sugar hill 4014

The Duhks – Migrations

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The Canadian folk group the Duhks frames its sometimes personal, often socially aware material with traditional fiddle, banjo, guitar, and percussion on its second major-label set, which includes the lovelorn "In the Rain," the bluegrass "Down to the River," the Irish/Indian-influenced "Domino Party," and the gospel-inflected "Moses Don't Get Lost."

Track Listing:
1. Ol' Cook Pot - 2:34   2. Mountains O' Thing - 3:49   3. Heaven's My Home - 4:02   4. The Fox And The Bee / Myriam's / Ridée - 3:26   5. Down To The River/Jeb’s Tune - 5:04   6. Who Will Take My Place? - 3:39   7. Moses Don't Get Lost - 3:03   8. Three Fishers - 3:19   9. Domino Party!: Laine’s Jig / Close To The Floor / The Domino Party / The Musical Family - 4:07   10. Out Of The Rain - 3:21   11. Turtle Dove - 3:07

Leonard Podolak (vocals, claw hammer banjo, bouzouki, fiddle, hand claps) , Jordan McConnell (guitar, Uilleann pipe, hand claps, low whistle) , Tim O'Brien (electric guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, harmony vocals) , Tania Elizabeth (vocals, fiddle, banjo) , Scott Senior (congas, bongos, cymbals, djembe, pandeiro, shaker, surdo, pans, bells)


1. AllMusic - Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
The Duhks kick off 2006's Migration with the spunky, jazzed up "(Mama Gonna Bargain with The) Ol' Cook Pot." The song sounds like something the Manhattan Transfer might have recorded had it been a jug band, and captures an easygoing, good-time vibe. This easygoing, good-time vibe, in fact, says a lot about the band. Like Nickel Creek, the Duhks are young and hip, they play and sing well and seem intent on crossing older folk stylings with new ones. One imagines the music -- if a category is needed -- might be called neo-neo-folk, or cool folk by hip young folks. Unlike Nickel Creek, the Duhks are less about innovation than finding the right sound. That sound circles around singer Jessica Havey's buoyant, breathy (with a touch of soul) lead vocals. The production has a professional sheen to it, and Migration, no matter how much the group shuffles the acoustic arrangements, has a similar upscale sound. Because of this approach, the Duhks often remind one more of professional performers than propagators of roots music. On their version of Tracy Chapman's "Mountains O' Things," for instance, the song is simply too pretty to call much attention to the anti-materialism of the lyric. In this sense, the Duhks remind one of folk-pop groups like the Waifs, turning the pathos of an old spiritual like "Turtle Dove" into a happy folk song. Migration, then, is an exuberant contemporary folk album that will remind listeners of folk's happier side.

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