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Duende: Maria Woodford and Alex Radus | Duende: Maria Woodford & Alex Radus

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Duende: Maria Woodford & Alex Radus

by Duende: Maria Woodford and Alex Radus

Duende's debut album. A must have for fans of down-home acoustic Americana goodness.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Leaving NYC
2:57 $0.99
2. Good Morning, Good Evening, Good Bye
4:16 $0.99
3. Let the House Fall
5:33 $0.99
4. Always
5:46 $0.99
5. Overboard
4:30 $0.99
6. The Halo
4:49 $0.99
7. Old Fashioned House
4:53 $0.99
8. When I Sober Up
3:38 $0.99
9. Indian Summer
4:57 $0.99
10. A Pinch and Then, Sweet
5:12 $0.99
11. Woman in Concrete
8:09 $0.99
12. Mercury
6:20 $0.99
13. Peppers and Jelly
4:19 $0.99
14. Stand Our Ground
5:46 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Duende: Maria Woodford and Alex Radus is one of the best CD's I have heard out of the thousands I have received since I started CD Baby."

-Derek Sivers
President and Founder of CD Baby

"Keep going, we need artists like you to carry the torch."

-Richie Havens

duende (doo-EN-day) noun

1. Demon; goblin.
2. Inspiration; fire; spirit; magic; charm; magnetism.

[From Spanish dialectal duende (charm), from Spanish (ghost).]

"A key part of the myth of authenticity is duende, the spirit that
inhabits the soloist at the climax of a performance."
Louise Levene; It's Good to Sing; Independent (London, UK); Feb 4, 1997.

"'If I don't get up here and paint, if I don't get up here and work on
some kind of sculpture, I don't feel that I'm living. The duende says,
'Come on: Do it! Do it! Do it!'"
Dan Sperling; Ever-driven Anthony Quinn; USA Today; Aug 5, 1987.

"so. the kids & I were in this bar in LA, and duende had just started, and the crowd were kinda sorta paying attention, but, you know, not really. and there was this moment when people started listening. when people realised that it was more than just two kids with guitars. and I remember this moment, aside from everything else that night, this moment during 'woman in concrete' where alex & maria were just completely lost in the music. you could kind of imagine them playing the fiddle as the world fell apart. and everyone, dude, everyone in the bar was watchng them. and then they sing, you know, fucking kill the place with, 'I wouldn't have to crawl'."

Jo - a beautiful duende fan.

thanks Jo.

"One of the best Indie releases of the year... fluid effortlessness"
-Bob Makin
The Courier News, NJ

"lyric composition and vocal style stuns the listener...an amazing union."
-Michelle H. LePoidevin
Specially written for the Westfield Leader and The Times

"...[Duende's] concert set during last summer's Augusta Festival was one of the highlights of that event..."
-Margo Blevin
Co-Founder/Folk Alliance and Augusta Heritage Center

"These two are well on their way to becoming seasoned road warriors. Their music is sweet, acoustic, and sometimes on the edge...always from the heart. Watch out! They're around for the long haul."
-Mary Flower
3rd Place National Finger Picking Champion, 2000

"...a fresh blend of touching folk lyrics, beautiful voices, and solid musicianship. The combination makes for delightful folk music and great listening pleasure."
-Jonathan Overby
Executive producer "Higher Ground"
Wisconsin Public Radio

"melodious original tunes...impressive vocal dexterity...up to more than just Americana."
-The Cripsy Duck
The C-ville Weekly, VA


Duende, Maria Woodford and Alex Radus met in Elkins, West Virginia four years ago as students of Augusta Heritage, a center for the preservation of American roots music. Falling in love with all styles of traditional American music and unable to settle on a genre, Duende coined the term Fusion Folk to describe their acoustic based music which blends elements of folk (both mountain and urban), blues, bluegrass, country and swing. July of 2003 marked four years for the duo who celebrated by returning to Augusta as intstructors.

Alex Radus has been playing guitar for 14 years. He has with acclaimed jazz guitarists Walt Bibinger and Geary Moore, and also from the best in fingerstyle: Pat Donahue, Mary Flower and Eddie Pennington. He currently studies with Broadway vocal coach Deborah Maher. Alex is a published poet and has appeared in a wide array of stage and television productions. In the past six years Alex has been involved with 16 studio productions.

Maria Woodford is an ear-trained musician who has been writing, playing guitar, mandolin and performing for over 15 years. Maria has studied under critically acclaimed vocalists Gaye Adegbalola (Alligator Records) and Ginny Hawker (Rounder Records), and has casually recorded with sonogwriting legend Peter Rowan (Rowantone Records).

As a duo, Maria and Alex have brought their music from coast to coast. The have traveled 70,000 highway miles, played countless venues and performed on 16 full length studio releases...in just 4 years.



to write a review

JO el K.

I bought this disc from these two at a small club in Chapel Hill. Duende live is five wryly gleaming stars; the album is just not quite as good...it's merely great; ah, well....


Unique and beautiful blend of talented music !!!
I love this cd. It has all the right blends of acoustic sound and the lyrics are outstanding. This duo is destined for greatness and I am glad I got to experience it in the early stages. Alex tears up the strings and Maria stirs the lyrics better than any female out there !
Best of luck Alex and Maria !!!


With each word a piece of my heart is mended
This cd is truly a work of fine art. It brings together words that are unspoken but never unthought of. I have had the luck of meeting and spending a week with the two of them. They are the two kindest and real people that this world has. If everyone could share an aspect with them the world would run more passionalty. Now you can if you purchase there cd and put it in your cd player. I promise you it will be hours before you get up, and when you did it will be to start it over once again.

The My Newt Times

Duende Hell Are These Guys Gonna Make IT?
I was a teenage werewolf virgin until I heard the duende CD out in cali....now I'm doin' it with all the cats in the alley...except for that one fat ass cat named sally...('cuz she was so big, she was ALREADY over the line....ReALLY!
-big D

Anjool Malde

Something that can be listened to over and over again
These days, far too many artists fail to exploit the full potential of CDs when releasing records, with 40 minute albums commonly becoming the norm. This certainly isn't the case for Duende, with their self-titled album consisting of an impressive 14 tracks spanning 71 minutes. Of course, quality must continue to prevail over quantity, and Duende don't do a bad job in matching these two factors. The mood of the record begins on a less than positive note, with Alex Radus singing about lacking money and advice, leaving his friends behind as he's "leaving New York City at dawn". The guitar introduction is fairly intricate, with snippets of vocal duetting working well, as they continue to do so in the following track "Good Morning, Good Evening, Good Bye", which has a great western country music feel to it. Maria Woodford sings well in this moderately slow track, where the vocals and guitars alone make a great song, with a notable extensive guitar solo at the end. There's an upbeat bluegrass style intro "Let The House Fall", with soothing and well articulated vocals (as is consistent throughout the album) by Radus. There's an effective atmosphere created by having sad lyrics contrasting with a fairly upbeat melody, furthered by dynamic changes in the chorus and split timing singing between the duo for the line "sometimes you gotta let the house fall". The melody to "Always" may sound quite familiar - in fact the first line of each couplet is almost identical to the traditional hymn Auld Lang Syne. Whilst this melody is repeated throughout the track, the chorus is original and there's a calming bridge before the final verse with a innovative tune on the high string.

Through the album the duo do well in creating well-layered tracks from just their vocals and acoustic guitars, though tapping of the frame in the intro to "Overboard" is a nice touch, with hard striking of chords keeping this percussional effect through the track. Lyrically there is resemblance to "Leaving NYC" with lines such as 'cruel little town', and there's another well developed bridge, with excellent interplay between the 2 acoustics. There's an original tempo adopted for "The Halo", with a great casual style adopted by Radus for the vocals. For a non-American such as myself, this song gives a great insight into lifestyle and culture, being "out on the highway at night"; "Boy this ain't Wisconsin, you better pack your bags". Woodford joins Radus in singing nearer the end, and again there's the Duende- trademarked style of providing a thick-layered developed bridge before the final verse, the difference in this tune being the offbeat chords throughout. The tempo's moved up a couple of notches for the follow up, with an upbeat positive tone and great little solo melodies adding a nice touch. The lyrics complement the music well, with Radus care-free about money, his prospects and future, content in life with his "Old Fashioned House", the song ending with a fine punch ending. This immediately contrasts with "When I Sober Up", a classic slow country track when now "this old house could use some dusting". The lyrics themselves are perhaps a bit routine and mundane, talking about chores such as washing and groceries, but the start of each chorus is always composed and tranquil.

There's innovative interplay in the intro to "Indian Summer", with the ambivalent tone reflected in the song, with the positive aspects such as leaves falling, the sun coming out and the general atmosphere of an Indian summer all counterbalanced by the pain and hurt of love. This is an impressive solo by Woodford, with fairly powerful vocals especially evident when hitting the high notes. The summer theme appears to continue in the following "A Pinch and Then, Sweet", with nice melodic strumming, but "conflicting emotions" still evident. The tone becomes a lot more intriguing and mysterious with "Woman in Concrete", with a unique tune progression, constantly changing. This is the only time that the lyrics are so negative, with powerful lines like "the wicked aching blackness left of one man's heart" and "the unforgiven arms of hope have left me stranded". This all contrasts with the lighter chorus, which suggests more of a childlike innocence and naiveté. "Mercury" begins with a quick movement up the scale before becoming a bit more mysterious. It still appears to be an unperturbed laid back acoustic track, with a nice vocal harmony between Radus and Woodford. This however clashes with later lyrics such as "You're reckless and out of control, please stop". It's quite a sad song, with a moving powerful penultimate verse, with effective dynamic changes followed by a quieter follow up.

Probably my favourite from the album is "Peppers and Jelly", with a nostalgic memorable acoustic memory at the start, somewhat reminiscent to "Let The House Fall", repeated at the end of each chorus. It appears to be a personal track, with Radus writing about the friendship between his partner. However, there's perhaps quite a sad feeling unintentionally conjured up as the track has a vaguely philosophical feel to it, looking at how life is (or maybe that's just my interpretation). Duende's release ends on an emotional note, with "Stand Our Ground" written from the day after 9/11, instead of explicitly focussing on war and fear, Woodford sings of standing their ground and not being afraid, with the moving lyric: "We will mourn what we've lost and we can't afford this cost / But our nature demands that we stay". Overall this is an excellent example of 'fusion folk', of consistently high quality throughout and something that can be listened to over and over again.

Get a professional CD review & promotion at Blue Comet Music, www.Unsigned.tk

I could listen to this all day and nite (if I didn't have to sleep and be social.) Even when it hurts, it's that good.

Guy Perez

The kind of music that gets inside you!
In the era of such poor quality popular music, it is refreshing to hear young voices with true talent. No Mouseketeers here! This CD is excellent cover to cover. I challenge you to find a less than a top shelf song on this CD. The maturity of the lyrics and the complexity of the music left me feeling good all over!!! Buy 2 copies because you friends will want one when they hear it.

Rob McM.

They can only get better...
Have listened to this CD repeatedly and it blows me away every time. Having heard them in an intimate setting about 10 feet away cemented my feeling that they are just in the early stages of a very long and successful career.


Easy on the ears and the heart...
I have listened to this CD everyday for the past 2 weeks-it's that addictive-and that good! It's so nice to have a CD where all the songs don't sound the same and where I'm not constantly skipping to only the songs I like-the variety keeps you listening and the stories behind the songs can touch us all!

Grapefruithead Productions

Not just for the East Coast anymore
I first saw Duende in New York City's Sidewalk Cafe, headlining at a night of local music. And while all the performers were enjoyable, one band shone like a beacon far above the rest -- Duende. The fact that they were playing such a small venue (a two drink minimum bought me a 45 minute set) was a mixed blessing; I was fortunate for the opportunity to get to see them in such an intimate setting, but it was clear to me that this duo was destined for greater things.

Acoustic musicians are not rare in the New York club scene, but it's not often we're blessed with the kind of breathtaking harmonies Alex and Maria concoct. Bluesy folk, or folky blues, their sound is unique and their lyrics often staggering.

This album, their first as "Duende," offers listeners a peek at the experience of hearing them in concert, though nothing can rival watching these two riff off of one another on a smoky bar stage. Dressed in 1930s lounge style down to the rakish fedoras, Woodford and Radus make a captivating pair.

Take "Woman in Concrete," for example. This Woodford-penned tune plays twisty lyrics off of soaring, almost dissonant blues melodies, and culminates with a throbbing reprise of the chorus performed a capella -- if it doesn't put a lump in your throat, you're probably dead.

On the other end of the Duende spectrum we have Radus' "Old Fashioned House," perpetually a crowd-pleaser. "House" is a knee-slapping folk melody, given that particular Duende edge by the harmony vocals on the chorus. And Radus' lyrics are nothing short of brilliant: "I was talking to my grandma today, told her about my five year plan, as if I've got a five year plan. She said are you looking at any women seriously? Yeah, I said yes but I don't think in the way you mean..."

In this reviewer's opinion, the standout track on this album is #3, "Let The House Fall." Another Radus-penned piece, this song shuttles between folk and blues with typical Duende ease. Fingerpicking guitar underscores poignant and witty lyrics ("I've had lovers that have left me and I can't say they were wrong / good old friends who don't wanna see me again and I can't blame them at all / sometimes you gotta let the house fall.") made human by Radus' folky melody and Woodford's powerful blues harmony vocals.

Other standouts on this album include Woodruff's "Indian Summer," Radus' "Halo" and the all-too-autobiographical "Peppers and Jelly," which tells the story of Duende on tour:

"Sometimes folks will give you their full attention / patience is neverending /they listen so good. And other folks / want you quit your yappin' / you'll never catch them clapping / and they never go home. But you and me we've seen a lot of things we shouldn't have seen / and you and me, we've been a lot of places we shouldn't have been / with a yogurt jar full of gas money and someone to call a friend / we can make it out and back again."

So here's to Duende. May the yogurt jar be full, may the audiences always listen, and may all of you out there enjoy this cd as much as I do.

Because I can tell you right now, Maria and Alex are going to make it out and back again. And when they come back to New York to play the Beacon, I can say I knew them when.
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