Duhk Duhk Grammy!
Posted on February 17, 2005Less than two months before the JUNO Awards come to Winnipeg, one local act is already getting a little taste of what winning a major award is like. The Duhks, one of Winnipeg's most successful acts, is one of the bands featured on Beautiful Dreamer, a multi-artist compilation of the works of songwriting legend Stephen Foster (\"Oh Susanna\", \"Swanee River\"). On February 14, Beautiful Dreamer was awarded a Grammy for best traditional folk album at the internationally-televised event in Los Angeles. The quintet offers up a unique version of Foster's \"Camptown Races\" on the album, which also features tracks by Ron Sexsmith, Michelle Shocked, Alison Krauss, and even Yo Yo Ma.
Less than a week before the news of the Grammy broke, The Duhks officially released their self-titled album on prominent American roots label Sugar Hill Records. The Duhks gear up to release the CD to a hometown audience on February 17 at the West End Cultural Centre, capping off a great week in the group's already impressive career. The new album was co-produced by Dixie Chicks engineer Gary Paczosa and banjo legend Bela Fleck and is already poised to put the roots band at the top of its genre.
The Duhks' have already made a name for their inventive brand of neo-bluegrass music that has Appalachian, French-Canadian, and traditional Celtic influences. The band, lead by banjoist Leonard Podolak - son of Winnipeg Folk Festival founder Mitch Podolak - grew from the ashes of Scruj MacDuhk, which featured Ruth Moody (The Wailin' Jennys) and Christian Dugas (Rudimental), among others. Podolak reformed an entirely new band with fiddle virtuosi Tania Elizabeth, soulful vocalist Jessica Havey, dummer Scott Senior, and guitarist Jordan McConnell and released the critically-acclaimed Your Daughters & Your Sons in 2003.
While the members of The Duhks might not actually get to hold onto the Grammy, the win marks the first time in nearly two decades that a local recording artist has contributed to a Grammy. In recent years, several other Manitobans - Fresh I.E., Remy Shand, Crash Test Dummies, and Neil Young - have been nominated for the coveted award. The Grammy will offer The Duhks some added exposure, as should the sales of Beautiful Dreamer, and help to push the band's latest release out to even wider audiences.
After the Winnipeg CD release, The Duhks will continue a Canadian tour with dates in Calgary, Turner Valley, Toronto and Montreal and a February 23 performance on Canada AM (CTV).