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Margaret McDuffie | Under a Spell

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Blues: Rhythm & Blues Jazz: Hammond Organ Moods: Mood: Party Music
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Under a Spell

by Margaret McDuffie

A rousing mix of original jazzy blues & straight-up 60's-style R&B with gorgeous smoky vocals and top-notch musicianship.
Genre: Blues: Rhythm & Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Till the Milkman Gets Here
3:17 $0.99
2. Shimmy to Me
3:03 $0.99
3. Under a Spell
3:54 $0.99
4. My Loving Fool
3:40 $0.99
5. Whatcha Doin'
3:46 $0.99
6. Walking Away
3:21 $0.99
7. I'd Rather Not
3:17 $0.99
8. Roll the Stone
3:56 $0.99
9. The Messenger
5:30 $0.99
10. Shan't Go Home
4:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Under A Spell is a rousing mix of jazzy blues rock and straight up 60s-style R&B that brings together a cool ensemble of notable Hudson Valley players.

Margaret McDuffie is a song-writing jazz and blues singer who has performed with a variety of Hudson Valley musicians, most notably at Marlboro’s highly-regarded jazz venue The Falcon. A long-time singer-songwriter, she spent many recent years in the jazz realm and still performs and writes in the jazz tradition. But this release marks a shift toward a more contemporary feel, with R&B rhythms and funky grooves complimented by darker, more rustic blues numbers. The lyrics are lively and direct, with the kind of loving attitude that recalls some hits of the sixties and seventies.

McDuffie’s voice is often the thing a listener is first struck by. Engaging, inviting, clear, strong, now smoky, now soaring, there’s a rich timeless quality that one often doesn’t hear. Her songwriting is striking and compassionate, sexy and wry. She composes on piano and guitar, and on this record plays clarinets.

Also performing on this recording are Mark Murphy on bass, Sara Milonovich on fiddle, Ross Rice on Hammond organ, T. Xiques on drums, and Esther Knudson on backing vocals. Bassist Jim Curtin also appears on the CD, as well as drummer Dean Sharp, who played and recorded the CD’s first two basic tracks at Elbow Room Studio in Kingston, NY. All remaining titles and overdubs were recorded & engineered by Todd Giudice at his Roots Cellar Recording Studio in Cold Spring, New York.

Till the Milkman Gets Here
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Jim Curtin, bass - Dean Sharpe, drums - Sara Milonovich, fiddle

Shimmy to Me
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Jim Curtin, bass - Dean Sharpe, drums - Esther Knudson, backing vocals

Under A Spell
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Mark Murphy, bass - T. Xiques, drums - Ross Rice, organ

My Loving Fool
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Jim Curtin, bass - T Xiques, drums - Ross Rice, organ

Whatcha Doin’?
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Jim Curtin, bass - T. Xiques, drums - Ross Rice, organ

Walking Away
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Jim Curtin, bass - T. Xiques, drums - Ross Rice, organ

I’d Rather Not
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Mark Murphy, bass - T. Xiques, drums

Roll the Stone
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Mark Murphy, bass - T. Xiques, drums

Shan’t Go Home
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Mark Murphy, bass - T. Xiques, drums - Sara Milonovich, fiddle

The Messenger
Steve Raleigh, guitar - Mark Murphy, bass - T. Xiques, drums

Steve Raleigh is known for his thoughtful finesse. Guitarist Tony Mottola describes him his playing as having "beautiful harmonic sense." John Buscarino: “An Incredible Guitarist”. A teacher and sound engineer as well as a session player, he’s a man of many talents. Raleigh’s guitar is the common thread running through this record and much of McDuffie’s recent musical projects, and the ease with which he moves from the jazzier moments to a funkier blues feel is a big part of what makes it so good.

Drummer Dean Sharp is a prolific creative percussionist, composer, producer and remixer. He has played and/or recorded with a strikingly diverse array of creative artists including Moby, Brad Mehldau, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elliott Sharp, Michael Bisio, Joe Lovano, Marc Ribot. “Versatile" excelling at the use of “sparing sensibilities that speak to emotional cores.” - Cadence

Jim Curtin is a versatile bass player with a gregarious style, and has of late been playing the Gabriel Butterfield Blues Band. In addition to his driving electric and acoustic bass grooves and his swinging Jazz vocals, he is well known in the Woodstock area for his performances with Orleans, Betty McDonald and Vicki Russell.

Sara Milonovich, who led her first band at the age of nine, tours with her band Daisycutter and has appeared and recorded with the likes of Richard Shindell, Eliza Gilkyson, Mountain Quickstep and Pete Seeger. Also an exceptional singer, her violin is the lightning in the dark of striking renditions of songs like “Mood to Burn Bridges” by Neko Case, and the sweetness in her own most complex bluegrass compositions.

Esther Knudsen, a jazz improv singer with a sweetly husky voice and an engaging, intelligent onstage presence, has performed at cafes, bars, hotels and festivals in the Madison, WI and Hudson Valley areas for 20 years. She has performed, recorded and collaborated with a number of musicians including Doug Brown, Cliff Fredericksen, James Benson and the Kurt Lang trio, as well as with Beacons own Michael Lowe and Craig Chin.

Mark Murphy, also no stranger to fast bluegrass and the strains of Mr. Seeger, has toured for years with the Work of The Weavers and has appeared everywhere from Lincoln Center to Late Night With Conan O'Brien with blues man Guy Davis. He’s famous for his warm deep tone, which he brings to songs here like “The Messenger” to stunning effect.

T. Xiques brings his raw energetic sound to this record, belying the gentleness and fluidity of his playing on the quietest jazz ballads. Having grown up being exposed to all kinds of music, T. started gigging as a professional drummer at age 15 and has continued to work with diverse artists such as Savoy Brown, Dr.Know and Daryl Jenifer (Bad Brains), Garth Hudson, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Roswell Rudd, John Medeski, Ira Coleman, Mike Manieri, Jay Anderson, Robbie Dupree and Colin Hay of Men at Work. Recording credits include Roswell Rudd, Murali Coryeli, Eric Wood, Machan and Jeff Wilkinson.

On Hammond organ is Ross Rice, who started in Memphis in the 80’s and was one of The Coolers, the premier rhythm section in town, backing up Charlie Rich, Ron Wood, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Walsh, and Luther Ingram, among many others. He co-wrote and performed with Susannah Hoffs of the Bangles and Adrian Belew, and as a sideman recorded with Steve Earle, Jill Sobule and Steve Forbert, to name a few.



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