Last night I had a chance to check out a rocking concert from the Duhks. They took over the auditorium in the National archive building. About 200 people showed up and were treated to an awesome show. The Duhks ran through a mix of their own songs, those written by other artists like Luke Doucette and traditional songs that they put their own spin on. The audience responded most to their uptempo foot-stomping numbers but there's something to be said for the sweet harmonies they pull off as a group too.
I heard a lot about the Duhks this morning too. I was at a presenters meeting. This is where people who book acts for music and arts festivals around the world gather to talk shop. Many are planning to take in Deep Dark Woods (SK) and Romi Mayes (MB) tonight. However, most of them went to the Duhks last night and said they were impresssed. One talent buyer who works with several Australian festivals says the Winnipeg folk group would be perfect to take down under. That could mean a booking worth some good coin, but also a chance to setup a tour in Australia.
At noon I caught up with Del Barber. He was getting ready for his performance at the National Arts Centre. Yesterday, Del had a Chance to meet Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Barber said he wore his "best CBC pin" to the reception at 24 Sussex. Joking aside, we discussed what having all these agents and talent buyers around is like. He told me that he doesn't like to think about it because it would take his attention away from his main focus: making sure his audience has fun.
About 30 minutes later, his audience laughs at a story about him sitting on a pack of Junior Mints when he was out on a date at 16 years old. Whether or not he gets any international gigs out of Prairie Scene, it looks certain that he'll have a few more dedicated fans next time he comes back to Ottawa.