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A Musical Life: Dustin Arbuckle

Moreland & Arbuckle

Dustin Arbuckle first teamed up with musical partner Aaron Moreland in 2001 after they met at an open mic night. Soon after that they recorded under the name The King Snakes before changing the band's name to Moreland & Arbuckle circa 2005. The pair has recorded four albums as Moreland and Arbuckle, including 1861 (2008), Flood (2009), and Just A Dream (2011). The trio (rounded out by drummer Kendall Newby) will release a new album this summer, which was produced by Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Minus the Bear, Russian Circles).

Arbuckle also performs in the Wichita-based band Haymakers and frequently gigs with guitarist Wayne Long.


My name is Dustin Arbuckle. I sing and play harmonica with Moreland & Arbuckle.

I started playing harmonica when I was about 16 years old, which was about a year after I had started listening to traditional blues.  

It made me feel something that no other music had made me feel. There was a reality to it. There was a soul to it that wasn't really like anything else I had listened to.

I figured maybe I could just be a stand up singer, 'cause that was my first love, that's what I had been doing. I think I was singing since I could talk.

My dad talked me into believing that I needed to play an instrument, I guess I owe him some thanks for that. I started blowin' harmonica not long after that and it quickly became my second musical love.

Obviously the Chicago blues stuff. Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf. Jimmy Reed. Cats like that, super super huge for me. But, then, even further back than that with guys like Charlie Patton and Son House and, of course, Robert Johnson. Blind Willie Johnson. Blind Willie McTell.

I just wanna keep tryin' to move forward and continue to let the past influence me and inspire me in whatever music I'm making,while continuing to try and have my own voice.


Jedd Beaudoin is host/producer of the nationally syndicated program Strange Currency. He has also served as an arts reporter, a producer of A Musical Life and a founding member of the KMUW Movie Club. As a music journalist, his work has appeared in Pop Matters, Vox, No Depression and Keyboard Magazine.