DeSoto Rust
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DeSoto Rust

Audubon, New Jersey, United States

Audubon, New Jersey, United States
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A Glasgow view of Americana and related music and writings.
DeSoto Rust . Highway Gothic.

Philadelphian roots rockers Desoto Rust had a big impact here at Blabber n Smoke when their debut disc came out in 2004, a no frills barrel down American highways and byways with a large degree of swagger that was impressive for a first step. Five years later they unveil their third disc and again it is an impressive slice of blue-collar rock with shades of the Drive By Truckers and yer man Springsteen . High praise indeed but listening to this album reminds one of what drew one to this music initially. Ray Hunter sings with gusto and the band play with hearts and guts. The dirty slide guitar on Open Road is reminiscent of classic southern rock with echoes of Little Feat. The poetic guitar runs on Calgary and the classic driving rock of Northern Road may be the highlights here but at their best DeSoto Rust don’t break through barriers or reinvent the wheel they simply play an excellent version of tried and trusted Americana mores and they are all the better for that. Closing the album there is a gloriously chunky and uplifting version of Dylan’s New Morning, a rootsy and rousing end to what is overall a great little album.
Someone somewhere should pony up and put this band on tour over here, they get lots of great press from our Euro cousins who have always had a refined taste in American music (Gene Clark for example had albums released in Holland when no one else would touch him). So if you’re looking for some honest to goodness, no mess, great American music you could do worse than to seek this out. - Paul Kerr - Paul Kerr


3rd Coast Music - #155/244 December 2009
Highway Gothic (self )

You can’t help but admire a band that gets an album title from the font that’s been used for federal roadsigns since the 40s. That is just way cool. On their third outing, the Philadelphia roots-rockers have come up with a mildly bizarre cross between a studio album and a live recording, essentially trying to capture their bar band essence without dealing with the problems inherent in recording in an actual bar—as The Rock Bible says, “the worst venue in Europe is still better than the nicest venue in America.” This hybrid approach works pretty well for them, there’s an urgency and energy usually lacking in the studio, where you’re not actively trying to win and hold an audience, while, at the same there are, like, high and low ends, not just the mid range that so often damps down and muffles a live set. According to one local writer, whom I have no reason to disbelieve, you can’t make it unless you leave Philadelphia, but then rhythm guitarist and principal songwriter Ray Hunter, lead guitarist David Otwell, who contributed one of the eleven originals (there’s also a cover of Dylan’s New Morning), bassman Steve Savage and drummer Dave Reeve seem content to testify to the Delaware Valley. With the unusally high quality of the material, confident identity and assured musicianship, DeSoto Rust now remind me more of Austin’s late, lamented The Highwaymen/Loose Diamonds than, as they did on their earlier albums, of The Band or CCR.

- John Conquest - 3rd coast music Austin Tx


Date review added: Saturday, November 28, 2009
Reviewer: Jeremy Searle
Reviewers Rating: http://www.americana-uk.com/auk/modules/Reviews/images/r7.gif
Related web link: Artist website



Classic American roots’n’roll

Wishing for more rootsy American rock’n’roll bands in the UK is as futile as wanting more Morris sides in Texas but when albums like this come along it’s hard not to give in to temptation. The band photo shows four anonymous looking blue collar everymen from anywhere (apologies if this isn’t true, but it is how they look) but the music they make is that classic American roots ‘n’ roll that you just don’t get over here, no matter how hard some bands try to do it.

The lyrical content is fairly predictable, whether it’s the good ol’ boys of “All Riders...All Nighters” with their beer and “back door pleasures” (though the flip side of that life is explored in “San Angelo”) or the truckers and hot rodders of “Dirt Road Mile” and “Northern Road” but it’s all done with considerable panache. Ray Hunter delivers his vocals from a throat of whiskey-soaked leather and the guitars are alternatively as twangy and riff-tastic as anyone could wish. The band also have that seemingly effortless simpatico tightness that only comes from playing together forever and the harmonic rocking on the final song, a cover of Bob Dylan’s “New Morning” is more more-ish than a very more-ish thing indeed. As indeed is the entire album. - Americana UK


The Alternate Root






The Alternate Root - November 2009
DeSoto Rust - Texas Red Dirt Philly Style

Philadelphia is not the first place you would expect to find Texas Red Dirt alt country music. Tom Gillam tried to make a run at the local club scene with a string of solid records and a steady backing band but soon left for the greener pastures of Texas to solidify his career. Now DeSoto Rust is making a run at it with their latest effort Highway Gothic, there third album since forming in 2004. DeSoto Rust brought in the creative force behind Gillam’s recordings, producer Joe Carroll, to bring the band up to speed on the inner workings of the classic red dirt sound. Carroll’s results and the growth of DeSoto Rust as a formidable force speak for themselves on Highway Gothic.

The album kicks off with “All Riders…..All Nighters,” a Springsteen-esque rocker that plays on the long road life of a million bands that travel the highways from gig to gig in vans dragging U-Haul trailers. David Otwell and Ray Hunter trade off tasty guitar rhythms over a hard driving back beat and the sweet four piece harmonies spinning tales of “…six dollar pitchers and back door pleasures…” This may not be poetry but it sure as hell is about the life of a rock and roll band that’s climbing the ladder. Mandatory FM in Stephenville, TX, the radio station that is probably as responsible as any for building the Texas red dirt sound is playing nearly every song on Highway Gothic. Program Director Shayne Hollinger sums it all up nicely…” it’s great road trip music.” We could all use a road trip about now.

“San Angelo,” the album’s second track and probably the best song on the collection, is reminiscent of the early days of Steve Earle. That was back when Earle was a staple of country radio and country radio actually played decent country music. Otwell delivers some searing guitar riffs over the heart pounding beat of drummer Dave Reeve. It’s about hard luck, hard times and broken dreams familiar subjects for the day.

DeSoto Rust took the name for this album (Highway Gothic) from the font used by the Federal Highway Administration for road signs since the 1950’s when the FHA was established. The irony being that this entire album reminds me of Highway 66 the boulevard of dreams and hope that led America’s modern expansion west. Much of the highway is gone and with it the great society that cropped up and disappeared in the 50’s and 60’s.

“Dirt Track Mile” should be the theme song for NASCAR piece. It’s Friday Night Lights in a hundred small towns across the Midwest. Reminiscent of the kind of Americana that John Mellencamp brought to the national consciousness on songs like “Rain on the Scarecrow” and “Rumble Seat.” DeSoto Rust has that kind of thread running throughout the album and musically the songs get more complex as Joe Carroll adds nuance to the production. Songs like “Calgary” and “Northern Road” are both musically and lyrically congruent, painting the picture with broad strokes of acoustic color. It’s the harmonies that capture the maturity of DeSoto Rust on Highway Gothic.

The hidden gem on this album is the unlisted cover of Bob Dylan’s “New Morning.” A total departure from Dylan’s folksier original, this is a rocker with Otwell coming off in a big way with some tasty riffs. The big harmonic sound of the chorus makes this more of an anthem than Dylan’s understated original.

“Open Road” is a Rolling Stones infused flat out rocker. David Otwell has listened to some Keith Richards in his day and pulls of the hottest licks on the album on this track. This is one of those songs you pop in the CD player and watch your speed out of the corner of your eye because it feels like 90 miles an hour with a trail of flashing blue lights in the rearview. It’s another example of the diversity of DeSoto Rust as a band on the rise.

DeSoto Rust spent a good amount of time on the Freeform American Roots radio chart with their previous recording, “Greene County Town” (2006) and the band’s popularity in Europe is apparent if not expected as bands of this style tend to fair better in Europe than most of America. With Highway Gothic, that trend is continuing but the band’s popularity in America seems to be on the rise. They are consistently gaining strength on the Americana Music Association’s radio chart and picking up fans across the country. It’s a good time for American roots music in the U.S. and not just in Texas where it has had a foothold for generations. Highway Gothic is a slice of Americana that deserves attention, airplay and hopefully a path that will allow a good solid rock band from Philadelphia to spread out to the rest of the world. It’s a rock solid collection of eleven originals and one well placed cover that’s well produced, well played and well written. - Reb Landers - Reb Landers


DESOTO RUST
Highway Gothic

December 7, 2009

Naming their third album after the font used by the federal highway commission for its road signs, DeSoto Rust makes music that sounds fit for a long drive down the highway. Based in Philadelphia, but sounding as if they honed their chops in Texas, DeSoto Rust makes roots-rock that would sound at home in any honky-tonk dive in America. - Rebecca Ruth - Rebecca Ruth




DeSoto Rust
Highway Gothic
[Desoto Rust 2009]
Driving home, we were wonderng if it was even going to get finished... un'unica, grande nota di copertina che sintetizza al meglio lo spirito di questo Highway Gothic. I DeSoto Rust sono una band di stanza a Philadelphia e l'album registrato lo scorso mese di febbraio nella città della Liberty Bell sotto la produzione di Joe Caroll (già al fianco di Tom Gillam, Ben Arnold e Joseph Parsons) è il terzo capitolo di una parabola che nel giro di pochi anni, ricordiamo che la band si è formata nel 2004, ha già prodotto frutti interessanti. Musicalmente i DeSoto Rust, in cui militano Ray Hunter alla voce e chitarra ritmica, Dave Reeve alle batteria e percussioni, Steve Savage al basso, lap steel e David Otwell alla chitarra solista e mandolino, paiono percorrere - almeno sulle prime battute - strade molto vicine allo Springsteen più grezzo ed elettrico, declinando però il tutto con sfumature proprie del roots rock. All Riders... All Nighters e San Angelo sono due starter piazzati proprio all'inizio dell'album che, in questo senso, funzionano alla grande dando subito il polso di una band che ha fatto della mitologia legata alla strada (un'occhiata a copertina e booklet per cancellare ogni dubbio sono più che sufficienti) il proprio credo estetico e il set di molte canzoni.

Blue collar rock che, se non fa dell'originalità la sua prima qualità, scorre via grezzo e onesto come deve suonare. Tenendo il Boss come stazione di partenza, tanti sono gli echi e i bagliori che si incrociano via via che le tracce scorrono sullo stereo: il rock dei DeSoto Rust si radica infatti a quelle note parentele artistiche che hanno generato l'immaginario e il suono dell'Uomo del Jersey (il taglio di voce di John Fogerty si riconosce in Northern Road) o che semplicemente ne hanno condiviso intenti e orientamenti (l'ombra lunga del Steve Earle più melodico e spaccacuore appare in Open Road mentre alle spalle di Ray Hunter il resto della band fa il verso ai Dukes con tanto di mandolino). I più filologici ci troveranno anche qualche sprazzo di Joe Grushecky nei capitoli maggiormente votati all'elettricità.

La chiusura dell'album è affidata alla rilettura elettrica della dylaniana New Morning. Come a dire che dopo tanto vagabondare in lungo e in largo su highways assolate o inondate da piogge battenti (sia che cerchiate qualcosa o che scappiate da qualcosa) è sempre alla corte del Poeta che si trova riparo e, per chi ancora crede al grande sogno, anche un posto dove "camminare nel sole". I DeSotoRust con questo disco proseguono il viaggio nell'iconografia e nella sostanza di un tòpos legato a doppio filo alla storia e alla geografia americana: la strada. Lo fanno ponendo Highway Gothic in diretta continuità - per lo meno dal punto di vista delle tematiche - col precedente Greene Country Towne datato 2006. Semplici e convincenti. - Luca Muchetti - Roots Highway


Discography

Highway Gothic (October 2009) – The newest release marks a return to the group’s bar band roots with a hard-driving rhythm section and thick guitar sound, sweetened with harmonies. Eleven original tunes continue to explore the theme of the American road using the FHA’s signage font as a metaphorical springboard. Produced by Joe Carroll, the album also features a cover of Bob Dylan’s New Morning.

Greene Country Towne (April 2006) – With a title referring to William Penn’s lofty vision for Philadelphia, Greene Country Towne is a varied yet cohesive collection of original songs, with themes of heartbreak, isolation, disappointment, and the promise of redemption on the American road. The instrumentation, still centered around the twang of the guitar, is more layered and sophisticated than the group’s debut, while remaining true to its Americana roots.

DeSoto Rust (October 2004) – The debut release features twelve original tunes, along with a cover of Red Simpson’s classic Close Up the Honky Tonks. Recorded mostly “live” in the studio with few overdubs or gimmicks, the CD captures the sound and energy of a live performance – hard-rocking with an unmistakable twang.

Photos

Bio


DeSoto Rust Expands American Roots Music


With the release of their third album, Highway Gothic, Philadelphia-based DeSoto Rust takes their interpretation of American roots music to a new level. Produced by Joe Carroll (Tom Gillam, Ben Arnold, Joseph Parsons), the album takes its title from the typeface used by the Federal Highway Administration on highway signage since the 1940’s. The studio renderings of the eleven new original songs preserve the energy and spontaneity of the band’s live performances. They made several well-received appearances during the 2010 South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas (part of their Southern Bound 2010 Tour), including a shared billing with guitar legend Bill Kirchen. 


DeSoto Rust formed in early 2004, recorded its debut album over the following summer, and, without the benefit of a label or promotion engine, made its first showing on the Freeform American Roots (FAR) chart the following year.


Some of the band’s accomplishments:


· Continuous airplay on broadcast and internet radio across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand


· Inclusion on several DJ’s “best of” lists for 2005, 2006 and 2009


· Ten months on the Freeform American Roots (FAR) chart (as high as #11) in 2005 and 2006


· Five months on the Euro-Americana chart (as high as #12) in 2005 and 2006


· Nominations for song and CD of the year in 2005 by contributors to the FAR chart


· Songs featured on RaceHour, a syndicated radio program dedicated to NASCAR


· Shared stages with Bill Kirchen, David Allan Coe, Commander Cody, and Dickie Betts


· Appearances during the 2010 SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas


Here’s what the critics have said about DeSoto Rust:


“[Highway Gothic is] a quantum leap ahead of where the roots rockers were at after two previous albums, and by all rights should signal their emergence into the top ranks of America’s rock ‘n’ roll bands.” – David McGee, The Bluegrass Special, January 2010


“With the unusually high quality of the material, confident identity and assured musicianship, DeSoto Rust now remind me more of Austin’s late, lamented The Highwaymen/Loose Diamonds than, as they did on their earlier albums, of The Band or CCR. – John Conquest, 3rd Coast Music, December 2009.


“It’s a rock solid collection of eleven originals and one well-placed cover that’s well produced, well played and well written.” – Reb Landers, The Alternate Root, November 2009.


“The band also have that seemingly effortless simpatico that comes from playing together forever.” – Jeremy Searle, Americana UK, November 28, 2009


"Everything your parents don't want you to get into as a teenager – that’s what DeSoto Rust makes you feel. Everything you love about the night, about love and desire, sex and retribution. All those sides of us that the highway calls up.” – John Shelton Ivany, National News Bureau, JSI’s Top 21, November 2009


“The lost art of blue collar rock is alive and well here." – Chris Spector, Midwest Record, October 28, 2009


“Great road trip music!” – Shayne Hollinger, Program Director, Mandatory FM, Stephenville, Texas, April 2009.


Discography:
Highway Gothic (October 2009) – The newest release marks a return to the group’s bar band roots with a hard-driving rhythm section and thick guitar sound, sweetened with harmonies. Eleven original tunes continue to explore the theme of the American road using the FHA’s signage font as a metaphorical springboard. Produced by Joe Carroll, the album also features a cover of Bob Dylan’s New Morning.


Greene Country Towne (April 2006) – With a title referring to William Penn’s lofty vision for Philadelphia, Greene Country Towne is a varied yet cohesive collection of original songs, with themes of heartbreak, isolation, disappointment, and the promise of redemption on the American road. The instrumentation, still centered around the twang of the guitar, is more layered and sophisticated than the group’s debut, while remaining true to its Americana roots.


DeSoto Rust (October 2004) – The debut release features twelve original tunes, along with a cover of Red Simpson’s classic Close Up the Honky Tonks. Recorded mostly “live” in the studio with few overdubs or gimmicks, the CD captures the sound and energy of a live performance – hard-rocking with an unmistakable twang.


DeSoto Rust:



Ray Hunter – vocals, rhythm guitar


David Parisi – vocals, bass guitar


David Otwell – vocals, lead guitar


Dave

Band Members