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

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tony Levin - Waters of Eden – Over the last half dozen years, King Crimson bassist Tony Levin has produced a small but impressive body of work on his own Papa Bear Records, including World Diary (1995), a collection of...  (2001) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues