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The Duhks
Fast Paced World

Review By Steven Stone
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  The Duhk's music is the very essence of contemporary "roots" music. They combine instrumental and vocal textures from folk, blues, country, and soul with the rip-roaring energy of rock and roll. Their Juno-winning combination of youthful vigor and acoustic grit has won legions of fans in both the US and their native Canada.

On their fourth album the Duhks introduce a new front-woman, Sarah Dugas, to replace their original lead singer, Jessica Havey. Given Havey's strong visual and musical presence (it's hard not to notice and remember a bald-headed chick festooned with tattoos who belts out songs like Bono on growth hormones) integrating a new vocalist into the band can't help but produce some rather profound changes. Sarah Dugas has an eclectic musical background. Her last band, Madrigia, featured seven female vocalists and performed material from a wide swath of international cultural traditions. Dugas' wide-ranging musical experience serves her well in the Duhks. Her vocals on "ToujourVoulour" demonstrate her vocal power and delicacy. Sure, she can belt with the best of ‘em, but Dugas' primary strength is her subtlety and ability to deliver a nuanced performance. Tania Elizabeth's fiddle, Jordan McConnell's guitar and Christian Dugs' percussion have more room to create musical textures than on the band's earlier efforts. The current band roster also has greater range and musical unpredictability. Instead of organic white soul they focus more on Celtic melodies and middle-eastern polyrhythms.

The Duhks keep a grueling touring schedule, transversing from Canada to Australia through Europe across the United States during the festival season. In an effort to minimize the negative environmental impact of all this globe-trotting the band has launched "The Duhks Sustainability Project" at www.greenduhks.com. They tour "as sustainably as possible – Biodeael, local organic farmers, and sustainable eco-conscious clothing." Personally, I've always thought that naked was the most ecologically-correct attire, but I digress. At least they are trying...

Given their busy performance schedule, dedicated festival-goers will have maple opportunities to see the band live. But for more sedentary music fans Fast Paced World serves up a healthy helping of the Duhks special sauce. The results are more than ducky…















































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