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'Fireroad Vol.1'   

-  Label: 'Self Released'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '21st September 2019'

Our Rating:
'Dusty' could be intended as a first name but I'm guessing it is meant as an adjective. This Australian singer-songwriter's real name is Shane Hicks which, frankly, sounds better than the adopted alias.

He is from Brisbane; a place of "dank swamps and wide open countryside" according to his online bio. These surroundings feed into his debut album and, judging by the 'Vol. 1' in the title, it won't be his last.

Hicks was a founding member of a blues-rock band called 'The Blackwater' and, while now aiming to venture more Americana territory, it's plain that his music is still rooted in the blues.

It's also evident that he's serious about this being a solo record. Jordan Miller drums on two tracks but otherwise all the writing, performing, recording and mixing is the artist's own work; he even designed the album cover.

In terms of content, the feel is quite maudlin and even a bit grungey at times. The potential for self deprecating humour is largely passed over.

A line like "If I was a preacher, I'd lay my bible down" from Wild Horses is delivered as if he means it and the closing track Born to Lose revels in negativity.

Heavy Load Away is the only track that grabbed my attention largely due to a burst of noisy rock guitar midway through. More changes of speed and style like this would have given the collection more fire and depth.

Listen to Fireroad Vol.1 on Bandcamp

  author: Martin Raybould

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DUSTY MILES - Fireroad Vol.1