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) are vocalist Jessee Havey and clawhammer banjoist/ vocalist Leonard Podolak, with the addition of fiddler Anna Lindblad from Sweden, drummer/percussionist Kevin Garcia, and guitarist/bouzouki player Colin Savoie-Levac. Paste calls their music, “A tasty blend of..folk traditions with hard-grooving world beats, country, bluegrass, jazz, and a healthy injection of catchy, soulful pop.”
The Duhks are on the road in the Eastern US and Canada the summer of 2015. They pick up touring in early July with shows in West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Michigan before returning to Calanda to play Festival Memoire et Racines in Joliette, QC. They return stateside for a couple of New York performances and then are back into Canada in August to play the Edmonton Folk Music Festival in Alberta, Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival in BC, and Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival in Ontario to complete their summer tour.
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 leaves festival crowds on their feet. Over the course of four 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 released their latest studio album Beyond the Blue, which was produced by Mike + Ruthy in June 2014 through Compass Records. Michael Bialas writes in Huffington Post, “this tasty potpourri of cultural influences, styles and substance sounds as vital as ever on Beyond the Blue.“
All of the people who have been in the band over the years, including non-touring founding members Tania Elizabeth and Jordan McConnell (who both appear on the album) have had a hand in shaping our sound and direction,” says The Duhks founder, Leonard Podolak. “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.
Musically, 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, perfectly complemented by Tania’s harmonies. 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 Jesse and Tania. 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.
The Duhks On Tour:
7/2 Thu – Purple Fiddle – Thomas, WV
7/3 Fri – Mason District Park – Annandale, VA
7/4 Sat – Town Commons – Carrboro, NC
7/5 Sun – Festival For The Eno – Durham, NC
7/7 Tue – Concert Happenings in Ridgefield’s Parks (CHIRP) – Ridgefield, CT
7/8 Wed – Payomet Performing Arts Center – Truro, MA
7/9 Thu – Iron Horse Music Hall – Northampton, MA
7/10 Fri – Cabot Performing Arts Center – Beverly, MA
7/11 Sat – Prescott Park Arts Festival – Portsmouth, NH
7/12 Sun – Earlville Opera House – Earlville, NY
7/17-19 Fri-Sun – Hiawatha Music Festival – Marquette, MI
7/25-26 Sat-Sun – Festival Memoire et Racines – Joliette, QC
7/30 Thu – Towne Crier Cafe – Beacon, NY
8/1-2 Sat-Sun – Falcon Ridge Festival – Hillsdale, NY
8/6-9 Thu-Sun – Edmonton Folk Music Festival – Edmonton, AB
8/14-15 Fri-Sat – Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival – Salmon Arm, BC
8/21-23 Fri-Sun – Summerfolk Music and Crafts Festival – Owen Sound, ON