Welsh Soulster Duffy Wows Minneapolis! 7/31/08
Kicking off her current American summer tour Aimee Duffy strolled on First Avenue's mainstage Thursday night to a near capacity crowd clearly wanting to demonstrate to her American fans that she is the real deal and no flash in the pan. And by the end of her second song "Rockferry" she succeeded and had won over her audience. Dressed in a short, white cotton dress accented with bright red shoes Duffy performed with her trademark genuiness that ofter reminded me of the onstage persona of American country singer Dolly Parton. She really has that kind of audience appeal. Of course, her UK Northern Soul lineage goes way back to 60's UK superstars Sandie Shaw, Dusty Springfield, and Lulu.
Crowd favorites included her current brilliant single "Warwick Avenue" and of course world-wide hit "Mercy". "Distant Dreamer" has become her final encore number and really is a showstopper. It guarantees that anytime she wants - even with just one full CD release - she could be booked into an extended performance contract at one of the larger Vegas hotels (not such a bad thing, as she possesses that kind of timeless appeal).
Yep, she is much better than Nancy Sinatra ever was!
While her backing musicians were more than adequate, Duffy's striking voice and stage persona certainly make it worthwhile to see her live. Unlike the other "Amy", she clearly becomes energized and enjoys performing before a live crowd. She spent over a half hour after the show talking to her fans and signing autographs. Duffy is a smart musician who I think will always pay close attention to her fan base.
Recommend to anyone to get and read the August 2008 issue of British Q music magazine. Duffy is on the cover along with the Modfather and soul singer Paul Weller. Good interview conducted by Simon Goddard of the two together about their early musical influences and their opinions about the current music scene and business.
For more photos visit My Flickr Page.
Video from Duffy's first ave show