Wilkes-Barre power trio, Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen, finds chemistry with new music
Although he’s had previous successes as a frontman and instrumentalist, Wilkes-Barre singer, songwriter and guitarist, Dustin Drevitch is just hitting his sonic stride.
His trio, Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen, celebrates the release of a new self-titled album at 9 p.m. May 27, at the River Street Jazz Cafe, 667 North River St., Plains.
After a tenure as lead guitar player with roots rockers, The Badlees, Drevitch released his debut record under the name Dustin Douglas with 2014’s “Black Skies and Starlight.” Drevitch said the song-oriented record, which he wrote and arranged alone, was a departure for him and a result of what he took away from working with The Badlees.
The new record, he said, is a return to a more familiar mode of song construction, working with bassist Matt “The Dane” Gabriel and drummer Tom Smallcomb, both of Wilkes-Barre.
“We started writing as a three piece, which for me, I can say is my most comfortable zone,” Drevitch said.
Drevitch said the upcoming release is his way of embracing his riff-centric tendencies and his love for playing guitar as well as the trio’s interpretation of heavy blues.
“It’s the allure of bringing back the power trio,” Gabriel said. “That was the catalyst.”
The album was recorded by Kingston native, James Yamrus, in a homey, top-floor room in the Dowtown Arts building, a repurposed church on North Franklin Street in Wilkes-Barre.
Drevitch said he chose to work in the space because he didn’t want to record in a studio. The room quickly became a source of inspiration.
“Two of the songs on the record were written here, on the spot, level checking,” Drevitch said.
The chemistry among players was essential to the process.
“Not every trio works,” Drevitch said. “As much as I fill up the space, they have to too, and they do. Tommy’s my favorite drummer and Matt is my favorite bass player.”
Gabriel said Smallcomb took his rhythmic feel to a new level and working with Drevitch has improved his intuition in a live setting.
“This band can rip your face off in one moment and then just play as gentle as a lamb,” Smallcomb said. “With these guys, the bar is high.”
Drevitch said it was important for the record to have a live feel, so the band recorded everything live.
“My favorite records are live sounding records, like Black Crows ‘Lions,’” Drevitch said. “I like going in to every record differently.”
Yamrus said the live feel is maintained through recording; production is moving forward cautiously to not dilute that authentic sound.
“We’ve got a big drum sound, pretty awesome three dimensional guitar parts, bass parts,” Yamrus said. “It all worked out great. What we’re trying to do is make sure we don’t lose that.”
Drevitch, who speaks of the album like a musician who knows what he does well and is proud to share it, said he feels comfortable with the material and the record is one he’d want to listen to.
“If you like the guitar and you like the blues and rock and roll, you’re going to like us,” Drevitch said.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or Twitter @TLArts
If you go:
What: Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen album release show with special guests Half Dollar
Where: River Street Jazz Cafe, 667 North River Street, Plains
When: 9 p.m. May 27
Additional information: Tickets cost $8 and are available at the door the evening of the show.