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Live Music Week happens bi-annually at WERS to raise money to keep our station running. We ask if you can pledge your support in order to keep us live on air, bringing you live performances from your favorite musicians. Pledges can be made here.
Antje Duvekot stopped by the WERS studios to play a few songs for us in honor of Live Music Week. She came into the studio with an acoustic guitar and a casual air about her. The German-born singer songwriter has made her home in Sommerville, Massachusetts for a number of years. She likes to stay close to the Boston Folk scene. In her early days she drifted toward WERS as a catalyst for the celebration and dissemination of folk culture. Now she has returned to give us a sneak peak into her songbook by playing us some of her most recent unrecorded songs.
The first song she played was called “Mexico (Amor Querido).” This wistful remembrance of a vacation affair takes the form of a bittersweet country ballad. Duvekot ‘s tone as she sings is heartbreakingly solemn with a twinge of hopeful empowerment in the tails of her verses. As the song builds Duvekot’s voice wavers into a meridional vibrato when she sings, “Hey darlin’ what you gonna do/If you’re going I will come with you/Down to Las Cruces and Cyprus by you/All I know is I like being with you.” While playing live, Duvekot is often accompanied by a upright bass. This song in particular is afforded extra value by the addition of the deep bow in contrast to her gentle, measured manner.
The next song she played for us was “Gypsy.” Here Duvekot tells the tale of a forlorn lover left in the wake of a nomadic musician. The story is told from the point of view of a small town waitress whose life was altered by a brief sexual encounter with a “wine drinking Gypsy.” As she attempts to move on with her life the woman entertains the advances of a widower all the while dreaming of the day that her rolling stone will tumble back into her life again. The song is sweetly honest and hesitantly melancholy but paced with a masterful amount of patience and grace by Duvekot.
The last song Antje Duvekot played for us was from her last album, New Siberia. “Sleepy Sea of Indigo and Blue” is an example of where Duvekot absolutely excels. The song is simultaneously deeply personal and pragmatic but also entertains elements of mystical metaphor and whimsical romance. She sings, “I said I’ve never felt pain/I travel in submarines/Don’t think I’d make much of a swimmer/So I live under the waves/Because you cannot sink/If you don’t try to swim/But somehow I just let you in.” Her lyrics are wonderfully poetic and utterly relatable. Duvekot handles the material with the care of a doting mother guiding her duckling into an azure pond for the first time. She takes a great amount of care to make sure that the music is well received.
When I asked her about future records she said that she was working on an album of stripped down songs written by other artists. She feels that she has reached a point in her songwriting career where she can put out an album of covers with a clear conscience. She is actually enthused at the idea because her writing all comes from a certain type of mood and that by choosing another artist’s works she is freed up to delve into more raucous and jazzy realms. She will be looking into crowdsourcing the album so keep your eyes peeled for opportunities to support her newest efforts and maybe even get a chance to get your own Antje Duvekot painting inspired by the new songs.