“Volume 1601” – DM and the 1601’s (2021) [english]

Independent country music is very much linked to the territory, the air, the mountains, the forests, the deserts and the water greatly influence the music and the lives of musicians “from the street”. Those on tour 200 days a year, between dusty clubs and country festivals, often dedicate their songs and, as in this case, even the name of their band to precise references of the lotus land. The Kentucky in my stories and my musical stories for you, has often popped up. A hard but beautiful land, which has given birth to many unforgettable artists in recent years. Many indeed. Dustin Middleton, singer and leader of this band, wanted to dedicate to the highway that crossed Harlan County, famous in history because it was hunting ground for outlaws, whiskey smugglers and scoundrels of all kinds, precisely Highway 1601. In the ’90s, the reputation and the stories born in this land and around this asphalt tape did not improve, on the contrary. The epidemic of drug abuse by prescriptions and especially the lack of work and the crisis of the mining industry did the rest. A hard land, surrounded by a beautiful nature that almost clashes with the stories of life between the melancholy and the misfortune that this band formed not only by DM to the voice, also counts among its ranks Jamie Stewart, on lead guitar, Kyle Wynn on bass and Tyler Osborne on drums, he tells us. This Volume 1601 is their debut EP, only 6 pieces but guys that pieces! A start that for lovers of country, country outlaw and street folk, it is a must listen. I love Cold Hearted, a very outlaw country sound, desert dust and an inspired voice. A Texas-flavored piece dipped in the poetic flavor of Kentucky. Start the next Jim Beam and get carried away in this dusty ballad, a voice so warm and intense that it will drag you on the 1601 highway, you can almost hear the horses whizzing by and the sound of old west shootings are not far away. A perfect soundtrack for a modern western. The work of the guitars is dry and masterful, a touch of slide and a lot of passion. The pieces follow each other without quality drops or inspiration, 6 pieces that are a whole’uno, the ballad Bottom of the Glass enriched by the sound of a violin, is a manifesto of country feeling. Melancholy and irony, one of those pieces to play and sing in a beautiful live embrace, cursing this crazy time and shouting live freedom. The lyrics are dry and straightforward and the music pure. The guitars wrap the speakers between country and folk blues, Dope Sick Blues is another piece of country without frills. There are no strange recordings, there are no sequins but only talent and dedication, trying to bring the feeling of a concert between friends around a bonfire in a record that we hope will reach as many ears as possible. They definitely deserve it, they will love it where you love the truest and most genuine country, from Texas to Oklahoma, from Alabama to the native Kentucky. An EP that lets me hope to have found a new band to follow with absolute attention, as usual living so far I will not be able to enjoy them live but the network today offers the opportunity not to lose sight of independent artists, that it would be a shame to lose in the folds of music business. Access their social channel or streaming music, they are really a force, you will not regret.

Good listening,

Trex Willer

(you can find italian version of this article in the blog at this link : https://trexroads.altervista.org/volume-1601-dm-and-the-1601s-2021/ )