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Antje Duvekot

January 12, 2024 at 8:00 pm 10:00 pm

Singer-songwriter, Antje Duvekot is poised to unveil her fifth
studio album, “New Wild West”, on September 15th. According
to Duvekot, this collection of songs marks the pivotal juncture
of mid-life and represents a new rung on the ladder of healing
from trauma. The songs on “New Wild West” signal a genuine
shift in Duvekot’s relationship with some of the enduring
themes she has grappled with over the years. “On the whole”,
says Duvekot, “my older songs sought to disarm trauma by
bluntly acknowledging its destabilizing nature and creating a
space in which to exist with that sensation, both for myself and
my audiences. In contrast, the newer songs have the teeth and
tenacity to openly confront and defy trauma. As such, I feel
very warmly towards this collection of songs. They are long
overdue dissidents”. Duvekot’s amplified voice in mid-life
carries a protective fierceness that resonates across the
album. Songs like “Girl on a Wire” and “Evolution” salute the
perseverance we all apply to our human journey towards
finding our voice. Duvekot says of hers, “I crawled into music
as a protective vessel when I was a teenager. It lent me safety
and allowed me to stay open and let in more continuous
sunlight than I could have, otherwise. I want to pay back that
loan. Many of the songs on ‘New Wild West’ do that”.

The album “New Wild West” came to fruition through the
collaboration of Duvekot and esteemed New England
singer-songwriter Mark Erelli after a joint tour inspired the idea.
Over the course of a year, Duvekot recorded most vocals from
her home, while Erelli laid down the majority of instrumentation
and production in his basement studio with notable guest
performances by Seth Glier, Robby Hecht, Winnie Horan, John
Gorka, Richard Shindell, and Kenny White. The tracks were
mixed and mastered in Woodstock. Consistent with the album’s
central theme of pushing beyond comfort zones and embracing
new frontiers, the cover art was generated by an AI, which
Duvekot admits made her considerably uncomfortable at first:
“The AI-generated image is evocative and uncannily fitting, yet I
was uneasy about its non-human origin. In the end, I could not
resist the poetry behind that discomfort, given the theme of the
album!”

“New Wild West” is lush with the poignant poetry that is the
hallmark of every Antje Duvekot release. The album’s title track,
“New Wild West,” encourages someone in a historical position of
privilege to accept impending progress with a gently patronizing
sense of sympathy. “Open Waters” espouses authenticity and
bravery, in contrast to “[those who] have volunteered to be
chained by fear. From one pioneer to another: it’s not that we
aren’t scared, but I’ll meet you there, out in the open waters.” “Girl
on a Wire” revisits a tightrope metaphor that once ran through
Duvekot’s 2009 song “Vertigo,” where the protagonist feared “I
will break all my bones; I lied about the Vertigo.” In “Girl,” the
protagonist, instead, “walks a tightrope in the eye of the storm…I
am the girl who out-dared gravity…you can keep your Phoenix
and SpaceX and Richard Branson, this is me flying, this is me
dancing.” The opening track on the album, “Evolution,” echoes a
similar sentiment, celebrating growth (and literal evolution) and
inviting us to “marvel at how far we came since the early dog
days of our prehistoric dawn. Back when the phases of the moon
were still just phrases without a tune…But I see you now and
Holy cow, look at you now.”

The piano track, “Dylan Thomas (1996-1998),” was inspired
by Duvekot passing by the gravestone of a two-year-old
inside a cemetery while on tour. In it, she gives thanks for
the grace of time: “I know now what I owe, and I shall speak
it in your name. It’s to drink freely from that well and not
dwell one more day in the walls of shame.” Moving past
self-pity into ownership, she declares “I am no unlucky one.”
Some thematically stand-alone tracks include
“Anwesenheit,” an Earth Day song commissioned by the
Goethe Institute, and “Lottery Ticket,” written on assignment
for a podcast. Additionally, there’s the sultry “Traces,” which
describes the romantic chemistry felt across a telephone
line while dating during Covid.

Yet another testament to the powerhouse that is Antje
Duvekot, “New Wild West” is a sonic and lyrical knockout
that marks a newly blazed trail in Duvekot’s songwriting
career, celebrating the mid-life transition into a greater
sense of self. As always, Duvekot deftly captures the
essence of the collective journey that is the human
condition, and Mark Erelli hits it home with exquisitely
executed musical orchestration.

$25 General Admission

The Linda WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio

518.465.5233

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The Linda WAMC’s Performing Arts Studio

339 Central Avenue
Albany, NY 12206
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