Archive for the Solas Category

New Music Round-Up: Darrell Scott, The Duhks, Solas

Posted in Darrell Scott, Solas, The Duhks on August 19, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

Today is a very good day for new music. I’ve already taken a look at Chris Knight’s latest release, Heart of Stone. Today also sees the release of new records from Darrell Scott and The Duhks.

First… Darrell Scott.

Darrell Scott is a songwriter. Not just any songwriter. He writes good songs… great ones even. Grammy winning songs like the Dixie Chicks’ “Long Time Gone.” Heartbreaking ballads like Patty Loveless’ “You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.” Triumphant, joyous anthems like Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive.” All those songs came from Scott’s pen. And don’t forget the songs Scott has kept for himself. “Hank Williams’ Ghost” was named Americana Song of the Year last year by The Americana Music Association.

It’s obvious then, that Darrell Scott knows how to write a good song. On his new album, Modern Hymns, Scott shows that he also has an ear for other people’s music as well. Hymns is a cover project in which Scott pays tribute to some of his favorite songwriters by tackling songs by Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, John Hartford, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Guy Clark, and Kris Kristofferson just to name a few. And, as you may expect from Scott (who is also an in-demand session player), the execution is flawless. He enlists the help of friends such as Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Casey Driessen, and long-time partner in crime Tim O’Brien (among others) to bring these songs to life.

Here are two tracks from the album. The first is Scott’s fairly faithful take on Paul Simon’s “American Tune.” On the second track, Scott pumps some energy into Joni Mitchell’s “Urge for Going” with a little help from Del McCoury.

Darrell Scott: American Tune (Buy Album)

Darrell Scott: Urge for Going (Buy Album)

This week also saw a new release from The Duhks. It’s a slightly different line-up this time around for the Canadian folk-grassers. Percussionist Scott Senior and vocalist Jessica Havey are replaced here by brother and sister duo Sarah and Christian Dugas. The Dugas siblings join Duhks veterans Leonard Podolak, Jordan McConnell, and Tania Elizabeth. The faces are different, but the sound remains largely the same. They still blend old time string band music with elements of latin percussion, folk, jazz, blues, celtic, and bluegrass. The biggest difference here is that Sarah Dugas has brought a number of original songs to the group to go with The Duhks usual mix of instrumentals, traditional tunes, and covers.

The first track here is one of Dugas’ originals, the title track “Fast Paced World.” The next two tracks really should be listened to together. Podolak’s instrumental “Ship High in Transit” blends seamlessly into the latin flavored “Magalenha.” I dare you not to dance.

The Duhks: Fast Paced World (Buy Album)

The Duhks: Ship High in Transit (Buy Album)
The Duhks: Magalenha (Buy Album)

The Duhks also appear on the new album from Ireland’s celtic supergroup Solas. And while Solas’ new album, For Love and Laughter isn’t officially released until August 26th, I thought I’d include it here.

This is, admittedly, the first I’ve ever really heard from Solas, but I find I’m enjoying it quite a bit. The track featured here, “Vital Mental Medicine/The Pullet” is an instrumental and one of two tracks featuring The Duhks.

Solas: Vital Mental Medicine/The Pullet (Buy Album)