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Duke Arts Presents

The Dead Tongues

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 | 6:30 pm

American Tobacco Campus

These outdoor concerts are free, no registration is needed, and masks are required. Bring a chair, a blanket, and visit pop-ups by Parker & Otis, Boricua Soul, and Mellow Mushroom for drinks and dinner. The amphitheater is the grassy area below the Lucky Strike water tower and parking is available in one of three nearby decks.


Within a single album, Ryan Gustafson’s metaphysical folk project The Dead Tongues can shift between landscape panorama and domestic still-life. Take, for example, the first chorus of last year’s Transmigration Blues track “Strangers” — “All my friends / cut their long hair, settled down / they’re acting like strangers” — which reads as both a droll pandemic portrait and poignant social commentary. A frequent performer with the likes of Hiss Golden Messenger and Phil Cook, the now Western North Carolina-based Gustafson returns to Durham to usher in autumn with his open-road folk-rock treatments.


Current Duke Performances COVID-19 regulations

The Dead Tongues - Empire Builder

“... an album that transmogrifies heavy emotional burdens into some of the most disarming folk-rock you’ll ever hear... Gustafson drags past darkness into present light.”