Editors’ Notes Taking their rootsy sound several steps further, Moreland & Arbuckle build on their blues base in unexpected ways on 7 Cities. The Kansas-bred duo benefits from the forceful, flexible drumming of new recruit Kendall Newby, spurring guitarist Aaron Moreland and singer/harmonica player Dustin Arbuckle into exploring wider musical terrain. There’s a compelling edge to these tracks, whether the band veers toward rowdy workouts (“Stranger Than Most”), ominous boogie excursions (“Tall Boogie,” “Road Blind”), or simmering Southern rock–style pieces (“Broken Sunshine”). Arbuckle has gained an increasingly soulful edge, heard in the gospel overtones of “Time Ain’t Long” and “The Devil in Me.” His harp work carries plenty of bite and swagger, meshing with Moreland’s potent guitar work on tasty numbers like “Quivara” (a wailing tale of a doomed Spanish conquistador) and “Red Bricks” (a down-home instrumental track). Most startling is an incisive blues-rock reworking of Tears for Fears’ synth-pop hit “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” 7 Cities finds Moreland & Arbuckle doing right by their roots by taking chances and succeeding admirably.