Duhks to swoop into Eccles
November 18, 2006
A different sort of bird will take center stage at The Eccles Center this Thanksgiving. Fusing folk with "kick-ass" rock-and-roll and a slew of diverse musical genres, The Duhks (pronounced "ducks") swoop into Park City on Saturday, Nov. 25.
Not easily pigeonholed, according to NPR’s Melissa Block, "The Duhks take Celtic, French Canadian and old-timey music and punch it up with shades of blues and soul and driving Afro-Cuban beats."
Known as talented risk-takers, the band includes soulful lead singer Jessica Harvey, Cuban percussionist Scott Senior, Celtic-style guitar player Jordan McConnell, clawhammer banjoist Leonard Podolak and Tania Elizabeth on the fiery fiddle all twenty-something talents with a knack for giving traditional roots music a fresh sound.
"We are definitely distinct and different, but we have some of the same roots as other music. We are fun to dance to," Podolak said.
Though performing together for a mere two years, the band has already racked up a Juno Award (the Canadian Grammy equivalent), two Folk Alliance awards and an Americana Music Association nomination for Best Emerging Artists, which is impressive since they have only recorded three CDs since their formation in 2002. Podolak, who was the main cog in organizing the band, is pleasantly surprised about the band’s success.
"I knew that if we could stay in the same room together the music could be great," Podolak said. "I didn’t realize just how good we could really be. Once we got to know each other and feel comfortable, the music has been fabulous."
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The tattooed and musically-adventurous quintet from Winnipeg has captured the ear of critics as well as fellow artist Béla Fleck (co-producer of the Duhks’ eponymous album).
"They possess a deep connection to various roots music and also a raging creative streak. A great combination," raves Fleck, who also proclaimed The Duhks his "new favorite band." The Associated Press praised the group’s "untethered originality" and Paste Magazine called their album "a tasty blend of folk traditions with hard-grooving world beats, country, bluegrass, jazz and a healthy injection of catchy, soulful pop."
The Duhks discovered a way to involve an array of folk, blues, jazz, cajun and Irish music among others in its repertoire.
"We are blending what hasn’t been put together," Podolak said. "But certainly, we are not re-inventing the wheel. The sounds and rhythms are. We write tunes that are influenced by tradition but that are also contemporary."
"We try to have different groves. It gets very kind of folky to really edgy to contemporary. We know that we can’t do the contemporary stuff without realizing where you we are coming from," Podolak said.
While they have won awards in Canada, the U.S. is where most of their fans are emerging.
"It’s kind of bazaar," Podolak said. "In the United States, we’re really lucky. People in the U.S. have really have gotten behind the music and have really understood what we are trying to do."
The Duhks, are excited to come to Park City and show Parkites what they are about.
"I’m really looking forward to it. It’ll be fun hang," Podolak said. "Its going to be a high energy, fun night with musicians that love what they do. We are very thankful for where we have found ourselves.
"We are doing what we do to make us happy. It’s just outstanding. It’s a gift that we are blessed with and generally, we have been making people happy.
Whether playing high-energy Irish fiddle tunes, Appalachian-style old-time music, Cuban-inflected rhythms or intertwining original instrumentals with versions of Sting, Leonard Cohen, Paul Brady and Ruth Ungar hits, The Duhks’ one-of-a-kind style is simply infectious. This unique, up-and-coming fivesome performs for one-night only in Park City, before flying the coop.
The Duhks, perform Saturday, Nov.25. at 7:30 p.m. at The George S. and Dolores Doré at Eccles Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets range from $18 – $65 (children 12 & under are half price and seniors receive a 20-percent discount). Tickets are $5 in Section C for Summit County students (K-12). New this season: PCPAF has a second Box Office location at 625 Main Street (in the Prudential Utah office building on the corner of Heber Ave. and Main Street). Tickets and information are available at The Eccles Center and Main Street box offices, 655-3114 or http://www.ecclescenter.org or http://www.ParkCityTickets.com. Tickets and information are no longer available through ArtTix.