The Duhks,
The Duhks
(Sugar Hill, 2005)

This fresh, exciting band has an ear-catching Celtic-gospel style. The Winnipeg, Manitoba, quintet's secret weapons are soulful vocalist Jessica Havey and talented fiddler Tania Elizabeth.

I am thinking if Alison Krauss had been born as fraternal twins in Ireland, we could have had the Duhks much sooner. As it is, we are glad to have this Canadian group now, along with its fresh interpretations and arrangements of such classic material as "Death Came a Knockin'" and "The Wagoner's Lad." The album also includes an attempt at fellow Canadian Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows," although this track does not really seem to fit in with the rest. (An acoustic-reggae cover of Sting's "Love is the Seventh Wave," surprisingly, does.)

Besides the two headliners, the band includes Leonard Podolak on banjo and vocals, Jordan McConnell on guitar, pipes, whistles and vocals, and Scott Senior on percussion. Bela Fleck co-produced the album, obviously seeing the Duhks as fellow travelers down the road of contemporary approaches to roots styles and material. Fans of Nickel Creek will be glad to find the Duhks paddling in familiar eddies of the newgrass stream.

- Rambles
written by Tom Schulte
published 7 May 2005

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