Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Duke and The King: ‘Welcome to the Midnight Church of Sin’

The Duke and the King with Maya Solovey
Mercury Lounge
Review and photos by Karp
[mp3] The Duke and the King: "The Morning I get to Hell"
[mp3] Maya Solovey: "Dreamgirls"
[mp3] Maya Solovey: "Touch"

With that loaded introduction I was not quite sure what I was getting myself into last night at the Mercury Lounge. Even after spending most of today ruminating (I’ve done no work), I’m still not sure I can even accurately explain the way the show touched me.

We all love the Felice Brother’s albums, so I was excited to see what Simone (The Duke) was going to do joined by the bluesy Robert Burke (The King) and a hip hop producer The Deacon (amazing shirt!). With a blend of mournful poetry (Simone is clearly very talented in the rhetoric department), soulful heartfelt crooning, hushed melodies and simple beats; The Duke and The King delivered one of the best concerts I’ve seen all summer. The night was something like a church revival for the lost with a sound that captured the tragic hope somewhere between innocence and reality. Although I can understand the references to early Americana (hate that word) music for some reason I was reminded greatly of Kerouac’s On the Road. Am I reading into this more then I should? Probably… but despite the current oppressive NYC heat and delicious cold beer, a concert experience is what you make of it, and for me this was nothing less then spiritual. The Duke and the King's album Nothing Gold Can Stay is out now on Ramseur Records.

Click after the jump for more of the review and show photos.

Also a MAJOR heads up for Maya Solovey. I went to the show early based on her Myspace page and not only was she impressive vocally (beautifully haunting and refreshing) but she dresses fabulously, wears glitter, and is one of few genuinely sweet people I’ve ever met. She’s sort of an early Regina Spektor with a guitar, has the brains to learn (and then write and sing in) new languages and the guts to cover Johnny Cash. She’s (as she said) “music for the folks”. Maya has tons of free music available at her Website, and has two EPs coming in the fall.

No comments: