Antje Duvekot on Music, Travel & Her Next Album

As she works on her fourth studio album, the Boston-based chanteuse talks travel and folk music while singing the praises of her adopted hometown

From her native Heidelberg, Germany, Antje Duvekot (we'll make it easy on you—pronounced: Aunt-yuh Doo-va-kott) relocated first at age 13 to Delaware before moving north to Philadelphia, then New York City, and finally settling in Boston. Although a veteran performer in the city she now calls home, Duvekot is a rising star on national folk scene and tours the country often. She's currently working on new music for her latest studio album, which is to be self-produced. We sat down for a chat to learn what inspires her and where her travels take her. We also asked her to plan an itinerary for her perfect day in Boston, which you can read here

What initially drew you to music?

Music drew me to music. I was obsessed since the day I was born. As a kid, I spent countless hours recording myself on a little tape deck and singing harmony with myself. I could not get enough of this activity.

What inspires your work?

Nowadays? Well, making up tunes is still thrilling. Creating melodies out of thin air is this joyous chase for sonic beauty that can be pure bliss because it is so playfully right brained or flow-oriented: you basically just set your associative cortex free to roam and see where it ends you up! Lyrics tend to be a bit more controlled for me since I know what I want to say. Over the years, i've just gotten good at recognizing poetry in my thoughts and molding it to suit my message, which usually involves the human condition. 

This August, you had your campaign for your fourth studio album “Twenty Dollar Leap Year” fully funded through Kickstarter. How's it coming along?

I am really excited about this one. It will be the first time I am self-producing. Having complete control over the project from start to finish is incredibly exciting (and a little daunting). Since the album as of yet was successfully crowd-funded, I've got the budget to make a quality album (including its subsequent promotion). Beyond the practical implications of superseding my fundraising goal, having done so sort of bestows an affirmative mandate on me as an artist. Essentially, fans are saying they trust that wherever my muse skirts off to will be a place they'll want to follow. Crowd-funding is a good way to keep in touch with whether your art still matters. While I don't create explicitly for others, I wouldn't bother doing it if it didn't resonate. After all, everyone wants to feel useful.

Best local club for playing live music?

Club Passim for its heart, Sanders Theater for its grandeur and its sick acoustics

Any local shows you’ll be attending this October?

Yes! I'm planning on seeing Shawn Colvin at TCAN in Natick (Oct. 23) and Anaïs Mitchell (Oct. 13) and Mark Erelli (Oct. 18) at Club Passim.

Favorite local hidden gem, music-related or not?

I'm always grateful for the Minuteman Bikeway, a bike path that stretches from Somerville to Lexington. Being on foot or bike is sweet for getting around the city without contending with car traffic.

Do you travel often?

Oh yes. ... Oh! You mean travel where I actually see things? Well, my tour schedule doesn't tend to leave much time for sightseeing. That being said, I have a pretty mean sense of this country as a whole and its people and regions from having crisscrossed it so many times over. My favorite areas: the Bay Area, Seattle, Colorado and New England

Top 5 songs on your travel playlist?

  1. "Homeward Bound" by Simon & Garfunkel
  2. "Lost Highway," by Hank Williams
  3. "Sweet Baby James," by James Taylor
  4. "Gotta Have You," by The Weepies
  5. "Good Day to Die," by Meg Hutchinson

If you could jump on a plane and visit three music festivals anywhere in the world, what would they be and why?

  1. Newport Folk Festival, because Dylan went electric.
  2. Rocky Mountain Folks Festival, because it's beautiful.
  3. Cayamo, A Journey Through Song, because I love the line-up, and it happens on a boat!

Where are you headed next?

A tour of the Midwest, and a tour of the South, followed by home gigs at Club Passim here in Cambridge.