The Long Trip Home

By Josh Dukes

Five comments

Josh Dukes

Josh Dukes plays an Olwell 8-key flute in boxwood, bodhrans made by Albert Alfonso & the Cooperman Drum Co, a Guild guitar & a 1998 Joe Foley bouzouki. Guest performers include Sean McComiskey, Jim Eagan, Danny Noveck, Patrick Cavanaugh, Brendan Bell & Peter Brice.

Liner note from Damien Stenson, May 2008

It was in North Carolina that I met Josh for the first time in the summer of 2005, during a traditional Irish music week. I had arrived late to the opening night and a session was well underway, with Josh sitting centre stage. My first memories were of Josh playing bouzouki and guitar during that session. After some time, he picked up the bodhrán and demonstrated his musical abilities equally well on that instrument. There was no sign of a flute at that point. My first thoughts were: “I’m glad I don’t have to teach this guy in the morning, he obviously doesn’t need much tuition.” Needless to say, Josh turned up at the flute class I was tutoring the following morning. It was clear to me at the moment, that Josh had no real reason to be there. From this first encounter, it was evident that Josh had a strong interest in Irish music, not just the flute, not just the bodhrán, not just bouzouki, but Irish music.

After first listening to this album, I found that it was everything I had expected it to be. Josh’s musical prowess on flute, guitar, bouzouki and bodhrán does not surprise me. Anyone who knows Josh and his approach to this album, will attest to his commitment and understanding of Irish music. Over the years, Josh and I have spoken about old ‘78 recordings, which have interested him in particular. Since getting to know Josh, I have gained great respect for his willingness to learn more and more about Irish music, and thus further his own musical development. It is this interest in Irish music as a genre, and not one particular instrument, which has demonstrated Josh’s understanding and love of Irish music as a whole. By any standards, a musician demonstrating ability fluidly on more than one instrument, needs little appraisal from myself.

This is the first recording by Josh and it truly does testament to the excellent level of Musician ship to be found in the Washington D.C. area. No review of this album could go unfinished without the acknowledgement of the musicians Josh has chosen to accompany him on this recording. The musicianship across this album is perfectly seamless between all musicians, who evidently understand the music particularly well. There are many reasons why I like this album. Josh’s choice of tunes remains traditional to the music it seeks to represent. The approach to the tunes throughout are representative of the musician playing them — warm, knowledgeable and with the utmost respect. With such qualities in a musician and the technical ability at hand, we can only expect to hear more great music from
Joshua Dukes

(The drive from D.C. to Baltimore is roughly 45 minutes one way, but it always seems MUCH longer after a long night of tunes! Well done, Josh! Also congrats for taking the second place in accompaniment in the senior category at the fleadh in Tullamore this year. We love you, hon!)

I can’t wait until I have money again to buy this album, since I found that it’s on iTunes. I’ve heard a few clips from Josh’s myspace page and wow! A great musician.

An awesome album, and not (only) because I’m on it 😉 Seriously, Josh is an amazingly talented musician, with a very nuanced understanding of the tradition. This CD is simply a must-have.
For the tuneheads: The first tune on track 9 should be spelled Chinquapin, Chinky Pin, or Chinkapin Hunting, a crooked American fiddle tune I got from a recording by The Chicken Chokers.

I’m not on this CD, but my flute is. And I agree with Patrick on everything he says about Josh. But I am curious now, Mr. Cavanagh. (Especially so on this yellow board, now that I think of it.) Do you banjo players generally spend much time choking your chickens?