Artist: Andrew Duhon
Venue: The Square Tower
Date: 19th July 2015
The keenly anticipated return to the 500 year old tower for the charismatic New Orleans singer songwriter Andrew Duhon, saw him deliver a typically varied set drawing on his eclectic musical influences from Blues, Country and Folk.
Deft picking on acoustic guitar, and also using harp and the occasional foot percussion, underpinned that gloriously honeyed metallic vocal timbre. The set was laced with new material from an album he will begin work on when he returns to the USA.
‘Gonna Take a Little Rain’ from his Grammy nominated release ‘The Moorings’ was catchy and infectious before a superb ‘Girls From Other Countries’ showing his skills as a wordsmith, asking the girls he meets to “kiss me in your native tongue” only to finally realise sheepishly that “you haven’t understood a word I’ve said”! A lilting and hypnotic tale about a guitar repairer from his home city (“They Don’t Make ‘em Like They Used To”) was followed by his poignant and evocative hurricane song ‘I Miss My Home’. ‘Crosstown Southern Blues’ addressing the Blues man’s worst enemy, ” a woman that treats you right”! ended a delightful first set.
Another Blues, a la Mississippi John Hurt preceded a superbly acerbic ‘Tandem Bike’ combining a Country achy vocal timbre with haunting harp. ‘Cecilia Champagne’ was a brilliantly observed story inspired by the picture in a coffee shop of a breathtakingly beautiful waitress from the 1940s, with Andrew ruing the fact that he has come along much too late. ‘Scared To Death Of Dying’ “but I’m not afraid to live” is a compelling and cogent insight into the human condition before ‘Just Another Beautiful Girl’, a mordant and incisive tale of small town promiscuity and religious hypocrisy, “a town that wore the bible belt a little too tight” and “Jesus might forgive her but a preacher would never forget”.
A comically salacious drinking song comparing girls with a penchant for differing spirits he admitted to never recording because his mother listens to all his records, was warmly received. ‘Old Woman’ with harp and foot stomp was an incisive slab of authentic Blues with a poetic lyric cleverly drawn from observing the mundane.
Andrew’s easy rapport throughout engaged his audience and revealed insights into the inspiration for his material. A super swampy ‘St James Infirmary’ with a stripped back vibe followed his admission of having to be corrected as to its origins by one of his English fans. ‘Sidestep Your Grave’ with its rasping beat and searing slide brought the vibrant and compelling set to a storming close.
A single encore of ‘Come On In My Kitchen’ crowned a thoroughly rewarding experience for the enthralled capacity crowd who were more than happy to provide a litmus test on the new material by the number of whoops of appreciation. His vocal has become more nuanced and his new found ability to play the bass line with his thumb has added more depth to the overall sound. I look forward to his promised return next year with that new album to savour.
(Photos courtesy of Liam Brown ©2015)
(Video by kind permission of Chris Dunning ©2015)
“Andrew Duhon was AMAZING!” (Emma Paxton)
“What a brilliant night! Good music, good venue, good people!” (Angie Sharma)
“Great night, team Square Roots and Andrew Duhon! Absolutely superb and a real southern gentleman!” (Dean Ware)
“As always, top quality music in a beautiful venue. Thoroughly deserved standing ovation! Looking forward to the next one already!” (Steve Granger)