Dust Radio tell us about the ‘Problem and Remedy’ with their new album

Dust Radio

2021 saw Dust Radio release their debut EP, Shotgun Shack. Paddy Wells (vocals/harmonica) and Tom Jackson (guitars/vocals) delivered five tracks described as ‘RAW AND ROOTSY BLUES’ (as it says on the EP’s artwork). It showcased their own style of stripped-back blues that may feel a little raw around the edges, but it made it feel more authentic. Especially with songs such as “Shotgun Shack” and “Siren’s Song”.

Now they are ready to deliver their follow-up release, the album Problem and Remedy. To assist them with this new collection of songs, they recruited the talents of Stu Baggaley (bass) and Stevie Oakes (drums). They helped bring Wells and Jackson’s creation to life. The end result is “laced with bluesy grooves, dusty Americana, and stripped-back, stomping rock ‘n’ roll built upon the raw and rootsy foundations of guitar and harmonica. There are elliptical tales of gonzo drifters, doomed criminals, and outcasts run out of town within its tracks”. Let’s find out about the new album. 

While listening to Problem and Remedy, Dust Radio knows their sound. They are the type of band you would see in a dark bluesy bar with a crowd that appreciates that quality of music and its storytelling. The opening track, “By Way of Fat Sam”, reflects this quality. It showcases the chemistry between Jackson’s guitar and Wells’ harmonica. These instruments create a cool bluesy groove that captures the listener’s attention. Not only during moments like the chorus but more in the spaces between the chorus/verses. 

Even though this album is all about the blues, it shares different sides of this genre. For example, “The Canyon” delivers a mesmerising instrumental with a softer sound than the other songs. Wells’ harmonica is beautiful to hear as it sings in its own way. It would be interesting to hear more tracks like this but with added lyrics. Then, they can bring a feel-good party-like mood with “Gallows Pole”. It has an infectious toe-tapping groove set by Oakes (drums) and Jackson (guitar). The vocals are again in fine form, but this one is all about how good Dust Radio can sound. 

‘Problem and Remedy’ by Dust Radio is blues the way it is meant to be

Blues is more than just its captivating sound. It’s also about the magic of its storytelling. Some of it can be fun, while others can be thought-provoking. But it’s at its best when it paints scenes and emotions with its words. Dust Radio has grasped all of these traits within their release. With “Face Don’t Fit”, it shares a tale as the title suggests, but with a fun element to it. While “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” has a lot to say with their storytelling qualities grabbing the listener’s attention.

To hear their storytelling at its best, listen to the title track, “Problem & Remedy”. As soon as it begins, they set the scene with, “Sleepy old Slim gone and caused a rift / Preaching on the corner all day / Took a minor fall for a major lift / Hallelujah gonna make it ok”. Each verse shares its own tale and ends with the lines, “But in time he’ll see / It was the problem and the remedy”. As they share their lyrics, they have a laid-back vibe mirrored by Jackson’s guitar. Not to be outdone, Wells’ harmonica joins in at the right time to enrich this story even more. 

While listening to Problem and Remedy in full, the quality of the songs is continuously impressive. However, one track not only stands out but overshadows the others. Talking nothing away from the rest, the closing track, “No More Trouble”, is exceptional. Firstly, it is an enchanting audio journey lasting over nine minutes. There is never a time when it feels too long. It naturally moves along at its own pace, giving enough space to let the music breathe. 

“No More Trouble” begins with Wells setting the mood with his harmonica, with a lengthy captivating solo. It gently glides along effortlessly. With the tone set, the tale begins with the repeated lines, “I got no more trouble from you / Done all the bad days I’m gonna do”. The vocals share the words in a free-flowing style that further enhances the story. The lyrics may not be as in-depth as other songs, but with the soundtrack, it effectively gets the message across. 

The lyrics only last until midway through. Afterwards, the listeners receive some more bluesy goodness. Both Wells and Jackson’s let their musical talents shine. Either by taking turns to steal the spotlight with a solo performance or dancing around each other to create a mesmerising soundtrack. It is a winning chemistry that features strongly throughout this and the other tracks throughout Problem and Remedy. As much as “No More Trouble” steals the show, all these songs are impressive. If you love the blues, this album by Dust Radio is for you.

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