Originally from Charlotte, NC, Dusty is a high energy musical act that commands the stage. Along with his music career of seven years, he has been doing private dinner parties as a chef for two years. He hopes to open a artist cafe/bistro one day. Battered and Brewed was able to attend one of his delicious dinner parties this week to chat with him about his career in music.
Good Afternoon Dustin! Thank you so much for talking with Battered and Brewed! Growing up in Charlotte, NC, what was your favorite family recipe?
I don’t know that I could pick a clear favorite. There are so many! But one of the most memorable was certainly my Mom’s chili. I always remember it because we could tell it was officially starting to get cold enough to be called winter outside, which meant holidays, and a lot more delicious food!
Who got you interested in cooking? And whose cooking style is your biggest influence?
My Dad taught me a lot about cooking when I was younger. He definitely got me into it. We used to play rock-n-roll music and sing and dance while we cooked! I also changed my eating habits quite considerably a few years back. My good friend Kris Calmese of Kalmese Wellness (who is a great culinary artist himself!) helped me transition to a healthier lifestyle, which included showing me healthier ways to make some of my favorite dishes. So I definitely take a lot of influence from his style as well.
Which is the dish you call your Signature dish?
I have two that I’d put up against almost any…my Mesquite Salmon, and my Caribbean Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps, which you’ve now had both!
You have been doing private dinner parties as a chef for two years now. How did that get started?
We call it Dusty’s Dinner Adventure! I had the idea while hanging with a group of friends who were all food lovers, and so we decided to throw a party and try it out. The way it works is neat. There is no preset menu. We all show up and have hors d’oeuvres to start with. I feel out the vibe, THEN go visit the store and create a menu on the spot. Then I come back and prepare a three or four course meal, with a crafted cocktail if desired, while the party is going on around me. It’s very interactive, and keeps things interesting and fun. It’s a nice change of pace from the traditional dinner party, but it is definitely for those who love many types of food and have an adventurous spirit! We did the first one and people wanted to book more parties, so of course we kept doing it!
Who do you think has a better “food scene” Chicago or Nashville?
Oh man, putting me on the spot here! I love some of the food here in Nashville, and it’s better than a lot of places I’ve been, but Chicago has it beat. There are just so many places and different restaurants, and they all seem to do something really well.
What are 3 things you can always find in your kitchen?
Peanut butter, wheat bread, and almond milk. Life essentials.
Do you have a music playlist you listen to when cooking?
I use Pandora frequently when I cook. Typically you can find me cooking to Frank Sinatra or Planet Lounge Radio. Also love Lynyrd Skynyrd, North Mississippi All-Stars, and The Roots radio.
Do you ever experiment in your cooking and eating?
All the time. And admittedly sometimes to the dismay of my test subjects! But usually it’s a great way to learn new styles, flavor combinations, or techniques in the kitchen. I’m an artist, so I’m always pushing limits and creating. Most, and I emphasize MOST, of my experiments turn out pretty well!
One food everyone tells you to try, but you just can’t get up the nerve.
I’m not going near the gizzard of anything.
Tell us about one memorable meal you’ve had during your travels. What did it involve?
I will never forget the first time I visited my friends from DaT Sauce in the bayou of Louisiana. They sat me down at what seemed like a ten foot long table, covered in newspaper. Then brought out this vat so big it looked like I could take a bath in it, and dumped out a feast of crawfish, shrimp, corn on the cob, potatoes, and all kinds of other stuff down the entire length of the table. We all just ate it with our hands. No utensils, nothing. It was so good! Then the next morning they took some of the leftover crawfish and made crawfish scrambled eggs. Absolutely amazing! If you’ve never eaten like those folks down there, you are seriously missing out!
What food is your food vice? You know, one you can’t control yourself around?
PIZZA…it’s so versatile, you can do anything with it. Hands down my favorite. I also have a difficult time staying away from a nice pecan pie as well.
You said you are looking forward to opening up an artist cafe/bistro, can you give us a sneak peak at what your menu will look like?
Tell us a little about what you have coming up musically?We just released our first music video in February. It’s exciting because we are an independent, DIY operation top to bottom. I have a great team at ImageCrafters in Illinois that helped me create the video. Learning what all it takes to make a quality video and being involved in directing every step of the process was a challenge for sure, but the experience gained is invaluable. I’m also headed back to Bombhouse Recording Studio in NC in mid March to start work on the follow up album to “Released.” Anyone who was around for the making of the first one knows what a process that is, but I am stoked to start creating some new music again.What about your new album “Released” that just came out in November, what is the story behind the album?I started playing music professionally as a career in a country/southern rock band from NC about six or seven years ago. In early 2013, the same thing that happens to many bands happened to us, and we parted ways. The other members went on to do other things, but I kept writing and performing. Shortly thereafter I found a vibe, a writing style, and a whole creative process that was really different and unique to me. I felt kind of set free from what I had been doing, you know, “released” from it. So from that point I just started writing and over about two years I had nearly forty songs. Then over the next year we started tracking, mixing, and mastering, and narrowing it down to just ten songs, and that became the album. So, “Released” is basically everything that happened from the end of the former project, to the beginning of this new one.Do you plan on a follow up tour for the album and what places are you looking forward to playing?Yes! We are kicking off 2017 with performances at the DaT Sauce Super Bowl Party in the Louisiana bayou! It’s one of my favorite places to go, so we are all looking forward to that. The rest of the tour calendar is still being finalized, but I know we will also be in the Midwest during festival season, and back home in the Carolina’s at some point for sure. And we are always doing shows everywhere in between. I’m actually really looking forward to playing in Nashville for the first time with the new project. It’s been about four years since I played here last, and since I moved here, Music City continues to grow. I’m looking forward to rolling out the new show for all the new faces and people I’ve met here!
Finally for Battered and Brewed, If you could have a drink with one person, who would it be and what would you have?
Mark Twain. His mind is so interesting, and I feel like I would have a lot to chat about with him, and a lot to learn from his ideas. And he was a whiskey guy, so I’d like to see what he thought of my bourbon old fashioned recipe!
Instagram: @dusty_live https://www.instagram.com/dusty_live/
Twitter: @NewcombeDNA https://twitter.com/NewcombeDNA
Originally from Charlotte, NC, DUSTY is a high energy musical act that commands the stage. Five years ago, he sold his car, guitars (save for one), and most of his valued possessions to go out on the road and play music for a living. Needless to say he’s never looked back, and with good reason. His time in Chicago over the past four years influenced his transition from a rising country/southern rock artist, to a solid and commercially viable pop/rock musical act. Now based out of Nashville, TN, his new music is innovative, and totally fitting for today’s music world. A true success story, there is no need to look elsewhere for whatever turns you on musically.
Opened for national acts Brett Michaels, Buckcherry, Parmalee, David Allan Coe, Jackyl, and Royal Bliss
Touring nationally since 2012, notable venues include Hard Rock Cafe Nashville, Tequila Cowboy Nashville, 12th and Porter Nashville, NASCAR All-Star Race/Coca-Cola 600/Bank of America 500 Charlotte NC and other NASCAR events, Throttle Fest Chicago, Bottom Lounge Chicago, Elbo Room Chicago, 115 Bourbon Street Chicago, Watseka Theatre Watseka IL, Majestic Theatre Kankakee IL, DaT Sauce Super Bowl Party Morgan City LA, Western Carolina University and other colleges…more venues available upon request!
“In his debut solo album, Released, he fuses rock, rap, funk and pop into a sound that is as catchy as it is sexy. “I Wish I Knew Your Name” showcases his trademark rock vocals in an addictive single perfect for radio while assuring old fans he hasn’t forgotten his roots… By the end of the album, it becomes evident that Released will boldly pave the road to a promising solo career for an already notable artist.” Press Review Excerpt (full review atwww.dustylive.com): Liz Carlton, Freelance, “Elli Writes”, and author of “The Royal Rogue” series
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