Q&A Scene: The Duhks

Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?

[pullquote]The first time we came to Australia, with the original Line -up, we underestimated the Australian sun, all of us turned into Byron Bay Bugs, while “Sunbathing” on the gold Coast[/pullquote] LP: We are very happy to be bringing the music of the last Duhks CD “Beyond The Blue” to Australia, we recorded it with our Great friends, Mike + Ruthy, formerly of The amazing band The Mammals. We recorded it live, in a converted garage, out in the Country in Upstate New York.

How would you describe your sound in food form and why?

It’s like going to the all you can eat Buffet, meat and potatoes, and Fried Chicken, trad, as well as some slick contemporary sensibilities, so lots of salad too.

Which of your songs resonate most strongly and why?

LP: our most resonating song, without a doubt is called Annabel, it’s from our first CD, it’s about wondering what happens to the soul of a loved one after they die, while reflecting on personal memories of that person. A subject every human can relate to.

Tell us a quick, on the road, anecdote.

LP: Well the first time we came to Australia, with the original Line -up, we underestimated the Australian sun, all of us turned into Byron Bay Bugs, while “Sunbathing” on the gold Coast, before the first time we played Woodford.

Once we got to the festival, we kept taking showers in our clothes, because we’d be perfectly dry 5 minutes after soaking ourselves.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

LP: We are all very diverse musicians, with inspiration from everything from Traditional Fiddle music from around the world, Irish, Appalachian, Cajun, Quececois, Scottish, to Gospel from The Georgia Sea Islands, to Dub-Step. Rock and Roll, and everything in between.

Which song do you wish you wrote?

LP: Rock Star by Pink! I love that! It has a jig in it, and the Chorus rocks. Though I’m not really a big fan.

What’s next for you?

We will see, sometime next year, we’ll get going on another CD, and we all have other projects we pursue on the side as well.

It’s very safe to say, we will continue making music.

What’s your scene?

LP: We all have different scene’s in the band, The Fiddler lives in Sweden, the Guitar player, Montreal, the Drummer New York, and the singer and I in Winnipeg, which means that our scene, being the “international acoustic music scene”, is very large in our small world, and we a proudly apart of it

About the Duhks

‘The inventive Canadians in The Duhks are widely beloved for their smooth blend of traditional roots music, bluegrass and soul which they inject with well-placed Afro-Cuban and Celtic influences” NPR

One of the most musically adventurous bands to come from the roots scene in the past decade, The Duhks return to the stage is  definitely a cause for celebration. Hailed by The New York Times as one of the artists at the forefront of the neo-folk movement,

The Duhks (pronounced Ducks) have won admirers as diverse as David Crosby, Dolly Parton and Doc Watson. No band epitomizes the polyethnic strands of modern folk music better than The Duhks. Since forming in Winnipeg in 2001 The Duhks have created a dynamic blend of old-timey, French Canadian and Celtic music punched up with shades of blues, soul and driving Afro Cuban rhythms that always has festival crowds up on their feet. Over the course of 4 critically-acclaimed albums the band has earned Juno and Grammy awards and nominations and have played a significant role in the neo-folk revival.??The Duhks are in the best form of their 13 year career. Jessee Havey and the addition of new members, fiddler Anna Lindblad, drummer/percussionist Kevin Garcia, and guitarist/bouzouki player Colin Savoie-Levac, and The Duhks founder Leonard Podolak have found an amazing pallet of inspiration for the new project. “All of the people who have been in the band over the years, have had a hand in shaping our sound and direction. “The goal with the new record was to draw on everything we’ve learned over the years and everything we know about where we want to take the music now and create something as fresh, exciting and forward thinking as possible,” says Leonard Podolak. Toward that end, the band turned to the rising production team of Mike + Ruthy (Mike Merenda and Ruth Unger of The Mammals), who brought a progressive approach to production that was still firmly rooted in the traditions of folk music.

Musically, the bands latest CD, Beyond The Blue is reminiscent of 2006’s Grammy-nominated Migrations, but with a sound that is even more dense and grittier than 2008’s Fast Paced World. The album opens with the title track, a gorgeous song by Beth Nielsen Chapman and Gary Nicholson that begins with the bell-like drone of Leonard’s claw hammer banjo and the ethereal sound of guest Charlie Rose’s lap steel before giving way to Jessee’s expressive alto, On “Banjo Roustabout” electric guitar and drums bring out the more aggressive side of the band’s sound while “Suffer No Fools” is a beautifully rendered acoustic waltz ornamented by banjo, strings and percussion and beautifully sung by Jessee. Taken as a whole, Beyond the Blue represents a group of musicians at the peak of their powers, the music shaped by their collective experience of years on the road and driven by the sheer joy and inspiration that comes from reuniting and rediscovering that magic that drew them together in the first place.

About Mandy Hall 762 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Photography, Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.

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