There’s no better way to remind yourself how much you luurve good ol’ fashioned folk music, than with a hearty spread of the new Dutchess and the Duke album, She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke. The album runs the wide gamut of acoustic guitar, storytelling, really nice drumbeats, and smart lyrics provided by both female (Kimberly Morrison) and male (Jesse Lortz) voices. The album boasts a charming, good old campfire sing-a-long feel. Yet, listener beware: this album requires patience. Basic formulas and structures dominate the overall picture—three-chord progressions within songs, verses, a bridge and a chorus. If you don’t have the time to let this album unfold, breathe, and to let it tell its story to you on its own terms, you really shouldn’t bother.
The feel of this album for me is reminiscent of songs from the early Freewheeling Bob Dylan era, mashed up with some of the melancholy balladry of Leonard Cohen. The thing that draws me ever nearer to this album is the synergy of Kimberly and Jesse’s voices, and their lovely harmonizing. Let’s face it, not everyone who picks up an acoustic guitar can create a song that sounds like a classic from a bygone era without covering songs from that very time frame. Let’s also face the fact, that not everyone can take an acoustic guitar and make sing-a-long style songs without sounding like an amateur college kid who got a “gig” at the local coffee shop.
Overall, I feel the need to confess mixed feelings over The Dutchess and the Duke. I had no major qualms with the album from beginning to end. But, I cannot deny the idea that it is, unfortunately, a little boring at times. It’s a nice relaxing journey, and ultimately I cannot say that everything was exceptional. Yet, a couple of songs most certainly were, and all in all, the rest of it is still pretty good.
MP3: “Reservoir Park”