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 12th / 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 invited by Bonnaroo to speak about sustainability during the festival on June 13th. In addition, Bonnaroo has chosen the Duhks to perform on the Solar Stage on June 14th.
Catch the Duhks on tour throughout 2008
6/6/2008 Enterprise, AL - Bamajam Festival
6/7/2008 Jacksonville Beach, FL - Freebird Live
6/8/2008 Tampa, FL - Skipper's Smokehouse
6/13/2008 Manchester, TN - Bonnaroo
6/21/2008 Telluride, CO - Fly Me to the Moon Saloon
6/22/2008 Telluride, CO - Telluride BGF
7/19/2008 Marquette, MI - Hiawatha Music Co-op
7/24/2008 Calgary, AB - Prince's Island Park Downtown
7/25/2008 Calgary, AB - Prince's Island Park Downtown
7/26/2008 Calgary, AB - Prince's Island Park Downtown
7/27/2008 Calgary, AB - Prince's Island Park Downtown
8/2/2008 Canmore, AB - Canmore Folk Festival
8/3/2008 Canmore, AB - Canmore Folk Festival
8/4/2008 Canmore, AB - Canmore Folk Festival
8/9/2008 Edmonton, AB - Gallagher Park
8/10/2008 Edmonton, AB - Gallagher Park
8/16/2008 Huntington, VT - Valley Stage
8/17/2008 Ottawa, ON - Ottawa Folk Festival
8/23/2008 Shropshire, UK - Shrewsbury Folk Festival