Dust to Dust
by Mark Burbey, Alternative Press
July 1998

Steve Roach's relationship with the desert has long sustained his spirit and fed his muse. After looking toward these desert vistas for visions deep within and far beyond the earth, Roach pays homage to the brave souls who forged the hard road west. Joined by fellow Arizonian and guitarist Roger King to form DUST TO DUST, they combine their talents to create music that poignantly captures an era often forgotten by time or trivialized by cliché. Roach’s deep synths and King’s Kottkesque guitars sing and moan, allowing the sound to tell the story of an era when pioneers risked everything in pursuit of new worlds and promised fortunes. And reminiscent of Charles Bronson’s identifier in Once Upon a Time In the West, Roach pulls a harmonica out of his pocket to reveal yet another instrument he can play with innate virtuosity.

Like a dark ambient soundtrack for a modern western, the emotional truth that lives in this music speaks of a greater human reality than any of the trials and tribulations we suffer today. Like a ghost train winding through layers of memory and history, DUST TO DUST has the mystery and allure of 150-year-old photographs of strangers whose eyes and stoic faces suggest a thousand untold stories.

Dust to Dust

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CD  $15.00 
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Dust to Dust
Steve Roach, Roger King
1998 Projekt PRO79 (CD)
Reviewed by AmbiEntrance, Brett Neely, John Pemble, Alternative Press, CounterPunch, Illinois Entertainer, Muze

Western Music in the truest sense. It is a bold step in a new direction: Where sounds paint pictures with a range of colors drawn from the land, where stories are told with the instruments of old and new pioneers. Guitars, harmonicas and washboard rhythms find their place next to a wagon full of electronics. This is the music, and even more the soundtrack, to the lingering ghosts and the lost and not-so-forgotten dreams of the restless souls driven to "Go West by God!" The story shifts between the present and the recent past when a dust trail was the only road west. The rails were freshly laid, still wet with sweat and blood. For better or worse, hopes and dreams turned real in the vast southwestern deserts, becoming a metaphor for a clean slate and a better life.

"DUST TO DUST has the mystery and allure of 150 year old photographs of strangers whose eyes and stoic faces suggest a thousand untold stories." -- (Mark Burby, AP magazine)
1. Gone West7:27 
2. A Daze WageMP36:13 
3. A Bigger Sky 3:19 
4. The Ribbon Rails of PromiseMP315:05 
5. First Sunrise 4:27 
6. Lost and Forgotten 10:44 
7. Snake Eyes 5:35 
8. Rain and Creosote5:02 
9. Ghost TrainMP37:21 

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