Dustin Kensrue has just shared his new single, “High Scalers,” which is out now. The song will appear on his upcoming album, Desert Dreaming, which will be released on April 5th via BMG.

It is the second single released from the new album, following last month’s “Death Valley Honeymoon.” Drawing inspiration from some of Marty Robbins’ old gunslinger tunes, Kensrue crafted the perfect balance of an understated intensity for “High Scalers.”

When Kensrue was scouting locations and landscapes for the album’s blueprint, he thought of a monument outside the Hoover Dam honoring the many people who had not survived building it.

”Above the relief sculpture depicting the safety, power, and irrigation that the dam provided are the words ‘They died to make the desert bloom,’” recalls Kensrue. “I did a deep dive into the construction of the dam and became fascinated, especially by the high scalers who worked suspended hundreds of feet over the canyon floor and decided to give them a little extra praise in the form of a song.”

Listen to the new song below and pre-order Desert Dreaming here.


The self-produced album is Kensrue’s epic love letter to the southwest. He takes us on a personal travel journey through his own experiences in learning how to open his eyes to the world right in front of him. “The setting really is the main character of the record,” claims Kensrue as he approached the songs like a Western novelist, filling them with details of the desert–the sound of coyotes howling in the distance, the smell of sage and lilac in the dry wind, the lure of hidden treasures in the hills. 

Inspired partially by childhood trips spent with his grandparents in the Mojave Desert, these ten tunes mix biography, history, and fiction and were recorded by Kensrue with the help of collaborators like upright bassist Seth Richardson, pedal steel guitarist Abe Levy, and drummer James McAlister. Reflecting on themes including learning to experience the world as it is and not as you expect it to be, Kensrue weaves timeless tales of people too blinded by goldlust or misplaced obligation to see the riches all around them, and of souls quietly moved by the stark beauty of the desert landscape.

With Desert Dreaming Kensrue heralds a new sense of appreciation for the desert he had begun to overlook after living in the southwest for most of his life, reminding us sometimes all we need is to open our eyes, to fully appreciate what was in front of us all along. “There are things we can only learn in encounters in the hinterlands, both of the world and of our souls,” claims Kensrue. “It’s so easy to miss what’s right in front of us when we are set on finding something else and looking through mental and spiritual lenses that filter out so much.”


Dustin Kensrue desert dreaming


  1. Death Valley Honeymoon
  2. Scalers High
  3. Treasure in the West
  4. Lift Your Eyes
  5. Western Skies
  6. The Heart of Sedona
  7. Sage & Lilac Sage
  8. The Light of the Moon
  9. Leaving Tonight for Santa Fe
  10. Desert Dreaming 

Tour dates:

4/24/24 – Austin, TX – The Parish
4/25/24 – Dallas, TX – Sons of Hermann Hall
4/27/24 – Orlando, FL – The Social
4/28/24 – Atlanta, GA – The Earl
4/29/24 – Nashville, TN – Eastside Bowl
5/1/24 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
5/2/24 – Brooklyn, NY – Music Hall of Williamsburg
5/3/24 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
5/4/24 – Philadelphia, PA – Underground Arts
5/6/24 – Lakewood, OH – Mahall’s
5/7/24 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
5/8/24 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge
5/9/24 – St. Louis, MO – Off Broadway
5/11/24 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater
5/12/24- Salt Lake City, UT – Commonwealth
5/14/24- Seattle, WA – Neumos
5/15/24 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
5/17/24 – San Francisco, CA – Bottom of the Hill
5/18/24 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy Theatre
5/19/24 – Santa Ana, CA – Observatory