The Rust Belt Brigade began as an acoustic punk duo from Buffalo that has since become a 4 piece Alt-Country/Americana outfit carving out their own niche in and around the Buffalo area. Coming Sept. 18th, the album, Howdy Hallelujah, Here’s the Thing, is a timestamp from the last two years as a 4-piece band composed of songwriters Victor Castilo, Jeremiah Franco, and Brandon Mueckle with Trevor Jennings on cajon/percussion. The album also differs from the normative live experience through full band-electric recordings composing roughly half the record and guest Sally Schaefer on Violin for the more traditional high energy bluegrass tracks.
The first single off of Howdy Hallelujah, Here’s the Thing, “Roll Call” is a fast-paced piece that instills a feeling of paranoia and urgency. From the get-go, the instrumental portion builds into an attention-grabbing and heart-pounding pace. The story told within “Roll Call” is one that encourages you to try anyway, even if you’ve hit rock bottom. This lesson is communicated after the ballad describes a life of someone who is truly desperate, with the final few lyrics informing the listener to “Roll the dice man, see if your lucks ran, lucks ran dry.”
“Love Is A House” slows the pace down from “Roll Call” and describes love through a series of touching metaphors. The lyrics “tell me what’s wrong, so I can fix it, fore winter comes, won’t let the cold get the best of us” exemplifies the importance of communication in relationships and serves as just one of the wholesome lessons that can be drawn from the track.
These two tracks serve as just a taste of Howdy Hallelujah, Here’s the Thing. Two more tracks from the album will be released on The Rust Belt Brigade’s Bandcamp titled “Kentucky Rain Dance” and “Buried in the Ground.” on July 24 with the full album releasing Sept. 18.
Unfortunately, this will be the last album produced by the band with songwriter Victor Castillo for the foreseeable future, as the band revealed through a Facebook post that Victor would be pursuing his career in Colorado without the group.
While the group will be decreasing their level of actively greatly the brigade isn’t disbanding, stating that “We still plan to release new music down the road and play shows in Buffalo when we can all get together but this is indeed an end to era.”