Albums of 2008: Day 8 – The Dutchess and The Duke – She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke

Kimberly Morrison and Jesse Lortz appear to have tapped some bottomless barrel of authentic American songwriting stock. They’re drunk on this stuff throughout She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke, and this results in loose strums, whiskey-bent vocals, deliberate, simple solos and honest reflections on this shadowy world.

The two have a little bit of Baez and Dylan in them, for sure, and they nurture those seeds with garage rock Miracle-Gro and plant them in a pots they probably painted with pastel colors when they were little tikes.

And that’s how I imagine the Dutchess and the Duke—kids pedaling around their neighborhood (they were childhood friends) on bikes, throwing rocks, playing in the dirt and eventually turning to CDs and guitars to help connect with each other when awkward adolescence arrived. Their music has the natural cohesiveness of deep friendship and a giddy youthfulness that comes out when you’re teaming up with someone who knows all of your silly secrets.

These songs will be stick with you, even without the aid of any autotune, Marshall stacks, noisy blasts, booming bass or mashed-up samples.

Read my review of the Dutchess and the Duke and James Jackson Toth at Gravity Lounge.

Watch the video for the Dutchess and the Duke’s “Mary.”

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