the musical respect I had before mentioned.

Do yourself and the band a tremendous favor by checking out their website at Why do I say this? I say this because through the eyes of In the Dust, “Any way people get off on the music is an accomplishment to us.”