The Dutchess and the Duke: She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke (Rhythmethod)

 |   |  1 min read

Back to Me
The Dutchess and the Duke: She's the Dutchess, He's the Duke (Rhythmethod)

About 20 years ago there was a short-lived but interesting "new folk" movement which emerged out of New York's Downtown. Following the success of Michelle Shocked's Texas Campfire Tapes ('86) came Roger Manning, Cindy Lee Berryhill and Kirk Kelly who sometimes rapped like Beat poets, pulled in a fair swag of young Dylan and Woody Guthrie, and dressed like they were auditioning for Velvet Underground.
A number were signed to the hardcore label SST too: they had a "folk you" attitude.
I'd almost forgotten about these acts -- then I heard Dutchess/Duke out of Seattle who similarly nod to the Dylan/Guthrie axis and "folk you", but also have some of Shocked's campfire attitude as well as hauling in a bit of the Beatles for Sale period when Lennon fell under the influence of Dylan. Folk with pop melodies.
There's an upbeat quality to much of what Dutchess/Duke do -- although they also manage the whole melancholy thing as befits the genre.
But on repeat plays this one reminds you how simple music can convey complex emotions, and they also have enough in the way of choruses to keep your attention.
They are pleasingly lo-fi and a bit wobbly ("authentic" I guess is the word?) and on the cover they hold up the album title and tracks on flash cards like Dylan doing Subterranean Homesick Blues.
So they know their history but also bring something post-modern and "folk you" to the genre.
Pretty interesting. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Frightened Rabbit: The Midnight Organ Fight (FatCat/Rhythmethod)

Frightened Rabbit: The Midnight Organ Fight (FatCat/Rhythmethod)

This three-piece from Glasgow have an urgent delivery which puts you in mind of the Waterboys at their best, but of course this is very Scottish. Tossed out with garage band energy and a rare... > Read more

Monsters of Folk: Monsters of Folk (Spunk)

Monsters of Folk: Monsters of Folk (Spunk)

Given who these people are -- Conor Oberst aka Bright Eyes, M Ward, and Jim James of My Morning Jacket (aka Yim Yames) -- you might be forgiven for thinking this is some kind of neo-folk meeting on... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

CRAIG MARRINER INTERVIEWED (2001): Coming in from the margins

CRAIG MARRINER INTERVIEWED (2001): Coming in from the margins

There's Led Zeppelin on the jukebox, a few old soaks at the bar, a pool table in the corner and a handle of beer in front of him. Craig Marriner seems right at home in this world as distant from... > Read more

THE BOOK OF THE FILM OF THE MAN (2006): From silver screen to serious stuff

THE BOOK OF THE FILM OF THE MAN (2006): From silver screen to serious stuff

You know how it is, you see Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea and you think, “Man, I should read that book. It looks kinda neat.” Or you watch Michael Jackson: The E! Hollywood... > Read more