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The Duhks


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 8, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B0007989PC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,217 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Death Came A Knockin'
2. Mists Of Down Below
3. Gene's Machine
4. Four Blue Walls
5. The Wagoner's Lad
6. True Religion
7. The Magnolia Set
8. You And I
9. Everybody Knows
10. Dance Hall Girls
11. The Dregs Of Birch
12. DU Temps Que J'etais Jeune
13. Dover, Delaware
14. Bonus Track: Love Is The Seventh Wave

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

Celtic fiddles, Irish reels, old-time banjo, gospel vocals, and Latin percussion forge a common spirit within the uncommonly vibrant fusion of the Duhks (pronounced "ducks"). The young band from Winnipeg casts a wide net over traditional influences, breathing fresh life into the age-old balladry of "The Wagoner's Lad," generating a dynamic tension between the soulful depth of Jessica Havey's vocals and Tania Elizabeth's fiddle on a pair of spiritual standards ("Death Came a-Knockin'" and "True Religion"), and keeping the dance floor jumping with their sprightly instrumental medleys. Though the Canadian quintet doesn't feature much original material, they extend their interpretive reach to contemporary songs as well, with the desperate edge of Ruth Ungar's "Four Blue Walls" providing a bracing change of mood, while the bittersweet rendition of Paul Brady's "You and I" (with the songwriter on harmony vocals) carries the musical interplay beyond the traditional realm. (Their attempt at fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows" represents a rare misstep, lacking both the droll humor and the dark fatalism of the original.) Banjo iconoclast Béla Fleck coproduced the album, championing the Duhks as fellow trailblazers who use traditional elements to create a sound all their own. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

This is my favorite of the three Duhks albums I bought.
rmfii
The Duhks is a group of young twenty-something musicians all with amazing talent.
Cassidy Sutton
The CD is a great addition to any who like folk and bluegrass music.
Sara D Parker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By twangmon on February 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Hot, young musicians are embracing acoustic music in unprecedented numbers. Mandolinists Andy Leftwich and Chris Thiele, flatpicker Cody Kilby, fingerpicker Kaki King, and banjoist Noam Pikelny are among the brilliant players in their 20s who are pushing the boundaries of the traditional repertoire while paying homage to the greats who preceded them. Hailing from Winnipeg, Canada, the Duhks are the latest members of this acoustic new wave to mix the ancient and the modern in startling and vibrant ways.

The quintet (drummer Scott Senior, banjoist Leonard Podolak, guitarist Jordan McConnell, fiddle player Tania Elizabeth, and lead singer Jessica Havey) weave Appalachian fiddle tunes, Celtic riffs, and French folk music with strands of honky tonk, salsa, reggae, swing, and gospel to create an original, grooving sound. The vocal interplay in the lively "Du Temps Que J'etais Jeune" is delicate and soulful, and the instrumentals "Gene's Machine," "The Dregs of Birch," and "The Magnolia Set" reveal the band's fearsome chops. Havey's voice adds a spunky, sultry magic to the ensemble's inspiring debut.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Richard Wells on February 8, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Hot new bands around the world are going to have a lot of catching up to do to get into the running with the Duhks. This Bela Fleck produced debut cd is loaded, and except for the oddly misplaced Leonard Cohen cover of "Everybody Knows," which may be a tribute to a fellow Canadian, it doesn't let up. The disc starts with an attention-getter that lets you know you'll be listening to a talented group, but it's with the instrumentals that you hear just how talented, and "Monster Talent," would be an apt phrase. The Duhks compress a lot of music and a lot of life between the traditional "Death Came a-Knockin'" and the brand new "Love is the Seventh Wave," and I hope they're just getting started. A highly recommended debut that should transcend any category the record-people try to put them into. Catch the disc, catch them live, then catch 'em if you can.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By S. Nelson on August 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
The Duhks are amazing live. I caught them several times, most memorably at a late-night performance at High Sierra Music festival (in CA)and they churned an exhausted audience into a jigging frenzy. They pour energy into their performances, with the interplay between Leonard (Banjo) and the audience being my favorite part to watch- it's a contest to see who can grin larger and dance/play faster.

I was happy to purchase the CD and find a well-produced set of songs. So often a live band puts out a terrible studio album or vice-versa.

My only complaint is that the enhancement of the CD makes it impossible to rip the music to Mp3. I have a legitimate right to put my legally purchased music onto my Mp3 player, and Sugar Hill records has ignored that. The supposed extras on the CD have also not worked on my computer.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By greenegret on March 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I don't know anything much about folk music, but I really love this. I saw their video on a late-night cable country music channel, loved the song, and looked them up at one of the online music download stores. I was going to buy just that song (Mists of Down Below), but they had more than three that I liked, so I ordered this CD. I'm pleased to say that I love all of it, even the instrumental pieces. The more I listen to it, the more I like it. I love Jessica Havey's voice and the fast, intricate instrumentation. If this folk-ignoramous likes it this much, it has real cross-over appeal.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Ross on August 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Playing Time - 61:45 -- The Duhks' music is best described as highly-arranged folk and Americana that draws inspiration from various genres. The quintet hails from Winnipeg, and it is complemented by many well-known guest artists (Paul Brady, Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Abigail Washburn, Victor Wooten). Their self-titled CD gives us a tightly crafted, innovative mix of songs with haunting vocals and striking guitar, banjo, bass, fiddle and percussion. Even some low whistle and Uilleann pipes find their way into the musical caldron.

Four of the five Duhks provide vocals, both lead and harmonies. Two guest vocalists (Furleen Maines, Captain Lavender) also appear on one track apiece. A number of their songs illustrate how The Duhks blend tradition with their own individuality. The opening song, "Death Came A Knockin'," was one heard done by Ruthie Foster at the Edmonton Folk Festival. "The Wagoner's Lad" is a traditional piece they heard done by Doc Watson. "Gene's Machine" is a fiesty instrumental medley (Mary McMahon's, Pretty Little Indian, Sligo Creek, Dublin Reel). The juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary is most emphasized by their inclination to also cover songs writtten by the likes of Jez Lowe, Leonard Cohen, Paul Brady and Sting.

Creative artistry is built around an ability to free one's own muse. The Duhks' approach allows for personal expression without belittling the very traditions that they're stretching. This successful and impressive debut effort was done right and with abundant rewards. Before reinventing tradition, The Duhks have obviously lived and breathed the tradition itself by knowing, respecting, and appreciating the natural graces and flowing rhythms of Celtic and folk music. It's an amazing feat for these twenty-somethings.
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