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The Duhks

Fast Paced World – 2008 (Sugar Hill)

Reviewed by Linda Dailey Paulson

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CDs by The Duhks

Don't compare The Duhks of "Fast Paced World" with their previous efforts. Since "Migrations," Jessee Havey (vocals) left to be replaced by Sarah Dugas. Scott Senior (percussion) departed, replaced by Christian Dugas, Sarah's brother. At the core of the Canadian-based band remain Tania Elizabeth (fiddle), Jordan McConnell (guitar) and Leonard Podolak (banjo).

The Dukhs' eclectic stew still includes a base of old time and rootsy folk with Celtic/French Canadian influences, however, Dugan's distinctive voice seems best suited to bluesy jazzbo numbers, evident by her lazy crooning on Sleepin' Is All I Wanna Do (stars on a sunny day). Other vocal fare includes the poppy Toujours Vouloir and a quick stop in Brazil (Magalenha).

Variety is always welcome, and The Duhks are deep with talent, but it is not fully exploited save for 95 South, a roots number that gets the whole band singing. There are a few instrumentals including Adam's 3-Step, A Ship in High Transit and New Rigged Ship, but these never fully develop and evolve into sets that truly showcase the playing prowess of Elizabeth, McConnell, and Podolak, which is a shame since they are indeed the heart of the band.