Saturday, July 23, 2005
Orange County California, Prog. to traditional band Dusty Rhodes and the River Band will perform at Martin's on July 28, 10 p.m. www.dusty-rhodes.net
Skratch Magazine's review of "Live From Hollywood, CA" (April, 2005)
"A hard-working band is something that I greatly appreciate. With no label, no manager, and no money, it's difficult to find the heart and strength to keep things going. Fortunately for us, Dusty and crew use all the might they've got to persevere through difficult times and keep their music alive. This kind of attrition would wear down a lot of bands to the point of watering down their sound in hopes for a major-label hand-me-down, but not these dudes. The sound is fresh, a folk-influenced arrangement of classic rock songs ranging on topics from Wichita, KS, to good ol' heartbreak. Fantastic use of both violin melodies and country guitar licks contribute to a group of guys who just want to sing songs together and have you join in, too (if you're so inclined). Support this band!"
--(Zac, Skratch Magazine) April 2005 www.skratchmagazine.com
OC Weekley Review (June, 2004)
"Down the lonely back roads of Anaheim, where the coyotes roam and the stars twinkle through the smog, there's a quiet place where a guy can strum his guitar and sing a few sad songs, except there isn't because isn't Anaheim mostly Carl's Jr. restaurants and poison smoke from Disney fireworks, anyway? But short little sport Dusty Rhodes doesn't care; as a lad, he found something special in the dry Santa Ana riverbed ("There's water in it every winter," he notes), and now he's ramblin' on about it with his River Band (not to be confused with Riverdance), the 714's incongruous twentysomething country/rock Crazy Horse coattailers. "My CD player's broken, and I get all my records at the swap meet," drawls Dusty, taking a break from overdubbing some plaintive vocals and tuning up his accordion. "And I haven't got any CDs since." Huh. That explains why the River Band - Kyle Divine, Allen Van Orman, Tim Schneider, Andrea Babinski and Edson Choi, on down-home-y instruments like acoustic guitar and violin - sound like they should be toolin' around with CCR and the Allman Brothers. Slow heart-broke songs about whiskey and bullets, and after practice, they probably go ride the Matterhorn."
--(Chris Ziegler, OC Weekly) June 2004 www.ocweekly.com
Schmat Record's Review of the first demo (August, 2003)
"Wasn't Dusty Rhodes like some fat plat blonde heavyweight wrestler in the 80s? I think I remember he referred to himself as "The American Dream". Don't ask why I remember this stuff. Well, let me hopefully assure you all that there is exactly less than zilch in common between Dusty Rhodes the Wrestler and Dusty Rhodes and the River Band. Then again, I haven't seen Kyle and the guys try suflexing their guitar cases so maybe I shouldn't speak for them.
In any case, DRRB are to me a sort of punked up country-folk band, hailing originally from the Kansas area or thereabouts, I believe but now transplanted to Fullerton. They blend the drunkout porch bleatings of crusty Will Oldham with the carnival showmanship of Tullycraft and Sissybar. The songs on this 5 track CD-R demo, though sometimes muddled to the point of distraction by the orchestra-in-a-box approach, present a good mixture of essential down-home southern instruments like accordion, banjos, mandolin, tambourine, and...TUBA?! Well, that sure sounded like tuba on "The Highest Mountain", sandwiched between an accordion and a scratch-ass washboard. Someone's also been apparently passing around the jug o' noble helium gas for certain vocals on this one. On "Put Your Boots On" the guys show off their yodeling skills amidst a backdrop of plunking banjos and double time bass and snare. You know the "Country Bears" showcase they used to have at Disneyland, CA (I haven't been back to the park in awhile so maybe it's still there)? This reminds me of that, except the animatronic bears get drunk halfway through the show and start breaking their tripwires to get at the audio tape controls and then proceed to set the tape servo mechanism to double haywire speed. Oh, and they bust out real instruments and start playing real songs. I get that same pleasant, rollicking out of control feel from the tracks on this CD.
For the old bar room brawl comparison that I always make, let's try: Guided By Voices footsy-ing it up with the Palace Brothers at your local tavern. You may not agree with the overall musical aesthetic put forth by Dusty Rhodes and the River Band but damned if they aren't enjoying themselves when they make their pseudo rock-a-hillbilly noise."
--(Shmat, Shmat Records) 8.8.03 www.shmat.com