Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Emily Duff
NYC based songwriter, Emily Duff is at it again. Almost exactly one year after the release of her Muscle Shoals FAME gang gospel album, Hallelujah Hello, Emily returns with Born on the Ground, Nine “love” songs that capture nine different relationship break-ups from her past. Produced by Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Bottle Rockets, Steve Earle, Jimbo Mathis) at Cowboy Technical Services Rig in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and mastered by Richard Dodd (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers,) Born on the Ground is a luxurious 20/20 hindsight look-back, without anger, for 2020.
About the record, Emily states, “I wanted to examine emotional wounds through the mature lens of time with the self-confidence faith and the wisdom of motherhood and marriage On my own from a very young age, I grew up rudderless, without positive role models for relationships and grew from tragedy, loss and trial and error to understand where true love and happiness lives for me today. Self-worth is something like planting a garden and understanding that what is born in and on the ground will someday, with work and a little bit of luck, be able to nourish and feed others well. Break-ups are not always with lovers. You can break-up with family members, careers, friends, political parties and bad habits as well. Yes, breaking up can be hard to do, but sometimes it’s how you save your own life.”
Born on the Ground was recorded live in Brooklyn with the Emily Duff Band: Scott Aldrich, Skip Ward, Charlie Giordano and Kenny Soule with guest appearances by Eric Ambel on guitars and vocals & Syd Straw, Mary Lee Kortes & Tricia Scotti on background vocals.
Emily Duff’s small batch brand of “sweet & sour rock and roll with a great big hit of country soul,” digs deep, weaving a patchwork of sin, tragedy, romance and regret that lies at your feet begging to be mended. A dark optimist, Emily Duff is a unique voice for women at a crucial time. A happily married wife, content with a sweet & simple life. A devoted mother who never really had one. A dedicated and reliable observer whose 30 years of sobriety allows her to be, for better or worse, fully “woke,” Emily is not afraid to show up to sing some Truth.
Duff has been compared to Lucinda Williams, Loretta Lynn, Nick Cave, Marcia Ball, Tony Joe White, The Carter Family, Tracey Nelson & Steve Earle. Rolling Stone Magazine wrote that Emily Duff is, “One part Patti Smith, one part Muscle Shoals.” Songwriter Wille Nile claims Emily to be “The real thing and a great artist.” And Henry Yates at Country Music UK Magazine states, “Emily Duff is a performer whose time is surely now.”
A prolific songwriter and humble servant of song, Emily was born in Flushing Queens, NY and raised by a pack of cigarettes. Her Mama taught her 4 perfect chords and then split, leaving Emily to figure the rest out on her own. With a deep love for vintage guitars, muscle cars & old man bars, Emily carved a path straight to CBGBs and never looked back.
She replaced Jeff Buckley as lead singer for Gary Lucas’ Gods & Monsters and had the honor of opening for Bob Dylan & Paul Simon at Jones Beach Amphitheater with her band, Eudora. After a hiatus to get straight, get happy and raise some pretty cute kids, Emily released her debut solo record, Go Tell Your Friends in 2015. Emily followed that up with 2017’s Maybe in the Morning recorded at FAME in Muscle Shoals, AL and produced by Craig Bishop, receiving 5 stars in Country Music UK Magazine. Shifting her gears to a “Higher Power,” Emily wrote & released, Hallelujah Hello in 2019, also recorded at FAME and produced by FAME’s own, John Gifford III and featuring an All-Star Band of Muscle Shoals vets, including members of the original “Fame Gang.”
Emily’s version of Willie Nile’s “Hell Yeah” will appear on the Paradiddle Records Tribute to Willie Nile in August 2020. Emily has written and performed on numerous TV and radio commercials as well as Independent films. Emily is currently writing songs with Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Ricky Byrd (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts) for his Clean Getaway Project. Emily Duff lives in Manhattan’s West Village with her husband Skip, their two children and hound dog, Banjo.