FREE DOWNLOAD (MP3) — Dare Dukes – “Meet Me At The Bus”‘
Take his advice: “BE RECKLESS …” and give Savannah, Georgia’s Dare Dukes a chance to win you over; you won’t be disappointed. Opening with plucked mandolin and cymbals, but building quietly with a lone trumpet (soon doubled) and light male vocals that sound like a somewhat milder version of the Mountain Goats, this song builds enough good will in the first minute to own you for hours. His debut album Thugs and China Dolls is more than most indie records can be expected to be after a decade of work, let alone being a mere sophomore album. But the truth is, in a sanitized musical landscape where lowest common denominator frequently gets the widest praise, this songwriter is proof that sticking to honest music pays its own best dividends. On the bulk of this album it is, Dukes leads the material as a songwriter worthy of notice — the backing musicians, including members of Of Montreal, The Modern Skirts and TV On The Radio, provide extra heft but rarely distract from the essentials of the music. And in the end, that’s the best thing I can say about him; like John Darnielle before him, Dukes knows how to craft a song from the ground up,and he’s ready to show what can be accomplished when being an eccentric is considered a badge of honor. This one’s a definite keeper.