Interview: Duke Junior & The Smokey Boots

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Duke Junior & The Smokey Boots, an Athens-based band, will be celebrating the release of their sophomore recording effort at the pub where they first got together back in 2009.

The new album, a self-titled project, was engineered and produced by Eddie Ashworth, a professor in the School of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University. All 12 tracks were penned by the members of the band and feature the singing of songwriters Jess Kauffman, Kyle Lewis Martin and Matt Horne. 

The new album exemplifies the growth of the ensemble since their first album, Bags of Bones. The Martin compositions are mostly Americana/country affairs that reflect life and love in Athens, while Kauffman's and Horne's songs explore the swinging and bluesier sides of the band's sound. Kauffman's vocals are quite reminiscent of Eilen Jewell's, another young singer/songwriter influenced by American roots music.

The new material also affords guitarist Casey Davis and multi-instrumentalist Horne plenty of opportunities to stretch out as well as play tasteful backup parts that truly support the songs.

The album release party starts at 10 p.m. at Jackie O's Pub on West Union Street in Athens on Saturday, Oct. 15. For more information, visit the band's Facebook or Myspace pages.