It’s time to give thanks – there’s new music from Emily Duff, and it’s bursting with passion and spirituality. The Rocking Title Track, HALLELUJAH HELLO, leaps out of the gate, slide guitar proclaiming its urgency: this, her third solo album, demands and deserves your attention (‘You, You, You!’). If the album title didn’t give it away, the other song titles also echo the gospel flavour of the 12 cuts, soaked in the southern spirit of Alabama’s legendary FAME studios in Muscle Shoals. FAME’s own, John Gifford III at the helm has achieved a gorgeous production, and the musicians play superbly; and shining above the whole glorious mix are Emily’s vocals, one moment growling an aching blues, the next soaring stridently and soulfully. You better believe! This is not fake news – it’s the real thing, genuine and heartfelt as they come.
“Emily Duff is a great artist! Every time I see her play live, I can’t help thinking how much Keith Richards would dig it if he were there. She’s the real thing!” – Willie Nile (Singer/Songwriter)
A prolific songwriter, Emily paints vivid aural pictures: God’s diner, where the faithful are welcomed with ‘fresh coffee and eggs all day’, while a celestial pedal steel serenades diners. The songs are packed with memorable, inventive lyrics – who’d have thought you could make rhymes for ‘modus operandi’ or ‘Lazarus’, and without sounding contrived? And how about this gem, which sums up the mission of the record, and could be its subtitle: ‘I want to take you higher through my amplifier!’.
The musical spectrum is colorful, from the Stonesy, rollicking swing of ‘The Day He Walked’, through the up-tempo twangy honky-tonk/rockabilly workout of ‘We All Need Savin’ Some Time’, to the subtle shimmering organ backing on ‘Trust The Lord’ and ‘The Fall’. Gospel choir backing vocals add glory on several tracks; equally strikingly, ‘Jesus Love This Tired Woman’ is arresting in its simplicity: a sincere plea with a minimal arrangement, highlighting Emily’s lyric.
Make no mistake, Emily isn’t setting herself up as some cherubic saint – she sets out her manifesto in ‘The Fall’ – she couldn’t be more down to earth, at the same time exhorting: ‘Get In The Water’. Although ‘guitar in hand, playing in God’s band’, she’s also ‘telling dirty jokes to St Paul’. At the end, she proclaims her humanity and fallibility: ‘bring on the fall’.
If this Alabama soul stew doesn’t get under your skin, you don’t have a pulse. Go tell your friends, and go sing it from the rooftops: Emily’s here to testify, she’s calling a revival meeting, and she wants you, you, you. It’s not just music for Sunday, it’s music for every day, and you need her in your musical life! Praise be!!
HALLELUJAH HELLO features an All-Star Band of legendary Shoals Musicians with Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt) & Kelvin Holly (Little Richard) on guitars, Bob Wray (Fame Gang, Ray Charles, The Highwaymen, Tanya Tucker, George Jones) on bass, Clayton Ivey (Fame Gang, Aretha Franklin) on keyboards, Justin Holder on drums, Wayne Bridge (Flying Burrito Brothers) on dobro and pedal steel, Brad Guin on saxophone, James LeBlanc on guest vocals and The Legendary Shoals Sisters (Marie Lewey & Cindy Walker) on Background Vocals and many more. The very same band that is on top of the Americana charts right now with “Muscle Shoals: SMALL TOWN, BIG SOUND.”
“HALLELUJAH HELLO” is a 100% FAME recorded, Muscle Shoals, AL Made, Mixed and Mastered (Don Srygley) effort from start to finish! Emily Duff, however, is 100% NYC born and raised and lives in Manhattan’s West Village with her husband Skip, their two children and hound dog, Banjo. HALLELUJAH HELLO is available on CD, Vinyl and digital download at https://emilyduff.bandcamp.com/album/hallelujah-hello