The DuShane Band “Alabama Rain b/w Stay The Night”
Created by Lucas Ryder
on April 13, 2017
You surely do hear the Toby Keith influence in The DuShane Band’s single “Alabama Rain b/w Stay The Night”. Their urban country style of music is full of the red, white and blue pride that became a Toby Keith trademark over the past two decades. The A side is full of the tales of hard times, love of family, patriotism and country pride. In other words, those standards that have formed the foundation the C&W genre was built upon from its inception and into the present. Kind of like the plate the apple pie is served on. Hmm, hmm good and pass me a fork, my friend.
Shane, the leader of The DuShane Band, was signed to MCA records back in the day as part of a group of rocker outlaws called Law And Order. He decided to break out on his own to explore a more acoustic/electric vein of music where he could showcase pedal steel and fiddle players along side electric guitars and electric keyboards and the results of his experiment are what you hear on this single. To my ears it sounds like small town southern rock combined with big city New York sophistication. It rumbles with the power of a trusty dusty four-wheeler pickup truck and handles like a polished classic Cadillac Coupe De Ville on the highway.
A simple explanation for this already mentioned hybrid phenomena is it appears that the members of The DuShane Band live in and perform around the New York City area. When you’re more than a crow’s fly away from the roadhouses and honkytonks, and instead playing the night clubs and hipster venues, well you’re bound to pick up some of the local flavor and color and put it on in your music. But the guys and gals who work in The DuShane Band never let you forget that deep down they’re all a bunch of good old country boys and country girls even if they have traded their horses and saddles for seats on the Manhattan subway. That’s just the way it goes sometimes and nobody should hold that against them, because that just wouldn’t be right.
I, for one, am hoping to hear more DuShane Band releases before too much more time goes by. This single is a nice taste, but it has me hungry to hear a bit more before I, as a record reviewer, return a final verdict on just how good these urban cowpokes really are. So, now that you’ve got our attention and interest you best bring some more tunes to the table before that meal that you’ve just served turns cold.
RIDING WITH THE DUSHANE BAND
Back in the 1990s country and western music got a much needed shot in the arm with the injection of the Americana music radio format. It combined the elements of country, rock and roll, blues and folk music into a more modern mixture which listeners were hungry to hear on the airwaves. Considered less commercial than the Triple A (adult album alternative) and AOR (album-oriented rock) sounds that dominated FM broadcasts of that decade Americana music and artists have grown in popularity and audience size.
I raise this point because the DuShane Band (https://www.dushaneband.com) comes to the musical stage with quite a pedigree. Their lead vocalist, from whom the band takes their name, was the former front man for the MCA Records recording group, Law And Order. Formed in 2012 the DuShane Band consists of several members: Kate Hong on electric violin, Joseph Scarangella does backing vocals and plays the bass, Joe Calaveli on banjo and electric guitar, Ron Torino riffing on the old slide guitar, on percussion and drums it’s Tony Lazzara, and of course, Shane DuShane on lead vocals as well as switching off on both the electric and acoustic guitars parts. Pedal steel guitar is of course an integral part of any country band and is the one musical chair the DuShane Band fills with different players depending on the location and date of a performance.
Whether it’s intentional or not the DuShane Band manages to break the stereotypical mold that many carry in their minds about the what, how, where and when of how a country music loving group of musicians are suppose to behave. First of all, they’re from New York City. From the sound of their last names it’s fairly apparent their lineage is linked most likely back to countries outside the United States rather than the Appalachian Trail or Nashville. Secondly, you’ll find them gigging in some unlikely places such as the New York City Marathon instead of biker bars, honkytonks, pool rooms and road houses. Last but not least, from what I’ve heard of what they play they bring to the table a sharper rock edge than most of the Americana artists on the current circuit are comfortable with.
With a hit single called “Forever For Now” under their belt (it made it into the Top 10 on the Cashbox Magazine Radio Charts) the avenues appear to be wide and open for them. “Alabama Rain”, another single they released in 2016 also hit the Top 10 of the Cashbox Traditional Country and Americana Charts. Rumor is that it’s been unofficially dubbed as the Alabama Blue Collar Anthem. They’ve also racked up an amazing ten million views for their “Summertime” and “When I Walk Out” music videos. These folks are undeniably musicians on the move and on a mission.
All in all, just like Americana music, the DuShane Band is a hybrid. So trying to put a pin in their music and peg the band is like trying to shoot horseflies with a pistol. It would just be downright foolish. So kick back, pop a cold one or a few, light up a smoke and enjoy the journey with them. They’re unquestionably going places and it looks like we’ll all welcome to come along with them. So, crank it up, we’re roaring and ready to ride off into the sunset with them.
DUSHANE BAND - SUMMERTIME
We'd like to introduce you to a hot Country/Americana group, The DuShane Band's next hit, "Summertime" on Turtle Bay Music.
Formed in late 2012, DuShane is a culmination of southern Rock and Country. The band consists of vocals, electric/acoustic guitars, bass, drums, pedal steel, violin and keyboards. Formally of the band Law and Order (MCA Records), lead singer DuShane, brought up on the Nashville/Memphis sound but also uses his New York City roots to create their “Urban Country” sound. The Band is a blend of acoustic and sonic texture that is reminiscent of classic country and southern rock, and shimmers with modern studio sounds and arrangements.
Tutored by friends and former producers Joe Hardy, Mac Reinhold and Shane Keister, The DuShane Band was able to produce and engineer and record their first independent record. DuShane's first single "Alabama Rain" released in late October 2015 has received receiving warm reviews and gaining popularity from fans with different musical tastes, and with a release of DuShane’s first music video for “When I Walk Out,” the band hopes to gain popularity with Country and Rock fans as well as appeal to a broader global audience.
I Like What I Hear: The Dushane Band
Our ears work automatically utilizing only physical movement, and unlike our sense of vision, taste and smell, without the aid of any chemical reactions. The sounds we hear are nothing more than vibrations passing through the atmosphere. These vibrations enter the outer ear, travel through the middle ear, go into the inner ear and then stimulate the auditory nerves which translate the information for your brain. I point this out because it would, without question, explain how I heard about the DuShane Band.
Do you like your ears? I love my ears, especially when I hear a group like the DuShane Band. They’re a sextet from New York City and they play country music. Are you wondering if your eyes are lying to you after reading that last sentence? Well, they aren’t because this country band was born and bred in The Big Apple. Just use your ears and they’ll help to clear the confusion of what you just read. If you listen closely to the DuShane Band’s music you’ll hear that they’re more than just a country band. That’s right; they’re an urban country band who put some of the sounds and influences of their big city life into their country music tunes.
Fill your ears with the sounds of their current Forever for Now single, or even Alabama Rain. Sweet pedal steel glissandos and a funky electric fiddle layered on top of back beat drums and edgy grudge lead vocals. When they sing about driving trucks they’re not talking about the back roads down in the Deep South, they’re singing about driving through the wild, wild badlands of the New Jersey Shore. That’s what these boys and girls in the DuShane Band are going on about when they tag themselves as urban country music artists.
On a number like Everyone’s Crazy they’ll even toss in some of that Duane Eddy type twangy guitar stuff that, if you closed your eyes and let your imagination run away with you, would make you believe they had someone like the legendary Lee Hazelwood in that recording studio with them, producing their records just like he did in the way back when. It’s the kind of mash up where Levis, Stetson hats and cowboy boots meet cell phones and laptop computers. The DuShane Band is the intersection where country roads meet Wall Street and Broadway converges with Music Row. Yes sir, it’s the all Americana dream we’re talking about here.
The backing harmonies I’ve heard them sing on their recording also bring to mind that crossroads concept. You have a little of the Statler Brothers mixed in with some Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and a hint of Lady Antebellum or Little Big Town. When it comes to the outlaw side of these city slickers in the DuShane Band why they’re an even match for Waylon Jennings, or Sturgill Simpson, on any darn day of any darn week and seven ways from Sunday. Some of you country and western purist out there may disagree with me on some of the points I’ve made, but that’s okay by me. Because one thing I’m absolute sure about at the end of every day is that even if my feet smell and my nose runs, well my dang old ears sure don’t lie.
"Alabama Rain" and Other Songs by the DuShane Band
on April 1, 2017
Debuting at #22 on the Cashbox Traditional Country and Americana charts with “Alabama Rain”, The DuShane Band (https://www.dushaneband.com) gave formal notice to the music world that they have indeed arrived. This song about dealing with the hard knocks of life was an instant connect with the residents of the Yellowhammer State as well as anyone who’s ever enlisted in the military (we thank you for your service!) and been stationed a long ways from home and family. It pretty much tells the tale of marrying young, getting in the family-way way too soon, taking back breaking jobs to make ends meet, being laid off when there’s another child on the way, enlisting so you can keep food on the table and a roof over head, getting shipped out to God knows where, arriving there and feeling your heart break every day for those you left behind. “Alabama Rain” is as much of a prayer as it is a song and if it doesn’t bring a tear or two to your eye by the final chorus - then Jack you dead.
DuShane, formerly the lead singer of the Law And Order group (MCA Records) made the decision to leave and form his own band in order to create more varied sonic textures where he could blend modern studio sounds and arrangements with southern rock and classic country. The new ensemble consists of guitars, bass, drums, violin, keyboards and pedal steel. On one of his latest songs, “When I Walk Out”, they even add a banjo to the line up for a dash of bluegrass in the multi-genre mix. The result is a song with not only a memorable melody line but perfect for a barroom saloon line dance. Tip you hats to the ladies and go doe-see-doe…
Did I mention that they have lots of other tracks you can enjoy if you’re in the mood to surf and stream on that newfangled thing today’s kids call the Internet
The DuShane Band kick their boots up on rocking-like-a-rodeo little ditty called “Summertime”. If they play their cards right this one could be their summertime hit on the radio. “See You Again” not only brings back that aforementioned banjo it also features some pretty tasty pedal steel playing. Glissando notes drawn out lazy and long decorate this number like tinsel on the tree. It’s a pretty one, to say the least.
“The Devil’s Sin” reveals a bit of vintage Charlie Daniels Band influence in the DuShane Band sound, especially on the fiddle bowing. Every good bar band has to have a few good covers up their sleeves for song requests and these boys don’t disappoint with their down tempo reworking of The Eagles hit “Take It Easy”. DuShane get to show off the deep baritone side of his vocal range here. This guy could really give Brad Roberts of the Canadian Crash Test Dummies combo, or Mr. Sulu of the original Star Trek TV series, a good run for their money when he’s in that lower register.
The DuShane Band just needs their chance and the rest is going to be, as they say, history.
Hot Indie News Exclusive Interview With The DuShane Band
The DuShane Band stopped by the Hot Indie News offices to kick back and chat with us for a spell. Here’s what went down during the course of our conversation:
Hot Indie News: Please introduce the members of the DuShane Band and tell us who does what in the group.
Shane “DuShane”: Thank you for your interest in the DuShane Band. It is my pleasure to introduce you to the members. We have Joe Scarangella on bass and back-up vocals. For drums and assorted percussion it’s Tony Lazzara. Ron Torina is the guy sitting behind the slide guitar. On electric guitar and banjo is Joseph Cavaliere. Electric violin is covered by Kate Hong. Pedal steel player vary with the dates and performances. I’m Shane “DuShane” and I’m the lead vocalist and also play acoustic/electric guitars in The DuShane Band.
Hot Indie News: Nice to meet everyone. You received quite a bit of attention over the last few months for your song “Alabama Rain”. Who wrote it and what inspired it?
The DuShane Band: Alabama Rain was written by Shane “DuShane”. The song was inspired by the American workers who each day work very hard to support their families. It’s a true story of a young man who lost his job and couldn’t support his family, so out of desperation he joins the military as his only means to keep his family from losing everything. Johnny is a true American hero and that’s his legacy.
Hot Indie News: What other material has the DuShane Band released since you’ve all been playing together?
The DuShane Band: We released 2 videos, “When I Walk Out”, and “Summertime”. Both videos were well received with a total of 10 million plays between the two of them. We also released our first single, “Forever for Now”, which went to #10 on the Cashbox Single Charts.
Hot Indie News: Do you ever do cover versions of any of your favorite songs?
The DuShane Band: Recently we did a cover of The Eagle’s song “Take It Easy”, which offers a different view of taking it easy.
Hot Indie News: Your sound’s been described as urban country music. What is it that defines that sound and how do you go about creating it?
Shane “DuShane”: We consider ourselves an American Band, and we sing about personal experiences and real situations in the life of Americans. Since we come from New York it’s been suggested we were like a Urban style of Country music, or “Americana” to be more precise. I’ve been a blue collar man and worked hard my whole life. All those experiences and upbringing comes out in the songs. Keep it honest, as my dad use to say. If you can make people listen to your songs on just a acoustic guitar and vocals and they get it, then your doing something right.
Hot Indie News: Being a country music group in New York City is kind of unusual, isn’t it?
The DuShane Band: Keeping it country is a state of mind more than a geographical condition. At one time where I grew up, Staten Island, being there was considered moving to the country. Not all of New York is what people think it is.
Shane “DuShane”: When I grew up my hero’s ranged from The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd to Glen Campbell, and of course, Good ole’ Hank Williams. My dad is a singer. He loves Johnny Cash and use to sing “Jackson” to us, so that’s where it started for me. I like to believe as Americans we all have a bit of country in us.
Hot Indie News: Does the DuShane Band have a favorite place where you like to play live? If so, what, where and why?
The DuShane Band: Our favorite gig was playing the New York Marathon, It’s amazing to see so many folks from around the globe in such great spirits, and it’s a honor for us to be a part of its greatness.
Hot Indie News: Anywhere else?
Shane “DuShane”: Another fun place is Dewey Beach, where we’ll be performing on May 5th. I absolutely love Delaware!
Hot Indie News: The DuShane Band has some ties to a band that was signed to a major label called Law And Order. What’s the connection and what happen with that group?
Shane “DuShane”: Law and Order was the ultimate experience when I was growing up. I was so very young and it was a family. We all lived together in a big old house that had 3 floors, and until it burned down, the fun never ended there. We were signed to MCA and Russell Simons managed the band. We also had a A&R guy named Bruce Dickinson. Yes, the same guy they wrote that skit about “More Cowbell” on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
Hot Indie News: WoW!
Shane “DuShane”: We shared the stage with folks like Guns and Roses, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Blind Melon and many more It was a great time when bands wrote from the heart and their first record read like a diary of life up to that point. I was the lead singer of that band and one of the songwriters. That was a great time for music and that era defined the shape of songwriters for a long time to come after.
Hot Indie News: Do you rely on inspiration when it comes to your music or do you have some other source you draw upon for your creative process?
Shane “DuShane”: This may sound strange, but I write songs every day, I write songs on the spot while we are playing at a gig and the guys are tuning up. My best songs are fully arranged in my sleep, but that’s just music. I write lyrics by listening to folks rap about life, so I listen to people complain and I try to put a spin on it.
Here’s an example: Someone dear to me was complaining about his wife. He said, “Got me a mean eyed woman and a kid with an attitude, dog keeps me up at night and no sex.” I thought to myself well that’s forever for now. So I translated it to, “Got me a mean eyed woman and a dog with an attitude. At home it’s cold as ice and a bed that’s grown long in the tooth and forever for now”.
I think there are guys out there that understand where I’m coming from. Alabama Rain was written about a 20 year old going through tough times, it’s out there and you’ve just got to listen up. In sum, I really listen to folks. So, if I ever meet y’all out there someday you may not want to share anything with me, or then again, maybe you do.
Hot Indie News: Who have been your influences and how have they influenced you?
Shane “DuShane”: It started with my family, my dad was a song writer. I am Italian so traditionally speaking the arts and singing is what we do. Some might choose a 45 and a shovel if you know what I’m saying (just kidding…). Growing up and hearing things from my dad like, “A real man chooses to honor and be faithful to only one woman. He was a role model for me, and that has been a real influence personally and lyrically.
I always liked songs that had a good story behind them, “The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down”, “Intentional Heartache”, “Crossroad Blues”, “All My Ex’s Live in Texas”, “I Love This Bar” and of course “Southbound”. I definitely loved the classic rock bands as well. Bruce Springsteen has some pretty great songs (wish he wasn’t so political these days though). That was the music culture that influenced my life.
Hot Indie News: Are you working on anything new and when will we hear it?
The DuShane Band: We are finishing off our first full length record of 15 songs, and we’re in the final stages of finishing it now. “Alabama Rain” is going to be our next video release. It stars Ms. Oklahoma “Anna Marie Costello” who is a strong actress, and Mike Leavy who is an actor/director at Fuzz on the Lens. It reenacts the story of Johnny well. The video was shot at the Chrusher Mansion. The story goes the mob use to own it and ran it as a restaurant. A bunch of folks got shot up there so it has a certain mystique about it. Maybe an episode of “Supernatural” should be shot there some day.
Hot Indie News: That DuShane Band “When I Walk Out” music video was pretty cool. Give us some background and behind the scenes insights that went into making it.
Shane “DuShane”: The video was produced by the Fuzz on the Lens folks. It was shot near Yasgur’s farm near Woodstock. Here’s the story behind the video. After a serious breakup I was in bad shape. It was a weeknight when my good friend Johnny took me out and tried to cheer me up. There was a very pretty waitress there and she was waiting on us. My head was on the bar and I really wasn’t up to talking, but she spoke to me in this very kind voice and said, “Hey DuShane, if there’s anything you want just let me know”, and it shook me up a bit. My friend said, “She knows your name, ask her out!” I wasn’t in the right state of mind to do anything as bold as that, but on the way out I was thinking it would be such a thrill if she was looking at me as I walked out. So, I could see in the reflection that she was looking at me, and that’s where the title came from for “When I Walk Out”.