We are the Dust City Opera, New Mexico’s freshest indie folk-rock band led by singer/songwriter Paul Hunton. We’re known for our unique instrumentation, vibrant covers, and crafty songwriting, often juxtaposing dark, bold subject matter over whimsical, light-hearted melodies. Hunton’s songwriting is strikingly visual and spans the spectrum from playful to apocalyptic, balancing his powerful voice over exceptional arrangements of dreamy guitar licks and intensely rich horns.
We are an unusual combination of sounds, including the expected rock band instruments, as well as trombone, accordion, clarinet and more. Our genre is best described as folk-rock with influences from rock ‘n’ roll, jazz, classical, and alt-country. Artists we like and are inspired by include: Cake, Tom Waits, Chris Cornell, the Handsome Family, and the Felice Brothers.
Formed in early 2018, the Dust City Opera has quickly gained attention around the state, performing numerous shows including the notable 2018 Downtown Summerfest in Albuquerque, NM where we opened for national headliner, The Robert Randolph Family Band.
We have been featured in the Visit Albuquerque Local’s Guide in partnership with Dirt Road Travels, and have appeared in television, radio, and magazine interviews with New Mexico Living, KUNM, NM Entertainment Magazine, Weekly Alibi, Albuquerque Journal, KUPR, The New Mexico Inquisition, Roots of Indie, and more.
Our first studio album, Heaven, was released on March 2, 2019. This full-length album is now available for purchase or download on our music page and is accessible on all major streaming platforms.
Looking to book Dust City Opera for your next event? Head over to our contact page and shoot us a message!
We are (left to right): Jared Putnam (lead guitar, vocals), Travis Rourk (trombone, trumpet, vocals), Clara Byom (accordion, clarinet, keyboard), Paul Hunton (lead vocals, guitar), Greg Williams (drums), and Danny "the Harp" Garcia (former bassist), not pictured: Justin McLauchlin (current bassist)
What people are saying about us:
"Hunton weaves compelling tales of light and dark using a vocal tone and range that buries listeners in a rich [baritone] that sometimes shocks.”
“Outrageously interesting arrangements”
“Tasty tone and daring directionality”
“Best live show I’ve seen in ABQ”