On Flood, Moreland & Arbuckle's debut release, the rootsy, hard-driving group from Kansas takes music itself to places it's never been. Featuring mostly original tunes, Flood presents a dynamic mix of thirteen acoustic and electric songs, each performed with all the subtlety of a passing freight train. Moreland & Arbuckle are traditionalists and innovators at the same time, merging old school Chicago and Delta blues with garage rock sensibilities. While Arbuckle was mostly influenced by the Mississippi blues, traditional country music and bluegrass, Moreland grew up listening to everyone from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to Charlie Patton and Muddy Waters.
Of the 14 listed cuts on their debut CD, nine were written or co-written by harp player-vocalist Dustin Arbuckle and guitarist-vocalist Aaron Moreland. Covers include Charlie Patton, Fred McDowell, and an excellent, rough-and-tumble version of Bill Withers' 'Use Me.' The no-frills Issues Up Top makes it easy to hear that these guys deliver the goods. What they do isn't fancy, but neither was the music from most of their heroes. With Moreland's mean guitar growl playing off Arbuckle's smart, workaday vocals and harp, and the efficient groove laid down by bassist James Hocutt and drummer David Floyd, the quartet brings more untainted Blues feeling across than many bigger name artists on bigger name labels.