Andrew Duhon has traveled the world as a folk singer and he’s learned a lot in doing so. He’s learned to trust less in money, that he’s more of a human being/citizen of the world than a person tied to a particular country, and the importance of learning to slow down and enjoy the moment. These aren’t things he’s been taught per se, just some things he’s picked up from experience. Drawing wisdom from experience has always been who Andrew is.
As a child in Catholic school, Duhon learned about the beauty and validity of religious plurality by coloring in a picture of Jesus. No, really. Each child created an image of Christ with different colors and patterns. They all went up on the wall and they were all considered valid. “None of them would be right or wrong, we would just learn from what we interpreted,” Duhon said. “Perhaps that is the most important lesson Catholic school ever taught me. Unintended, likely. Certainly unintended.”
He has since rejected the dogma of religion and decided to focus on what makes people similar. Our differences are important, sure, but it’s more important to focus on unity, Duhon argues. Stories like this give me tremendous hope for the future. No matter what nationalism and intolerance is hurled at children, some of them are going to notice a small detail and learn the right thing anyway. It’s especially beautiful if they’re unlocking truths most adults can’t grasp just by looking at the pages of a coloring book.
Andrew Duhon’s album is called Emerald Blue. The rest of the album features standouts like “Slow Down,” which Duhon quite literally slows down for the final chorus. In taking his own advice, he creates a memorable track and a minute’s worth of a sweet slow jam. “Emerald Blue” and “Down From the Mountain” follow in the great tradition of American roots music in that they use the beauty of the natural world to portray an emotion.
“Down From the Mountain” especially works as reentry to the world following the pandemic lockdown. Duhon, a resident of New Orleans, told me he’s looking to get a cabin in the mountains of the Northeast or Pacific Northwest to escape to during the summer and just sit back and fish. It seems that even for a musician who travels the world, there’s a desire to climb back up the mountain from time to time and ‘slow down.’
Above is the full episode as aired on WUSB’s Country Pocket, including both my interview with Andrew Duhon and the songs we discussed, starting with the first half of our interview. You can hear the show live every Monday at 11am on WUSB 90.1 FM or check the blog to watch it as a YouTube playlist. Visit http://www.WUSB.fm and http://www.andrewduhon.com for more.