OutSmart‘s annual music issue: Four local talents make their own kind of music.
Photo by Gary Laird
This blond babe is a triple threat: singer, songwriter, and flute player. The barely 23-year-old hunk’s debut release, “Artificial,” which was released earlier this year, received international radio play on Sirius satellite radio, and the dance remix peaked at number four on the top-20 charts. But there’s nothing artificial about him.
“It’s a pop, rock, dance sound, but it’s very personal,” Duffy says. “The title song is inspired by someone I met as a summer camp counselor who was a drag queen and a good friend, and by the words ‘artificially flavored’ on the back of a soda can. I wrote it in five to 10 minutes.
“I’m so pleased with the feedback with the whole album. Three singles have been picked up by Sirius, so I am very lucky with my first album.”
Duffy says that lesbians, “in particular,” seem to like “Safe” (on which Duffy plays the flute). “They tell me they cry. I didn’t mean to make them cry, but I love that they love it!” Another song that became a Duffy hit was inspired by his background. “‘Call Back’ is a song about common courtesy, about calling back. I’m a Southern boy. I moved here from Baton Rouge, so I was raised that you call someone back!” Audiences yell out “Call back!” in live performances, and it became Duffy’s first number-one song.
Duffy is partnered with a man outside the music business. “I’ve been happily married for three years to the love of my life, Joseph. He’s in construction, so he’s been teaching me to paint and lay tile. We have three babies, cats named Dolce, Bella, and Cotton.”
Duffy, who performed at the 2007 Pride Festival in June, launches an East Coast tour next month and is working on a new album. His ultimate goal is to win a Grammy (“and world peace!” he adds), but he says he is happy with the success he has achieved so far. — M.G.
Josh Duffy performs on September 20, 11 p.m., at the club Splash in Baton Rouge.
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Diva House Rules
Christy Claxton, one of our favorite Texans, leaves her beautiful home base in LaGrange for a concert this month in Houston. This one-night performance on August 18 at a private residence in the Heights is part of the ongoing Diva House Concert series launched by Deborah Bell, the activist and KPFT Queer Voices co-host.
“I rarely do it anymore, but I promised my friends who host Diva Concerts that I’d play a show for them,” Claxton wrote. “I guess I better figure out what the heck I’m going to play and start practicing like more than the lazy armchair player I’ve become.”
Next month, Claxton’s popular outdoor Bear Creek Concerts return with a September 15 performance at Bear Creek Camp in LaGrange (about 100 miles west of Houston) On the bill: Garrison Starr and Alice Peacock. $10. Details: 979/249-2519, www.bearcreekconcerts.com, www.myspace.com/bearcreekconcerts.
JD Doyle, our own GLBT music historian, expert, and fan, concludes his epic four-part series on transgender performers with his Queer Music Heritage program on August 27, 9 p.m., which airs during the weekly Queer Voices show on KPFT-FM. On the show: jazz musician Jennifer Leitham and nightclub performer Veronica Klaus. The series, which began with the May show, has included interviews with San Francisco-based rock band Lipstick Conspiracy, cabaret singer Alexandra Billings, Lucas Silviera (the transman leader of The Cliks), and the legendary Christine Jorgensen (1926 – 1989). Listen to all four Queer Music Heritage episodes at www.queermusicheritage.org.
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Three frankly queerly artists are included on the 20-track women’s rights benefit compilation Songs for Choice, produced by Houston resident Darrin Brindle. Joyelle of the Canadian electronic group Sonicjoy is bisexual. The duo The World According to Brent Hunter vs. Nina Ramsby consists of the bi Hunter and Ramsby, a lesbian. Other artists who contributed tracks to the digital release include James Harland Right and Amanda Ghost, who wrote the Grammy-nominated James Blunt hit “You’re Beautiful.” Songs for Choice (dPulse) is available for $9.99 through online distributors including iTunes, Yahoo, and Rhapsody. Sales proceeds directly benefit Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Emily’s List. Details: www.songsforchoice.com.
Brindle, who we previously featured with partner Mark Eggleston because of their activism with the annual Freedom To Marry Week (“The Marrying Men,” February 2007 OutSmart), is preparing a new GLBT rights compilation, Songs for Equality, which will be released in early 2008.— Tim Brookover