The Duhks

This young quintet from Winnipeg might be called slightly punk bluegrassers, but they possess an inclusive nature that defies attempts at labeling or pigeonholing. They play what they like—blending and transcending genres like crazy—and their enthusiasms arc from Irish fiddle tunes to Afro-Cuban percussion, dark, old-time Appalachian melodies and Leonard Cohen. Combining Jessica Harvey’s soulful vocals with drums, banjo, violin and guitar, the songs oscillate between selections of jigs and reels—which really rock—to Cohen’s “Everybody Knows,” Ruth Ungar’s incestuous tale of woe, “Blue,” and back again to a spirited blues-gospel cover of “Death Came A Knockin.” They make the traditional sound utterly contemporary and firmly place the contemporary on the tree of tradition.