Antje Duvekot | The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer

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Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Alternative Folk Moods: Solo Female Artist
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The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer

by Antje Duvekot

Alternative folk a la Patty Griffin/ Shawn Colvin
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Vertigo
5:41 $0.99
2. Ragdoll Princes & Junkyard Queens
3:03 $0.99
3. Long Way
6:07 $0.99
4. Lighthouse
4:28 $0.99
5. Dublin Boys
3:27 $0.99
6. The Bridge
4:20 $0.99
7. Scream
4:43 $0.99
8. Reasonland
4:38 $0.99
9. Coney Island
3:56 $0.99
10. Merry-Go-Round
3:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Antje Duvekot is one of the brightest singer-songwriters to rise out of Boston's competitive acoustic music scene. She is releasing her second studio album, "The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer" on Black Wolf Records on March 17, 2009.

Antje chose one of her favorite songwriters, Richard Shindell to produce the album. Richard lent his talent to the record and brought in well respected musicians such as John Gorka, Lucy Kaplansky and Vicktor Krauss.

"What a blessing to have worked with someone as talented as Antje. With a voice like hers, and songs as good as these, a producer (especially a first-time producer!) just tries to get out of the way, to do no harm, and to let the artist speak for herself." - Richard Shindell

"The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer" demonstrates why, according to The Boston Globe, "Antje Duvekot's provocative, dark-eyed ballads are becoming the talk of the folk world. Duvekot has gotten hotter, faster than any local songwriter in recent memory."

The songs on the album reflect both Duvekot's personal journeys and her observations of those of others. Antje remarks "I've come to find that writing about someone else's struggles or happiness feels just as cathartic as writing about my own."

Singer songwriter Ellis Paul says "Antje is the rare artist that can write about the social and the personal in the same breath. She is as understated as she is wise and her songs go down mentally as well as soulfully. Her voice has a sound of innocence and naivety which makes razor sharp insights into the human condition."

"As far as I can tell, Antje is the whole package… I've had this reaction once in the past 10 years, and that was the first time I heard Patty Griffin."

- Dave Marsh former Editor of Rolling Stone and XM/ Sirius Satellite Host

Ralph Jaccodine Management / / 617-393-9800

Along with 7 new songs, Antje and Richard decided to add studio versions of some of her best known songs such as, "Merry Go Round", which was used in a Bank of America national TV ad campaign as well as radio favorite "Long Way". "Since I first recorded this older material live, I have become a better performer", Antje explains "I decided to revive the songs that were worthy and produce them properly so that I should not be such a bad mother to them".

The sophomore jinx. We've seen it a hundred times, solid and critically acclaimed first albums followed by an album which does not even come close. I worried about that. A lot. I have carried the Antje Duvekot torch since hearing her outstanding Big Dream Boulevard album what seems like forever ago and the last thing I wanted to see was The Big Letdown--- you know, when the new stuff slides under the old bar?

Well, I shouldn't have worried. Duvekot is fast becoming the pro and you can tell it just by the time spent between albums. The Near Demise of the Highwire Dancer is no fluke. It is a well-prepared, well thought out album of old and new in just the right places. It is as good, if not better, than Boulevard--- well, let us say as good because I am not ready to lower that album's stature yet. There are highs on that album which major stars wish they could reach.

Richard Shindell steps in on Near Demise in place of Seamus Egan, who did a twelve-thumbs-up job on Boulevard, but Egan is not gone. He co-wrote The Bridge and Scream with Duvekot, solid favorites partway through just the first listen. In an album of great songs they stick out for me, but that could be a reflection of the reverence I feel toward Boulevard. That is not meant as a slam on Shindell, who has a touch all his own and not to the detriment of Duvekot and her music. They are no doubt on the same page and the album shows it.

Antje Duvekot writes excellent songs, but what really catches the ear is her voice. She has an alto texture and sounds almost as if she has a perpetual cold and I find it enthralling. She wraps that voice around every song she sings, as if that song was made specifically for her. Maybe that is what some people call phrasing, but I think it is more. There is soul in that voice. Depth.

The decision to include Merry-Go-Round caught me a little off-guard. Bank of America scooped it up for an ad campaign a few years ago and it didn't catch my ear (and yes, I do pay attention). Well, my ear should be shot (or maybe it is). A bit more upbeat and rock than Duvekot's usual fare, it has a full chorus which has me bouncing. Like hearing The Band on Big Pink only with Duvekot on vocals.

The other surprise is the inclusion of a children's song to close the album. Duvekot includes Augen, Ohren und Herz as a tribute to Gerhard Schone, a German composer of children's songs who Duvekot holds in very high esteem. She accepted his records as a child when visiting friends in East Germany and has treasured his music since. A quiet ballad played simply with just guitar and voice, it ends the album perfectly. An excellent choice.

It took me ten days to place Boulevard on my list of the best albums of 2007, the year I finally heard it (it was a 2006 release, but the gods were toying with me). I didn't have to wait that long this time. It slammed into my Top Five for 2009, leaving wreckage and carnage everywhere. Don't get me wrong. There are some excellent releases already this year, but I know that I'll play hell to find one quite like Near Demise.

The Near Demise of the
High Wire Dancer

Antje Duvekot

Black Wolf Records - BW008

Available from Antje Duvekot's online store.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Roberta B. Schwartz

Antje Duvekot is destined for greatness. It's there in the way she sings, it's in her phrasing and it's in the way she constructs a song in order to tell a particular story. She has a small girl's vulnerability and a woman's strength. And she sings in a voice that is immediately recognizable—it is an instrument of true beauty.

Her second release, The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer, delivers on the promise of her earlier work, Big Dream Boulevard. The recording is produced by one of contemporary music's finest singer/songwriters, Richard Shindell. Shindell surrounds and supports Duvekot's perfect vocals with some of the best musicians working today: Duke Levine on electric guitar, Mark Erelli on mandolin and backing vocals, Lucy Kaplansky and John Gorka on harmony vocals and Ben Wittman on drums and percussion, among others.

The CD opens with a captivating song called Vertigo, which Duvekot co-wrote with singer/songwriter Mark Erelli, who contributes mandolin and harmony vocals. It tells the story of the high wire dancer of the album's title. But it's really a metaphor for the risks one takes in life, and especially in love. Erelli shines here as well as producer Shindell on acoustic guitar.

One of the CD's best cuts is Long Way. It's a road song that takes the listener across the country from Michigan to Minnesota, Tennessee to the badlands of South Dakota, to Washington, California and the Arizona desert. It has a wonderful melody and John Gorka on superb backing vocals. It's the perfect song to take with you on the road.

Scream is about the attractive quality of opposites and the ways in which love can become destructive. Duvekot has a lovely higher range to her voice that is employed here to dramatic effect.

The recording closes with a tender children's song in Duvekot's native German called Augen, Ohren, und Herz. Here we have Duvekot, voice and guitar, and that is all we need.

Antje Duvekot possesses something that is very special in this business—a voice that is so pure and has such richness in tone that you can imagine a noisy room becoming silent the moment the first musical notes escape from her lips. Richard Shindell has recognized her unique gift in that he allows her voice and beautifully written lyrics to remain front and center. There are many great talents in the acoustic music world who lend a hand here, but it is Duvekot whom we have come to listen to. The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer takes us on a journey that has us balancing on the fine line, or high wire between love won and love lost, life lived well and not lived at all, and like a circus, you never know what to expect next. What we do know to expect are great things to come for Antje Duvekot. The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer is a beautiful work of art. Antje Duvekot has arrived!

Track List:

Vertigo (Antje Duvekot/Mark Erelli)
Ragdoll Princes & Junkyard Queens
Long Way
Lighthouse (Antje Duvekot/Kate Kim)
Dublin Boys
The Bridge (Antje Duvekot/Seamus Egan)
Scream (Antje Duvekot/Seamus Egan)
Coney Island
Augen, Ohren und Herz (Gerhard Schone)
All songs written by Antje Duvekot except where noted.



to write a review

Nicki Perkins

Antje does it again!
I first saw Antje perform at an Ellis Paul New Year concert in Boston (2005), and I am thrilled that she is doing so well. Her latest album is filled with beautiful songs in her own inimitable style. Keep up the good work!

Keri Manwell

I absolutely love Antje's new songs on this album: Long Way is so poetic and amazing; Lighthouse moved me to tears the first dozen or so times I listened to it; Scream took my breath away. I was also thrilled to have Ragdoll Princes & Junkyard Queens as well as Merry-Go-Round on this album, too! Wonderful and inspring! Thank you, Antje!

MorningStar Studios

5 billion stars!
This is by far one of the best albums of the year, brilliant production and Antje's song-writing and voice are beyond measure..simply beautiful. Buy this CD, you will cherish it. Lizanne

Jeff Barrell

Nice Job Antje
Best singer-songwriter album in years. She and Richard have compiled a great collection of songs with rythme and meaning, particularly 'Long way', 'Ragdoll Princess', and 'Merry go round'. I saw Antje recently and she is a genuine artist.

Kristen Poeraatmadja

The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer
I saw Antje perform here in Portland Maine in the winter. The venue was small and intimate and show cased her voice and her talent. Hearing the songs now on the cd reconfirms just how amazing her voice is and how she is such a gifted songwriter. She has that ability to completely pull you into her story, paint the pictures before your eyes and then send you back into the world with her magic still surrounding you. Cheers Antje!

Joachim Pirch

Beautiful songs, beautiful voice
This is a very enjoyable album. It is remarkable how Antje Duvekot's songs are getting better and better. Her songwriting is mature and clever, but the way she sings is nevertheless heart-warming and touching. "Long way" is my favourite. Even if it was the only song on this CD, it would still be worth buying it.