Can’t beat kindness - one to one,
Store it up and pass it on.
— Margaret McDuffie
 
 

Americanasonic is what you might call the melting pot that is this singer’s songwriting. Also a jazz chanteuse, McDuffie has been scribbling metaphors and humming tunes in the direction of social consciousness since the teenage years. But there’s a lot of warmth and flirtation in her style as well. She sings about floods and injustice alongside beauty and romance without anything ever feeling out of place.

The influences run deep, and though almost no music isn’t an influence, there are some key voices that lie under this sound: The Temptations, Elvis Presley, Neil Young, Odetta, and Joni Mitchell. In songs like ‘Near Midnight’

Margaret McDuffie w Jim Curtin at The Falcon  Photo: Jim Rice

Margaret McDuffie w Jim Curtin at The Falcon Photo: Jim Rice

 

 

 

from the upcoming double album, you can hear a hints of one voice, then another, all fusing within the song. The arrangements have an old-fashioned feel though the message is insistently current, and the musicianship is always solid - at times downright sublime.

When McDuffie came to the Hudson Valley she took a step away from folk & Americana and began fifteen years of singing jazz standards. While she writes jazz songs in both old and new styles, the jazz sensibility has added a whole new field of color across the her folky blues and added a complexity and richness to the music that you don’t often hear. There are two records currently in the final phases. ~ One a lyrical collection of jazz standards and originals in the standard style, including an obscure gem of a standard featuring Tony Garnier's warm, melodic bass. ~ The other is a double record with that very melting pot sound, in songs both about things old as time and things that get under the skin of modern life.

McDuffie & Co. and The McDuffie Trio have performed for some ten years in the valley, notably at The Falcon in Marlboro, the Towne Crier, Beacon’s Dogwood Bar, the Howland Center, Garrison Depot Theater Music Tracks Series, and the newly minted Tompkins Corners Cultural Center. Ensembles have included the fantastic talents of regional players such as Steve Raleigh, Art Labriola, Sara Milonovich, Mike DeMicco, Ed Diehl, John Harms, Matt Finck, Lou Pappas, Jim Curtin, Mark Muphy, Lindsey Horner, Adam Cote, Lew Scott, Bill Hornman, Sam Friedman, Dean Sharp & T. Xiques.