The Duhks

'Fast Paced World’

(Sugar Hill)



"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882) US "philosopher, poet, essayist"




Celt In A Twist: It’s a fast paced world but The Duhks seem to have a natural instinct to float above the commotion.  Or, more to the point, they’re up to the challenge. For 2008, the band quickly follows the release of an EP called ‘This Fall’ with a new album, Fast Paced World and a new line up featuring a set of siblings... one family, two new Duhks, with singer Sarah Dugas and drummer Christian Dugas. Our good friend, fiddler Tania Elizabeth has joined us to fill in the details. It’s great to talk with you again Tania. Are you keeping well?


Tania Elizabeth: Oh excellent! We just finished our music video for the title track of the record, yesterday and it's going to be wild!


CIAT: I can't wait to see it. Any tantalizing tidbits you can share?


TE: Well, we played at the lowest land point in the entire world. We were down a hundred and fifty miles south of LA. Basically, it's this apocalyptic kind of scene. It's amazing and we're going to put all kinds of details and footage at our website as soon as possible.


CIAT: That is too cool, Tania! So, let's back up for a sec. What has become of Jessica Havey and Scott Senor?


TE: Jess left the band almost three years a go now. It really takes a special kind of person to be able to put up with the craziness that is touring with The Duhks. She decided that for her own personal balance, she needed more time at home. So, she's living in Winnipeg, she's doing her own thing. I hear she's doing super well. Scot left the band about eighteen months a go at this stage in the game. He found out that he and his partner were expecting their second kid and he didn't want to miss out on all the stuff he missed out on the first time around. You know, first steps first words ... all that stuff; he wasn't there and it was killing him at the time and he was like, "I can't do that again" The family of Duhks lives on. It's just getting extended you know?


CIAT: The circle widens all the time.


TE: Exactly!


CIAT:  The Nashville experience seems to be wearing well on you. How did you hook up with producer  Jay Joyce, he of Patty Griffin and John Hiatt fame and what did he bring to your new project?


TE: Jay is amazing! He totally got the vibe of the band and was able to help us take it to a completely other level. He was basically like a sixth member of the band. He's got this studio in his basement. It's kind of like something off the starship Enterprise. There's buttons and dials everywhere and he's like this madman sitting there. You know, he was quitting smoking and he's successfully doing it but he used to smoke like five packs a day or something! So he was wearing six patches (laughs). Yah, it was just awesome working with him and we hope to do it again in the future.


CIAT:  So let’s talk about Sarah and Christian. Now, she isn’t just dipping her toes in the pool. She brought five original songs to the album. Do tell.


TE: Sarah is a powerhouse. She proved that to me yesterday. I mean, I've always known that she was amazing but yesterday, her doing the stuff in the video ... it just reinforced her absolute willingness to give a thousand percent.  She's so creative and so attentive and aware. She didn't have the songs finished before the band was rehearsing for the record. She sat down and worked these songs out and she knew she had to step up to the plate and she did it. And, it wasn't necessarily the music we would have expected at all, but it totally made sense. I think this sis the best record we've ever made.


CIAT: I think so too. You've got your Celt In A Twist and we’re talking Duhks with Tania Elizabeth. Catch them in the intimate and trendy confines of the Biltmore Cabaret on September 30th. Learn more about their sustainability project under the Greenduhks tab at   www.duhks.com. And, I believe that's the Norwegian spelling of ducks :-) Tell us about this awareness building project, Tania.


TE: Basically, when we started touring really heavily it became readily apparent to me that our impact on the environment was absolutely unacceptable. It was absolutely insane the amount of waste we were putting out there ... the amount of gas we were using, the amount of trash that was getting thrown out of our van everyday. It's just an incredibly wasteful way to live. You're staying in a different hotel room every night so you're using new sheets, new towels, just everything about it is just very unsustainable.  Basically what Greenduhks is doing is slowly revolutionizing the touring process and making it into something that doesn't make us feel like we're destroying the earth while we're spreading love and peace. So what we do is we're traveling in a bio-diesel vehicle, we recycle. We use reusable water containers. Our new record is printed on recycled paper with soya-based ink. Our tee shirts are organic. We request organic food on our riders which is local and in season. And, the biggest thing thus far has been our new partnership with Clif Bar's GreenNotes program, which is their way of getting artists to be more sustainable and partnering with them and local environmental and social change organizations, so that we're actually supporting the community when we come into town. We're getting people excited and talking and laughing and dancing and connecting with their community and finding solutions together.


CIAT: So you guys have caught the ear of another one of our favorite contemporary Celtic acts and appear as guests on their latest album. What about your relationship with Solas?


TE: We've been friends with Solas for a long time and when they asked us to come and record on their record, we were more than happy to come and join them. And we had the pleasure of doing the recording down in Louisiana with Dirk Powell. And, Dirk Powell is an amazing producer, fiddle player, accordion player ... just general Cajun god. And, he produced the two songs we ended up doing with them, and he actually played bass on them as well. It was just a super fun day. We didn't really even know the songs when we went into the studio. We had a couple of hours rehearsal before the studio time and we just jumped in there. We had a blast! Actually, The Red Stick Ramblers came by and cooked up a huge gumbo and we had a big Cajun party ... it was fantastic!


CIAT: There are a lot of new favorites for us on the new album like 95 South and a Carlinhos Brown tune, Magalenha which we’ve heard during this interview, but let’s take it home with the title track. Can you set up Fast Paced World for us?


TE: This is a song Sarah wrote and I think it speaks to everybody in North America. It's a really great Afrobeat-style take on how we can improve our situation and pretty much where we're at. And, I have to say, I enjoy playing it a lot.





Tania Elizabeth was interviewed by Cal Koat on September 28th/08 for broadcast on Celt in a Twist, AM 1470, CJVB