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Folk Festival preview: Duquette Johnston

08.1.2008 by AndrĂ© Natta · → Leave a comment

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Photo by Morgan Jones, courtesy of Duquette Johnston's MySpace profile

Duquette Johnson. Photo by Morgan Jones.

Duquette is a seemingly soft-spoken guy with a hectic schedule and even more crazy background. But that’s what bios & MySpace pages are for.

What Duquette and I talked about yesterday was Birmingham and the endless possibilities that come from finally utilizing an (up until now) recently under-used venue: Avondale Park and specifically, it’s amphitheater.

“I hear guys all the time talk about the amphitheater but I can’t think of any of us that have played there,” he says. “I remember seeing pictures from the ’30s when people would be all decked out and bands playing…” Duquette played the first incarnation of an Alabama roots music type festival last year, at a farm in Hoover. This year, when time came for booking, he was one of the first on board. “I see myself in more of a rock and roll type deal, but this festival runs the spectrum from bluegrass to indie and even indie bluegrass.” He waits a minute, and reminiscent of a proud parent he says, “This is a good way to handle a festival”.

This is THE performance you need to see. Duquette Johnston and his band the Rebel Kings in an outside atmosphere so unique, that it might just not be that much of a stretch from the folksy, deep music itself. He is supported by Jody Nelson and Nikolaus Mimikakis from Through the Sparks, Lee Bains III from Dexateens and Arkadelphia and finally, relative newcomer to the Rebel Kings, Ra-Jaan Shamir Parmely, who also plays with Arkadelphia. This is a stacked band full of the Birmingham scene’s fan favorites.

They are also set to perform in a new series of local artist performances at the Apple Store coming up soon featuring Act of Congress (a fellow Birmingham Folk Festival act) and Wild Sweet Orange.

They take the stage at 6 p.m. on Saturday in between Mandi Rae and Chris Porter & the Back Row Baptists.

Admission is free for the family and crafts part of the Festival, but tickets range from $13 pre-sale to $15 day of for general admission. Buy yours here.

Tomorrow, I talk to the guys bringing the noise at the Festival afterparty at Bottletree: the White Oaks.

Duquette Johnson. Photo: Morgan Jones.

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