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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Get out: The Duhks in concert Friday

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The Duhks rose quickly through the roots music world this decade, putting a Winnipeg, Canada, twist on ancient song forms.

But in 2007, singer Jesse Havey, whose voice is absolutely as strong and soulful as you like, left the group, along with percussionist Scott Senior.

A deal breaker? Not quite.

The band brought in a brother-sister team, Sarah and Christian Dugas, and released yet another fine CD, "Fast Paced World," mixing and mashing Appalachian, Acadian, pop, soul and more. French-Canadian Sarah Dugas' voice is wonderful, and Christian Dugas adds tasty drum set to the band, which previously was more of a sparsely percussive outfit. Christian Dugas' playing adds a world-fusion vibe, and propels the band nicely on "Fast Paced World." The song "Magalenha" is a highlight. "Sleepin' Is All I Wanna Do" would sound right at home among the tracks of Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine."

Despite the band's many stylistic impulses, the music holds together really well, even if the lyrics come off a little preachy at times.

The Duhks come by that lyrical content honestly, though. The band has developed GreenDuhks, a project in which it fuels the touring vehicles with biodiesel, tries to eat organic on tour, offsets carbon dioxide emissions with carbon credits, recycles, wears "eco-conscious" clothes -- even uses "Earth-friendly" shampoos, soap and cosmetics, according to greenduhks.com.

Opening act Alanna Fugate, of Louisville, Ky., is also doing a creditable job of fusing ancient instrumentation and song forms to modern pop sensibilities. Bonus: Fugate is a thumping finger-style guitarist.

Go to this story at roanoke.com/entertainment to listen to a podcast with Sarah Dugas.

Who: The Duhks, with Alanna Fugate

Where: The Lantern, 211-B Draper Road, Blacksburg

When: 9:30 p.m. Friday

How much: $10

Contact: 951-1019, thelanternblacksburg.com, duhks.com.

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