Puremusic interview with Antje Duvekot

To find the new star in the folk scene, one needn't raise one's periscope too long. There seems to be a rare consensus. She's from Heidelberg, but at 13 she moved to Delaware with her mother, who'd remarried. If you listen to AAA or folk radio, you know the person is Antje Duvekot. If you don't know her music yet, let us introduce you. (Her name is pronounced Aunt-yuh Doo-va-kot.)

She's been winning awards, both in her new hometown of Boston and nationally, having won the John Lennon songwriting contest as far back as 2003, in the Rock category, no less. More importantly, she won the Outstanding Folk Act in Boston; that's like being the best Country act in Nashville.

The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer is only Antje's second studio release, it's hard to believe. She'd put a few CDs together mostly from live shows, sometimes with tracks added. I don't know the studio debut called Dream Boulevard, but on this disc producer Richard Shindell (himself a distinguished folk music figure) has helped create a very credible and fertile atmosphere for the songs. And the songs are emotional, sometimes a little dark. But bright enough for Bank of America to put "Merry-Go-Round" in a national campaign, which ran during the Super Bowl.

The few players are superbly chosen, but to me it the background singers were at least as important. The producer himself is a fine singer and a great blend, as are Lucy Kaplansky and the ubiquitous Mark Erelli. But man, when John Gorka comes in on the great song "Long Way," it really hit me. He just sounds like America to me, the best of what we are. And his blend with the delicate but wiry tones of the artist is something your ears need behold.

Like all artists who may have just come into view, Antje Duvekot's been hammering at it a long time to get where she's at today, and it's a crossroads. Our publisher first told us about her years ago, when he caught her playing at The World Cafe in Philly, so we're late again. If you don't know her music yet, you'll be wanting her for your collection. She's the new One.

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