Adam Thomas Howard is the Duke of Norfolk; well, at least that is what his moniker suggests. Although one of the main reasons behind the name was to distinguish himself from the many other Adam Howards in the world, the name, which he has carried since the summer of 2010, is indicative of a sprawling sound that features the authority and flair of British royalty. Some might take a quick listen to Howard’s crunchy acoustic guitar and his distinct southern drawl and consider his title somewhat ironic, but his full sound suggests otherwise. The name catches your attention and Howard’s distinct folk rhythms pull you in.
The Duke of Norfolk is no stranger to album releases and live shows. He released his debut under Adam Howard – Shadows and Shapes – in 2009, and since then has released several EPs and his debut full-length in February of this year under The Duke of Norfolk. Today I have for you a track off of the new album called “The South.”
From the outset the sound is engaging. The soft acoustic lay comfortably over drawn-out strings – much like John Cale’s stylings with the Velvet Underground. The music is uplifting and varied. The strumming is distinctive, and it matches the Duke of Norfolk’s eclectic Conor Oberst-like vocal. The song moves with a fantastic energy and the delightful strings and concluding vocal harmony bring it home to its country/folk roots. Add the Duke of Norfolk to a short list of excellent modern folk musicians.