Munk Duane
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Munk Duane

Boston, MA | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Boston, MA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Solo R&B Neo Soul




"Munk Duane Works Wonders on Argue With Gravity"

Munk Duane’s new album “Argue With Gravity” is a classy rock and roll affair with ballads, R&B, and a few other styles. Duane’s smooth, soft timbre coats each song with warm, emotive charm. The soundscape beneath the voice consists of many fine musical elements. Depending on the song, there could be anything from a dreamy synthesizer line to a more feisty lead guitar phrase, and each is artfully, tastefully self-restrained. Duane certainly uses the studio as an instrument throughout this album with each song benefiting from a consistent polish and shine.

Duane opens his album with the mildly R&B feeling song “Random Act Of Blindness.” His vocal sustains and coos contain plenty of soul as his voice seems to glide over the instrumentation. His soulful vocal eruptions make you feel what his song is all about. Duane shows here that he’s listened to a lot of Stax and Motown in his formative years.

“Stupid Pride” sways in with cool guitar riffs and a slowly mounting organ heft. Over this musical backdrop, Duane sings it smooth and hip, showcasing, with casual ease, his ability to create a mood and an atmosphere with his crooning. Meanwhile, supporting players finesse the soundscape with adept touches. A guitar phrase hums and sparks with excitement as a rhythm section keeps the pulse smacking with attitude.

“Long Way From New York City” is a slow boil hipster sprawl. Duane infuses this with loads of loneliness. His longing for companionship and personal connection emotes out of every note in his vocal melody line. Making you feel what the song is about is just icing on the cake, as the musical accompaniment also builds several swells of emotion. A piano backdrop quite effectively layers this whole thing in another wave of tenderness, and, the rhythm section nudges it forward with dollops of well placed drum fills and tasteful bass guitar touches. There is a hint of Joe Jackson classiness here as a lead guitar phrase gives it a tender edge.

“Arguing With Gravity” takes many cool twists and turns while offering Duane’s smooth, tender, emotive vocal. His guitar line beneath his voice tells the tale too, dropping down to a lower pitch with swooning swoops. It’s uncanny how well guitar riffs inter face with a percolating piano line. Those melody line instruments practically sing the emotion of the song with their own particular voices.

“Some Rivers” is another emotive ballad. In Duane’s hands this one builds into something special on the strength of a sprawling, sliding lead guitar cry in the backdrop and Duane’s soulful powerhouse vocal. Voice, guitar, organ, and a rhythm section build this one up with a mighty emotional heft. You can feel the instruments and vocals scaling mountainous heights, rising above multiple peaks, making the music feel like it’s on a mission to bring the listener to a place of clarity and solace.

“Bystander,” like some other songs on this album, begins with Duane giving a public service announcement like he’s talking through an electronic loud speaker. After defining the role of “bystander,” someone who sits one the sidelines during an intense drama, Duane does his best to evoke the feelings of someone in isolation. His soft lush of a chorus, some gentle piano tinkles, synthesized colors, and a brittle acoustic guitar work wonders to bring this song to three dimensional life. Duane keeps this one masterfully self-restrained, letting the emotion build up without spilling over the top or exploding.

“String Of Pearls” is a hip, funky rocker. Duane emotes with street corner cool while he makes this song feel like its moving forward with muscular musical underpinnings. This number swaggers down a dark hallway and occasionally kicks open doors with a sudden eruption of shifting dynamics. It’s a treat to hear Duane sing it so smoothly, with swaggering attitude, right next to twitchy guitar line.

“Where Is My Ever After” has a little more electric guitar verve. Duane croons soulfully, tenderly about life’s tragically unfair twists of fate. He clearly sympathizes with those who ended up with little to show for their lifetime efforts, and he puts this strong anthem across with an easeful delivery that makes it feel even stronger. Backing instruments have an important ensemble role here. Snappy guitar riffs, flinty organ swirls, and an adept rhythm section give this one a stubborn pulse.

Duane closes his disc out with “Coming After Me,” a number with pent up dramatic fever. Listeners can hear tension mounting, even in the tender acoustic guitar picking intro. Duane’s tasteful self-restraint implies some force or something needs to be restrained. He builds suspense, creating a sense of foreboding, making one feel there might be something dreadful waiting for him around the next corner. His vocal belt goes far and wide while remaining earthy, soulful. He certainly conjures a solid emotion here while wrapping it in cool vocal delivery. A sprawling guitar phrase and simmering string work complete the picture, making this tune a memorable finale to a fantastic album.

Munk Duane is a name people in the music scene need to remember. There is something special in his songwriting and there is a touch of genius in his ability to utilize a studio to take his songs to the level of art. This new album will likely open a lot of new doors for him.

- See more at: - Bill Copeland Music News

"Boston Band Crush Song Review: No July"

Today is the big day for the Munk Duane Band. I know they are playing at the Hard Rock Cafe on Thursday night, but without any music, well I don’t know what they’d do there. Lucky for everyone, they have released a new record today. So you have a chance to become acquainted with the material, see? So you make your acquaintance starting right now, and you’ll be good and ready for the big show on Thursday night. Everybody wins!

This song actually displays a pleasing melange of flavors from the get-go; presenting with the western flair of a big old hollowbody guitar (I bet it has F holes. Who you calling F-Hole, F-Hole?), the upwardly mobile beat of modern pop, and the pleasing shifts in speed and power that keep things interesting. It is these changes that make this song move, providing plenty of hills and valleys for the train that is “No July” to pass through. This makes for a nice landscape for everyone in the train, those passengers being this song’s listeners. Meaning us.

The song’s sense of dynamics sits on top of a sturdy framework – “No July” uses a fairly sweet and somewhat underused chord progression for the majority of the track. The “I – IV Minor” motif works its way through the track, painting a picture of a band that is able to utilize various tensions to bring a song around. The key interval here is the minor-ness of the IV chord (which is a augmented fifth for those of you keeping score who still know what I am talking about). All melodies and hooks revolve around this interval, and “No July” works it to near-perfection.

“No July” gets another sense of power from the gutsy vocals. No, we don’t mean “gutsy” as in “tries for it but doesn’t hit it and we don’t want to say anything mean,” we simply mean that these vocals have a sense of gravity and power to them that gives them a serious oomph. The vocals hit hard, especially in the chorus; holding onto notes long and strong. The stalwart vocal presence is perhaps the strongest thing in the track. The guitar sort of stands to the side and does one of those “Check this guy out!” hand gestures like they used to do in professional wrestling, hitting the side of the boat with waves of chords that don’t intend to knock it over, just simply to take part in the voyage. - Boston Band Crush

"Superstar Status"

"Munk crafts his music with intelligence and panache. Can superstar status be far behind?" - Boston Globe

"Up To The Challenge"

Usually when an artist has penned music for a variety of TV shows and video games, it means that they're quite musically versatile. The gentleman who goes simply by the moniker of Munk is up for a challenge of genre jumping any day of the week... pretty darn impressive.

With popular music becoming increasingly predictable circa the early 21st century, the arrival of a ‘hard to pin down' artist like Munk is certainly a welcome one - All Music Guide

"Vibrantly Fluid"

a “unique blending of lyrical resonance with the soft, vibrantly fluid flow of his music. The Alternative genre finds a touch of spirituality in the subtle beauty of this music, like a lively orchestra wrenching at your heartstrings while Munk's calmly passionate words reverberate a sense of understanding and recognition into your soul.” - Aced Magazine

"Why Are These Guys Not On Letterman?"

So I was sitting in a bar last night in Framingham, Massachusetts, and was ready to be somewhere else. At about that moment the band started up.

These guys were a revelation with some terrific original tunes. What distinguished this band was the sheer quality of the musicianship. I was not expecting it.

To be precise, the Munk Duane Band is basic American-style blues rock done very, very well. ZZ Top would not have walked out of that bar last night. This is not my number one favorite flavor of music, but I do like it quite a bit, and I know the real thing when I hear it. The question for me was – Why are these guys not on the radio, or the Letterman show or something?

I was glad to see some media notice for the band on their web site, so apparently they are out there hustling. I really don’t know anything about them other than hearing them play, and checking the web site. Anyway, good luck out there, Munk! Not that talent should have to rely on luck. - Bart Stewart

"Getting To Know Munk Duane Band"

In the latest edition of Getting to Know, we let Boston’s Munk Duane Band tell us about themselves. You can catch the band’s next performance at Precinct in Somerville on Friday, November 18 as part of the International Pop Overthrow Festival.

How did you form?
About two years ago, a music industry friend told me he felt I might have some Country songs in me. I had primarily been a rock and pop songwriter since I started writing songs but having Johnny Cash and The Allman Brothers in the depths of my musical consciousness, I was intrigued. I took a deep dive into traditional American music, coming at it from a student’s perspective, and started to discover threads I was compelled to start pulling on in my writing approach. I then shot for the moon and contacted people like Tony, who plays with every band in town, but is the guy if you want to play in this style. I never expected he would be available, let alone interested. He responded immediately. After several member changes and a handful of “field test” gigs under the moniker “The Radio Says”, the current lineup came into focus and it feels like doors are just starting to open.

Who are some of your influences?
It’s almost a loaded question when it comes to this band. Chet Atkins to The Rolling Stones to Joshua Tree era U2. As a writer, I gravitate toward artists who have successfully navigated the waters of Rock, Americana, Country and Pop and found a new voice within the combination. My iTunes on Shuffle these days will go from Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top and Bruce Springsteen to Jason Aldean, Brad Paisely and Little Big Town to Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs and Andrew Bird.

Finish the sentence, someone would like your band if they like…
… a little Country in their Rock and Roll.

What has your most memorable moment as a band been?
Battling Hurricane Irene to get from Boston to Secaucus, New Jersey to play The Meadowlands for Guitar Con, New Jersey and loosing. See the full story on our Vlog “Subfamous”.

Walk us through your songwriting process.
It changes from song to song depending on the instrument I start with. At times, I’m pounding out a melody and changes on an acoustic. Other times, I start on the rhythm section instruments (bass and Toontrack’s EZ Drummer for guide parts) and build the track from the feel on up. Lyrics are generally dead last and take the greatest investment of time on my part. I’m a habitual self-editor, which is born of necessity. I usually start with complexity married with ambiguity and attempt to boil away my pretense to the simple root. A great song to me is like a great joke: if you have to explain the punchline, it’s not very funny.

Who is the best musician in your band?
I refuse to answer this question on the ground that it may incriminate me. Pleading the 5th.

What is your favorite local venue?
MDB is relatively new so I’ll have to speak from past experience. I love to death playing The Lizard Lounge. I’ve never had a bad gig there and the vibe is so intimate, it’s easy to make connections. On a larger scale I have to go with the Paradise. It’s really hard not to feel like a rockstar on that stage when the room is jammed.

What separates you from other local bands?
We’re like the great melting pot. There are Americana bands, indie bands, rock bands, country bands and more in Boston, which is what makes the scene so distinctive and diverse. MDB is the band where all of these ingredients are simmered and served up piping hot. I think I just made myself hungry.

What do you have coming up that people should know about?
Well we just released out debut album, Everywhere is South of Somewhere, a few weeks ago, which is available on iTunes, Amazon and a gagillion other digital outlets, so we’re out playing in support of that now. We were invited to play the International Pop Overthrow Festival at Precinct on Friday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. We’ll also be at Rosebud in Somerville on Saturday, December 17.

Convince our readers to see your next show.
We’re here to make you feel good and give you a melody that you won’t be able to shake. It’s an inclusive experience of beer, smiles and song. A brief moment of simple pleasures in complicated times.

Band Members:
Munk Duane: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keys (Whitman, MA)
Tony Savarino: Slide Guitar (South Boston, MA)
Dark Mark White:: Upright Bass (Roslindale, MA)
Brian Kelly: Drums (Braintree, MA)
Conor Smith: Fiddle, Mandolin (Quincy, MA)
Julie Hunt: Backup Vocals (Weymouth, MA)

Everywhere is South of Somewhere (2011)

Website: - Boston Music Spotlight

"Oozing Coolness"

I am in love with Munk. I pop this CD in my player and it hasn't left since. His stuff is madly addictive. Before you know it, you’ll be skipping work to listen to Munk. Not long afterward, you’ll start shooting up Munk in the bathroom. No really, it’s that good. A perfect blend of irony and just plain kick ass rock & roll. The pace changes with every song, keeping you glued to your earphones until the end of the album. Never a dull moment, I swear! It’s the kind of music that simply oozes coolness. - The Noise


Theory of History: Part 2 (2018)

Another Day, Another Bullet (single) (2018)

Theory of History: Part 1 (2017)

Argue With Gravity (2015)



Winner MALE PERFORMER OF THE YEAR - 2018 New England Music Awards

With a sound that is traditional in its inception and modern in execution, Boston based Artist/Producer/Film Composer Munk Duane's style is born of the late 60s, early 70s singer-songwriter inspired rock and soul of Bill Withers and The Rolling Stones, filtered through a 21st century aesthetic.

Munk Duane's music has been featured in hundreds of television and film placements from The 70th Annual Tony AwardsThe Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Hawaii Five-O, 60 Minutes, NCIS and Blue Bloods, to HBO's The Sopranos, the 2010 Super Bowl Half Time Show and NCAA March Madness. He composed the original score for the 2015 Indie Thriller "The House Across The Street" staring Eric Roberts and Ethan Embry.

Munk Duane, who also an alumni of Berklee College of Music, has been featured in major press including Billboard MagazineThe Hollywood Reporter and The Boston Globe. Munk Duane endorses Reverend Guitars and became an official Reverend Artist in April 2016. 


ABOUT "Theory of History: Part 1 & Part 2":

Munk Duane is taking a new approach with the release strategy of his 6th and 7th albums "Theory of History", which was delivered in the form of a two-part entry over the course of 2017 and 2018.

Munk explains, "With such a tight listener focus on singles in today's market, I am essentially releasing the album in smaller batches of 'collected singles'. Given current listener habits, it's simply easier for them to engage and absorb 15 minutes of music rather than a full length album. I will always be an evangelist of the long form album format, but to ignore modern listener trends feels short-sighted to me. This strategy also has the benefit of allowing more touches with my fan base, more frequently, throughout the year".

The music on "Theory of History" is deeply rooted in modern interpretations of Soul, Pop and Blues, with tips of the hat to everyone from Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye to Brian Wilson and The Rolling Stones. A quasi-political thread runs through the lyrics, commenting on the contentious tenor in modern America.

The folks involved with breathing life into "Theory of History" read as a "Who's Who" of the most prominent names in the region... drummer Mike Levesque (David Bowie, Candy Butchers, Seven Mary Three), organ player Jim Gambino (Swinging Steaks) and New England Music Award Producer of the Year Sean McLaughlin on bass, who also all serve as Duane's live band. The basics for the album were recorded at McLaughlin's studio 37' Productions in Rockland MA, as well as Munk Duane's studio Bad Stella. The album was Mastered by Grammy winning engineer Mark Donahue

Band Members