“Thank You, Derrick Watson,” the new single from indie/folk duo Frances Luke Accord, drenches harmony-filled folk in the baking rays of a shimmering, Hawaiian glow. The single is inspired by Hawaii judge, Derrick Kahala Watson, who froze President Trump’s travel ban in 2017. Although rooted in this political current, “Thank You, Derrick Watson” ripples beyond politics, exploring ideas of empathy and innocence from the sonic vantage of Watson’s own childhood home. Listen here
Watson made national headlines after temporarily freezing President Trump’s revised ban on travelers from several Muslim-majority countries, giving an institutional voice to a tide of Americans outraged at what they perceived as thinly veiled racism motivating the American executive office. Frances Luke Accord celebrate Judge Watson’s courageous rebuke by singing: “although it may be little praise, my friends and I think you’re great for what you’ve done today.” Yet just as they praise the courage of their hero, the famously introspective duo turn quickly inward, questioning the roots of their own prejudices and personal shortcomings to craft an evocative meditation on life, suffering, and the role of compassion in global culture.
Frances Luke Accord’s plucky approach and sunny optimism arrive embodied by a thick layering of acoustic instrumentation, including notably Hawaii’s most popular musical export, the ukulele. Swinging acoustic guitar and upright bass bathe the tune with a flush of oceanside warmth and lift the duo’s signature vocal harmonies into a richly nuanced articulation of hope and sincerity. “Thank You, Derrick Watson” is earnestly philosophical, relishing in the seaside corridor where folk and island sounds transfuse.
11.13 CSPS Hall, Cedar Rapids, IA
11.14 The Warming House, Minneapolis, MN
11.15 Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music Cafe, Madison, WI
11.16 Old Town School of Folk Music, Chicago, IL
11.21 The Listening Room, Grand Rapids, MI
11.22 Riverdog, Wakeman, OH
11.23 South Bend Civic Theatre, South Bend, IN
01.22 Folk Alliance International, New Orleans, LA
01.23 Folk Alliance International, New Orleans, LA
01.24 Folk Alliance International, New Orleans, LA
01.25 Folk Alliance International, New Orleans, LA