Duke Garwood announces new dates with "Rogues Gospel"23-05-2023
“Everyone says I sound like I live in the desert,” muses Duke Garwood, St Leonards’ premier exponent of parched, post-modern blues. For him, it’s not about where you’re from, or even where you’re at – it’s about where your daydreams take you. “I look at the sea a lot and it seems like a big desert,” he says. “I’m a fantasist, I guess.”
Rogues Gospel certainly sounds like the work of a man strolling out alone into the dusty wilderness, following ancient tracks across the plains, vultures circling overhead as he hallucinates his own demise. It’s Captain Beefheart twitching on the desert highway, it’s Tom Waits sleeping with his shovel, and vividly evocative of a scorched American landscape to the point where you can almost hear the coyotes howl. So it’s a bit of a shock to discover that the album was recorded not in California, where Garwood has made several of his previous records, but in a bungalow in Kinson, “a very boring place” on the outskirts of Bournemouth.
Much like his music, Garwood’s career has been the slowest of slow burns. After his ’90s bands came to nought, he was in his mid-thirties before finally making his recorded debut with 2005’s Holy Week. Even then it took another decade before he fully established himself, via a pair of collaborative albums with the late, lamented Mark Lanegan. The second of those, 2018’s terrific With Animals, suggested a fruitful new working method: while dog-sitting for Lanegan in the midst of an LA heatwave, Garwood made the bulk of the album in two weeks, playing along instinctively to the primitive drum settings of an old Casio keyboard.
That resourceful spontaneity shapes Rogues Gospel. No songs were written before decamping to Bungalow Magic, as they call it, which is really just the home of Garwood’s long-time drummer and closest collaborator Paul May. May’s languid brushed snares were laid down first, defining the groove-focused feel of the album, with Garwood joining in on “things that shake and rattle”. Next came the heat-haze organ shimmer, forced out of a 1970s Yamaha Electone of the kind you imagine probably comes installed as standard in all Bournemouth bungalows. Only then did Garwood add guitars: a loosely-strung acoustic or a buzzing, surly electric, constantly shrugging off the beat and refusing to alight on an obvious chord.
We're happy to announce more dates today:
13/07: Rouen, FR - Terrasses du Jeudi Festival
15/07: Kortrijk, BE - BOS! Festival
03/08: Meymac, FR - Jardins de l'Abbaye
29/09: Aigle, CH - Hummus & Wine
30/09: Thun, CH - Mokka
05/11: Uden, NL - De Pul
07/11: Antwerp, BE - De Roma
10/11: Eeklo, BE - N9
11/11: Lessines, BE - CC Rene Magritte