Monday, March 31, 2008

31 Mar: Rolling Stone Feature and Mercy Performance!

No idea when it appeared (it is dated at April 3rd at the moment but that is obviously wrong), but I found this Rolling Stone feature today here.

Below you can watch a video of Duffy performing Mercy in a random shoot in Rolling Stone Offices.

You can download the MP3 of this Rolling Stone performance by visiting this link, and scrolling down a little to Bad_Girl_Lament's post.

Meanwhile, the Rolling Stone article is pasted below.

Artists to Watch: Seven Acts Who Are Defining Rock, Soul and Hip-Hop in 2008

Foals, Leona Lewis, Chester French, Duffy, Playradioplay!, Wale and Does It Offend You, Yeah?


Retro British soul belter channels Dusty Springfield, in sound and vision

Living in a small Welsh town where a trip to the nearest record shop requires two bus rides doesn't bode well for one's musical education. "I didn't know Aretha Franklin existed until I was almost nineteen!" says Duffy, 23, who came across "Respect" while recording her debut album.

Her producer, ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, stocked her iPod with tunes by the likes of Franklin, Al Green, Otis Redding and Dusty Springfield. "He'd do this teasing thing where he'd only give me one or two songs from each act," says Duffy, who studied the music during the six-hour commute from Butler's London studio to her home in the coastal village of Nefyn. "I'd have to go out and buy the rest myself."

The homework paid off: Duffy (she shed her first name, Aimee, six years ago) is racking up comparisons to vintage R&B icons — and not just for her peroxide bouffant and Sixties-glam-girl wardrobe. Rockferry (out May 13th) nods toward classic Stax and Motown with finger-snapping shuffles, gossamer strings and, of course, Duffy's prematurely rich and husky voice — which, ironically, didn't earn her a place in the school choir. "I gave up many of my lunch hours to audition," she laments. "I obviously wasn't adequate for the job."

Her songwriting chops, which she honed during after-school shifts at the local garage, came easier. "All day I'd be pumping gas and dying for a cigarette, but I couldn't smoke because I'd set the place on fire," she says. "It was really boring, but it was a good time for me, sitting there writing."

Teenage ennui, however, pushed Duffy to escape Wales. At sixteen, she embarked on a six-week soul-searching mission to Switzerland (she picked the country at random). "I wanted to be extreme, so I packed my bags and went," she says. By the time Duffy returned to attend college, she had a cache of songs written abroad, but she was nearly broke.

Considering welfare, Duffy was scouted by Waw Ffactor, Wales' American Idol-style competition. Snagging the runner-up spot, she soon found herself working as an unsatisfied backup singer. "I was just a voice — there wasn't room for me artistically," she says. "I was at the point of retiring with that hunger.

Quitting became a nonoption when one of Duffy's demos landed on the desk of veteran music exec Jeannette Lee, who signed on as Duffy's manager and sent her into the studio with Butler. From there, Duffy says, "I cut away all the bullshit and started writing."

Four years later, Duffy emerged with her debut LP, which is already a smash in Britain. The lead single, "Mercy" — marked by a "Chain of Fools"-reminiscent vamp and insistent girl-group "yeah yeahs" — spent four weeks on top of the U.K. singles chart. Duffy was in a car in Paris when she heard it on the radio for the first time. "The driver started beeping the horn and doing swerves down the street," she recalls. "I could've passed out."

Unlike fellow U.K. soul bird Amy Winehouse, Duffy says her tales of love gone bad are not based on real-life heartache. "I don't think I've ever been in love," admits Duffy, who sings about boarding a midnight train to the riverside town of Rock Ferry (near Liverpool) with "a bag of songs and a heavy heart" on the title track. She penned the song after glimpsing the city from a train window. "I've never even been there," she adds, "it's embarrassing."
[End of article]

So like I said there is a vid that you can watch at this link,of Duffy doing an exclusive performance of Mercy at the Rolling Stone offices. I recommend you close the background page (the Rolling stone article page) when viewing since the ads sap one's power somewhat and the video doesn't always play properly...

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