Friday, August 29, 2014

INTERVIEW: ANDREW DUHON SHARES HIS SOULFUL ROOTS APPROACH TO MUSIC

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CBBlues.com fans will have read our reviews of the recent Andrew Duhon concerts in our area of the Costa Blanca. We look forward to his next visit in 2015. The distance between the music of great artists is the thickness of a guitar string. We asked Andrew if he would go the extra mile and give us an insight into his life and music. This is what he gave us...

INTERVIEW by WilfRaydo



CBBLUES * How did music find Andrew Duhon ?

  • ANDREW * I can remember music as early as anything else. I think the music that really began to move me, I found around 15.

    It was older folk music and delta blues. Stuff that was musically minimal yet seemed to be greater than the sum of its parts in terms of content and soul including artists like Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt and Lightnin Hopkins, Mississippi John Hurt.

    Then it was the simple brilliance of the stories sung by Jim Croce and John Prine. The storytelling element coupled with the 'soul' which taps into some marrow of real human condition. That’s what found me. 


CBBLUES * Are there any other musicians in the Duhon family ?

  • ANDREW * My mother can slowly find her way a piano. My father can't even dance. So, not exactly. I was told recently that my grandfather on my father's side played harmonica a bit. I hardly knew or saw him before he died, but I found that interesting that he played harp a bit. 


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CBBLUES * Whose music are you listening to?

  • ANDREW * I like M. Ward. I think he's one of my favorites these days 


CBBLUES * Who has been the biggest influence on your music ?

  • ANDREW * I don't know. I think literature has been the biggest influence in the sense that I don't want to write songs that hide behind a melody. I intend to write lyrics that have purpose. That’s more important to me than any other aspect of the song, and I'm inspired by any writing that feels brave and honest. 


CBBLUES * Which other blues musician(s) would you like to play with?

  • ANDREW * I guess I don't think about playing with a blues musician. I'd love to have met Snooks Eaglin and picked a few with him, but I missed my shot there.

    I'm not really a 'Blues Musician' in the sense that I jam to the 1-4-5 of a shuffle blues progression for fun. That stuff used to move me, but it doesn't anymore.

    'Blues' that I'm interested in has nothing to do with the musical form, and all to do with the feeling. I only play guitar and harmonica. I'm not well versed in a ton of instruments, but it seems to me like playing an instrument is a process in finding a voice through that instrument, quite literally learning how to sing through the instrument. I'm only just learning how to express my own voice through the guitar, and I have a long way to go. The path to finding that voice almost always seems to get there by way of copying heroes, but I think stopping there is a mistake. 


CBBLUES * Is there another album on the way!

  • ANDREW * There's always a record on the way I'd think. I'm not recording, but I'm writing quite a bit. I think the process of traveling through new places and playing these tours does good things in feeding the writing process. 


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CBBLUES * Would you consider doing a Blues album?

  • ANDREW * I'm not sure what that means. Would I record an entire album of covers of blues standards? Nah, that's not for me.

    My best is my words, and if I left that completely out, I'd be missing the mark. I do enjoy playing an old standard or two, and finding my own voice inside of an old blues or folk song is a magical thing, a way of connecting yourself to the fluidity of the folklore, but I think that's a practice for live performance for me.

    I have thought writing my own verses to a blues song or two, sort of in the way that movie makers talk about changing the ending to a film they've seen or made themselves. I think about that as an interesting theme to tunes that folks are familiar with, but with a story that is new. That's no new trick in folk music, but I'd be interested to try my hand at it.

    Would I write my own record entirely of 'bluesy' songs? Perhaps, but the blurred line between a standard blues song and something new is far too tempting, and in my opinion, far more interesting.

    Blues is a jumping off point in my mind. Some might say THE jumping off point. That’s all fine and well, but to get there and not to jump. Where's the fun in that?

     Let me know if you might need anything else? * Andrew