Fri, Oct 7th Pisgah Brewing Company Black Mountain, NC
Sat-Sun, Oct 8-9th Shakori Hills Festival Silk Hope, NC
Wed, Oct 12th Jammin’ Java Vienna, VA
Thurs, Oct 13th Kent Stage Kent, OH
Fri, Oct 14th The Newton Theatre Newton, NJ
Sat, Oct 15th Infinity Hall Norfolk, CT
The most vital acoustic music being made today acknowledges its predecessors and lives in the here and now. The Duhks, a band of five skilled, high-energy, tattooed musicians from Winnipeg, Manitoba, has been riveting audiences and winning staunch fans around the world with just that kind of music. The Boston Globe says about them, “Canada’s premier neo-tradsters romp from world-beat to blues, urban-pop to old-timey, with wild-eyed invention, haunting traditionalism, and spine-rattling groove. Who says the Frozen North can’t sizzle, eh?”
Since the release of their self-titled album in 2005, the consequent re-release of its Canadian debut (Your Daughters and Your Sons) to their most recent release (Fast Paced World), the band has won admirers as diverse as David Crosby, Dolly Parton and Doc Watson. This isn’t surprising, given the band’s blend of soul, gospel, North American folk, Brazilian samba, old-time country string-band music, zydeco and Irish dance music, folk rock and the attraction to these interwoven acoustic styles. The Duhks’ unique sound has also earned the band a Grammy nomination, one Juno Award, two additional Juno nominations, two Folk Alliance awards and an Americana Music Association nomination for Best Emerging Artists.
NPR says, “The inventive Canadians in The Duhks are widely beloved for their smooth blend of traditional roots music and soul, which they inject with well-placed Afro-Cuban and Celtic influences.” Ultimately though, according to band founder and claw-hammer banjoist Leonard Podolak, the Duhks “just want to play music that speaks to everybody.” Mission accomplished.
2008’s Fast-Paced World was the first Duhks record to feature prodigies Sarah and Christian Dugas. The siblings have been immersed in music their whole lives, thanks in part to their musician parents. “We had a family band that toured across Canada when I was 7 and Christian was 9,” remembers Sarah. “My father had a recording studio in the house, so I grew up hearing a variety of musicians playing everything from rap to rock to world beat. I grew up in a fun and creative environment.”
Joining the band in 2011, violinist Duncan Wickel‘s (formerly of Asheville, NC and now in Boston, MA) studies also began early with classical violin training at age 4. He was soon after introduced to Irish fiddling and has evolved into a wildly diverse and highly accomplished improviser, composer and technician on the violin; which fits amazingly with the Duhks diverse sound.
Guitarist Jordan McConnell also started digging into music at an early age and he started making guitars right out of highschool. He built both the guitar he plays on stage and one of Leonard’s favorite banjos as well. Currently, Jordan’s luthier business is taking off through the roof- a guitar he built was recently played by Seth Avett of The Avett Brothers alongside Bob Dylan on the Grammys!
Sarah and Christian have started playing as a duo and signed with Southern Ground Records (Zac Brown, Wood Brothers, Sonia Leigh). Since then they have played on Zac Brown’s Cruise “Sailing the Southern Seas” as well as the renowned folk and roots cruise “Cayamo”. They released an EP titled “Another Day” in February of 2011.
When not performing with the Duhks, Leonard has been invited into the Cecil Sharp Project based in the UK, as well as a new project, he’s started with some great Canadian songwriters called Dry Bones who performed earlier this year at the Vancouver Folk Fest.
With all of the side projects taking off, this tour is a special and rare opportunity to see the band. According to one blogger‘s live review, “The Duhks have soul in spades and a heart beat that pulses more true than an Ibiza night club. A night spent with The Duhks is summed up best by their own encore, ‘HALLELUJAH!’ Hallelujah indeed.”