After rolling blissfully through the second album by Duquette – a multi-faceted alt-folk-rock based group led by veteran drummer, multi-instrumentalist Rob Duquette – I should be starting this summary by extolling the virtues of the stylistic freedom of being an independent artist. Over the course of ten tightly written, dynamically produced and soulfully sung tracks, Duquette, keyboardist Jake Sturtevant and bassist John Kumnick (Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie, Madonna) venture all over the map, embracing country-tinged pop rock (“Trust The Night”), lively, fiddle-laced bluegrass (“Two Paths,” “Broken Now”), jangling brass fired blues/pop, (“Touched Ground”), trippy, lilting reggae (“I Know What To Do”) and barn-burning blues (“Those Three Songs”). I should mention some of Duquette’s lyrical cleverness, too. He infuses the title track with a shout-out to Prince and the sound he left behind while celebrating beauty everywhere, and celebrates the hipster revival of facial hair on the funk/rocker “Decade of the Beard.”
Those are the elements of this continually surprising album that I should have focused on from the get go, but my geeking out over classic pop got the better of me when I learned that Duquette has been the longtime drummer for one of the 70’s most memorable one hit wonders, Jonathan Edwards (“Sunshine”). Edwards repays the favor as a guest on Trust The Night, working his rootsy harmonica magic on “Those Three Songs” and the introspective, melancholy-tinged pop/rocker “Coffee In the Dark.” I knew Edwards as a skilled singer-songwriter and guitarist, so it’s great to be exposed to this other talent in service of two of Duquette’s best tunes.
Like a lot of musicians, the singer-songwriter has made his living playing in a variety of settings, from jazz to children’s music to the jazz-pop-folk group Cactus Highway, which he co-founded. All of those experiences have provided him with a multitude of colorful influences to draw from as he continues to emerge with his amazing trio. Trust the Night is truly the ultimate fun, freewheeling indie album!