The Dust of Men is pleased to offer three tracks from their debut album, "What the Morning Shows," recorded in August 2013 at Justin Vernon's (Bon Iver) April Base studio in Fall Creek, WI. The full eleven-track album is available on Bandcamp, iTunes, and Amazon.
Imagine if modern, guitar-driven alternative rock was birthed in Depression-era Kansas. That’s The Dust of Men. The sound of this gritty five-piece band from Eau Claire, Wisconsin has been described as being “built on an aggressive foundation of alternative rock, framed in with folk, and roofed with revival music.”
Songwriter Grant Schultz is on vocals, rhythm guitar, and piano; Colin Carey is on drums; Jon Wojcik is on banjo; John Roemhild is on bass; and Clark Strasburg is on lead guitar.
The band plays what they call “testimony music.” During the past eight years—after spiraling out of control and hitting rock bottom in 2005, battling severe addictions and depression—Schultz embarked on his personal journey from darkness to light. As his life transformed, he became a pastor at Valleybrook Church in Eau Claire, finding his voice as a powerful preacher and worship leader. Throughout that time, he also met and struck up close friendships with the other four men who would join him to become The Dust of Men. In the fall of 2012, seven years after his transformation began, Schultz began writing songs that expressed the emotional depth of his journey. Over the next year, he holed himself up for hours at a time in an old upstairs projector room in the historic downtown theater his church calls home and crafted the songs that tell the story of “What the Morning Shows.”
The Dust of Men is clearly on this journey together, their hauntingly powerful instrumentation standing shoulder to shoulder with Schultz’s soaring vocals and refined storytelling. What holds them together is the genuine love they have for each other and for their faith. This is deeply passionate and contagiously spiritual music. It appeals—regardless of one’s religious affiliations—to the core of what it means to be human: the questions, the struggle, and the hope.
This debut album is an auditory rollercoaster. While the band members’ eclectic influences—Sigur Ros, All the Bright Lights, Matthew and the Atlas, Radiohead, Bon Iver, Max Roach, The Roots, John Mark McMillan, and This Will Destroy You—all decorate the roomy, warm tones on the album, The Dust of Men has a sound all its own. Many of the songs were inspired by Schultz’s obsessive listening to the 1939 field recordings by John and Ruby Lomax, who preserved more than 700 songs on their year-long road trip through the Depression-era American South. Those gritty, emotionally honest sounds—of both survival and revival—became the band’s creative starting line.
“What the Morning Shows” can feel old-timey in the best possible way with its jangly rhythms, gang vocals, and dirge drumming, but it also feels lithe, elegant, and ultra-modern. It’s a sound that music lovers everywhere will likely find themselves testifying about very soon.