Long Live The Duke and the King - The Duke And The King Album Review
I can factually and honestly state that 'Long Live the Duke and The King' is one of my favourite albums of 2010. As I listen, for perhaps the hundredth time to 'Hudson River' (my stand out track) I wonder how this music could ever get old. I just don't think it will. For me they tick all the boxes - amazing musicians, vocalists (all of them!) and great production (this album being entirely self-produced and recorded in the band's own studio outside (literally) of New York).
The Duke and the King, or 'Duke' as I shall henceforth refer to them are a hard band to place - seemingly out of place in the 21st century their musical style harks back to the likes of Crosby, Stills, Nash and, well, Young. / Love / and a melee of other 1960's and 70's bands. They are not directly comparable to any of the above, but as I say, a mixture of them and more modern bands - including not surprisingly the Felice Brothers (given Simone Felice's eponymous connections).
Duke's first album - 'Nothing Gold Can Stay' was suggested to me for listening pleasure by my Uncle (rock on Uncle Frearson) - following which I caught them live for review at the Union Chapel (my favourite London venue) - and, except for the weirdest crowd I have ever experienced, the night has gone down as one of the best gigs I've ever been to!
This second album is simply awesome - from opening track "Gloria", through to my fave "Hudson River" and on to closing track "Don't Take That Plane Tonight" (never fear - I have a crippling fear of flying so will heed their advice!) the album is a maelstrom of music - whirling around you and sweeping you up into it. It doesn't really need this analogy, as the Duke's brilliant mix of soul / rock / pop / blues just swells my musical heart to near busting as I skip back to relisten to the opening bars of "You and I" and crank up the volume, or as I just hit the repeat button and let the joy wash over me.
I can't recommend The Duke and The King highly enough, and to sound pretentious I think they are what would be called a band for musicians (not that I am one - but I think I get this!). Don't miss the boat on the Duke - and see them whenever they come to town, seeing them in the Union Chapel will be one of 'those' gigs for me: "When I was a young'un I saw The Duke...."etc and so on!
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