Exposé Online banner

Dukes of Kent — Welcome to the Oast House
(Sugarbush Records SB300, 2012, LP / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2017-06-27

Welcome to the Oast House Cover art

Lets start with the title. "What is an oast house?" you might ask. An oast house is a special building for drying hops, a critical step in brewing beer. The negative image on the album cover is a photo of the oast house at Cherry Tree Farm, Frittenden, Kent, UK. How this all relates to the music on the album, I haven’t got a clue, just some interesting trivia. The Dukes of Kent is the core duo of Chris Gussman and Sugarbush label owner Markus Holler. They started playing around with the songs as a lark in 2010 and slowly evolved them from jam sessions to demos to actual songs. As the songs matured, they recruited Iain Rae (ex-Gallagher and Lyle) to play piano on “Blue Turns to Red” and “Limits of the Truth” as well as adding drummer Pablo Videla on most of the tracks. And to top it all off Pink Floyd’s engineer Andy Jackson mastered the album. The result is an excellent set of nine singer-songwriter songs with touches of Caravan, Roger Waters, Strawbs, and West Coast country rock like New Riders of the Purple Sage with some experimental psychedelia popping up here and there. The album opens with “Already Gone” with a slight reference to The Wall, and edgy, slightly raspy vocals, and a tasty electric guitar solo. “Runaway” takes a dash of Caravan, tremolo guitar, and vocal harmonies for a very melodic pop / psych / rock song. “Limits of the Truth” is a sad West Coast country rock song with a superb electric guitar solo. As I listened to “When I Needed You” I was reminded of an early Strawbs song “We’ll Meet Again Sometime.” “Blue Turns to Red” is a day after song about drowning your sorrows, a wonderful blend of country and psychedelia with the song ending with feedback and experimental sounds. “Ever Day Brings Something New” features harmonica and baritone vocals similar to the Soft Hearted Scientists, as well as another great psych rock guitar solo. “Lay My Burden Down” has a 70s acoustic guitar retro sound that takes me back to my youth. “Water” is another acoustic guitar song that veers into the experimental realm while remaining melodic. And the album closes with “Angels and Ghosts,” an excellent country folk singer songwriter song that made me think of Townes Van Zandt, plus another cool electric guitar solo that takes off! This album is for fans of the six-string guitar and West Coast country rock.


Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Dukes of Kent

More info
http://www.sugarbushrecords.com

Latest news

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Coronarias Dans - Visitor – Every corner of the world, so it would seem, has a closet chock full of musical gems waiting to be discovered. From a corner of Denmark's junk room, this wonderful little jewel comes to delight...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues