Hailed by The New York Times as one of the artists at the forefront of the neo-folk movement, the Duhks continue the evolution with their fourth album, Fast Paced World, (August 19th / Sugar Hill Records). "We traveled from Winnipeg, locked ourselves in a Nashville basement, pooled our ideas together and invented a new sound," says new frontwoman and bilingual, budding soul queen, Sarah Dugas (she replaced Jessee Havey in 2007).
Produced by Jay Joyce, who joins an impressive line of producers (Béla Fleck, Tim O'Brien) before him, the Duhks have created their most energetic, fully realized, unearthly album to date. Seriously. "Jay's basement studio was like something out of the Star Trek Enterprise," adds founder and clawhammer banjoist, Leonard Podolak, who, in the past, "traditionally stuck close to the acoustic sound of our instruments. This record is a beautiful mosaic of different ideas and soundscapes."
Leonard, Sarah, Tania Elizabeth (fiddle, mandolin), guitarist Jordan McConnell and new worldbeat drummer Christian Dugas (Sarah's brother) have melded French lounge pop ("Toujours Vouloir") and scratchy soul meditations on the Galveston flood in 1900 ("Mighty Storm") and sleeping ("Sleepin' Is All I Wanna Do") with the soundtrack of the weirdest 1930s Marlene Dietrich movie you never saw ("This Fall"), and beyond. "We're all proud of this record and can't wait to release it to the world," adds Sarah.
In the space between the Grammy-nominated Migrations (2006, Sugar Hill Records) and now, the Juno-winning band has gained critical love ("overall virtuosity that could make them stars" - Boston Globe), toured the world and earned a solid fan base - no doubt due to their manic, spirited live shows. (Check YouTube for John Paul Jones joining the band for "Whole Lotta Love").
Environmental issues have always been a passion for the band, inspiring them to launch The Duhks Sustainability Project (www.greenduhks.com). The goal is to "tour as sustainably as possible - Biodiesel, local organic farmers, sustainable eco-conscious clothing," says Tania, who was recently invited by Bonnaroo to speak about sustainability during the 2008 festival.
THE DUHKS ~ US TOUR DATES
09/05/2008 Great Barrington, MA- Club Helsinki
09/06/2008 Hoboken, NJ- Maxwell's
09/10/2008 New York, NY- Joe's Pub
09/11/2008 Annapolis, MD- Ram's Head on Stage
09/12/2008 Philadelphia, PA - Tin Angel
09/13/2008 Pittsburgh, PA - Thunderbird Café
09/25/2008 Oakland, CA - Yoshi's at Jack London Square
09/29/2008 Seattle, WA - Tractor Tavern
10/03/2008 Homer, AK - The Downeast Saloon
10/04/2008 Anchorage, AK - Alaska Center for the Performing Arts
10/05/2008 Kodiak, AK - Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium
10/08/2008 Blacksburg, VA - The Lantern
10/10/2008 Pittsboro, NC- Shakori Hills Grassroots festival
10/11/2008 Pittsboro, NC- Shakori Hills Grassroots festival
10/12/2008 Pittsboro, NC- Shakori Hills Grassroots festival
10/15/2008 Virginia Beach, VA - The Jewish Mother
10/16/2008 Arlington, VA - IOTA Club
10/17/2008 Asheville, NC - Garage at Biltmore
10/18/2008 Charlotte, NC - Neighborhood Theatre
10/20/2008 Atlanta, GA - Smith's Olde Bar
10/21/2008 Athens, GA - The Melting Point
10/24/2008 Live Oak, FL- Spirit of the Suwanee Music park
10/25/2008 Live Oak, FL- Spirit of the Suwanee Music park
10/29/2008 Somerville, MA - Johnny D's
10/30/2008 Norfolk, CT- Infinity Hall