Salon Radio

Salon Radio header image 1

Salon Radio presents: Songwriter and Servant of Song Emily Duff; actress, writer, and improviser Sunita Deshpande

August 20th, 2019

Salon Radio

Podcast Release 20 August 2019


Salon Radio Special Guest: Prolific songwriter and humble servant of song, Emily Duff 

~ and ~

 Salon Solo {Radio} Guest: actress, writer, and improviser Sunita Deshpande


This episode is hosted by IWAS founder Heidi Russell with Valentine Aprile presenting this show’s guests. Salon Radio is rounded out with our Women in The Arts world bulletin highlighting news about women in all The Arts, from this week’s editor Heidi, and our Salon Bulletin highlighting Salonistas work around the world.


Recorded at our production partner Funkadelic Studios with engineer Shivendra Rai.




Guest Profiles


Sunita Deshpande

Sunita Deshpande grew up in Tarpon Springs, Florida. She participated in Thespians in High School and double majored in English and Advertising at the University of Florida. Her improv experience with Theatre Strike Force at UF had a profound impact on her, and she continued to study at UCB when she moved to NYC. She very much looks up to John C. Reilly, Steve Carell, and Francis McDormand for the range they can play and after seeing Steppenwolf's August: Osage County on Broadway she decided to study with Maggie Flanigan Meisner Studio. She can most recently be seen on Daredevil as well as well as her short film, A Sari for Pallavi. She also has appeared recently in UCB's Gravid Water - her favorite UCB show.


Sunita’s Artist Statement

A Sari For Pallavi


“The world I've created brings together the two opposing sides of being Indian-American. Thini, Orthodox, from Bangalore, honors tradition - doing everything in a certain way. Pallavi comes from the opposite angle entirely - pushing Thini almost like a petulant child with her antics. This piece is written in a farcical manner - I wanted to create something that was not a traditional short film but also something that was not a comedy sketch. I wanted something in-between. I wanted to juxtapose the sides so they would eventually crack open a conversation about glamour v. artless beauty, resistance v. acceptance, self-absorbtion v. selflessness, and how within us all we're all looking pretty much for the same things.” ~ Sunita


Tidbits and Upcoming for Sunita


My favorite quote: Circumstances do not create the man, they reveal him to himself.



Favorite writer and secret boo even though he's gay: Oscar Wilde


“I'm (fingers crossed eek!) working on a new piece for proof of concept for a play I wrote last year called Worshipping the Son about misogyny and patriarchy particularly in the Indian household. I don't have any brothers but watching my friends who did was very eye-opening for me growing up. I've noticed particularly in Hispanic households as well as Jewish households the treatment of the son as the 'King' can have a traumatizing effect on the daughters. Daughters and women in general are held to very high standards, and I like to play around in life as well as art to see what buttons I can push when it comes to that. I struggle with this admittedly because I myself am not a parent, so whom am I to judge how a mother treats her son? I also noticed a very strong toxic white straight male culture in the first ad agency I worked at and that will definitely be a subject of my work one day.


I'm also working on a short horror film as well and my instagram @luckysunita has my comedy bits that I like to write once in a while.” ~ Sunita


Amy Poehler's Blog featured Sari for Pallavi:


Samuel French OOB Article Featuring Me:





Emily Duff


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.  Called the ‘perfectly cool combo of Lucinda Williams meets Patti Smith,’ Emily Duff’s street-smart poetry and vocal style conjure moods & images that seduce the listener to explore emotional vistas that entice and beguile.  Her 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. With 3 records under her belt, her latest, HALLELUJAH HELLO was named Americana song of the week by Rolling Stone Magazine and has received rave reviews.  Emily has shared stages with Willie Nile, Steve Earle & Shawn Colvin, Marshall Crenshaw, Scott Sharrard, Donavon Frankenreiter, Marcia Ball, Donnie Fritts and many others.  Emily’s version of Willie Nile’s “HELL YEAH” will appear on the Paradiddle Records Tribute to Willie Nile this year, has 5 songs in the Independent feature, “Looking for the Jackalope” available on and has written and performed on numerous TV and radio commercials.  Emily is currently writing songs with R&R 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.  


Emily’s new record

Emily’s newest Record is called HALLELUJAH HELLO (officially released on 2/22/19) - All music is available on Bandcamp, iTunes,, Spotify.  Emily plays the 3rd Monday of every month at Cowgirl located at 519 Hudson Street NYC.  Emily will be going into the studio with Producer Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Bottle Rockets, Sarah Borges, Jimbo Mathis, Spanking Charlene), on 8/3 at Cowboy Technical Services to record 2 new songs.  She will return to the legendary FAME Studio in Muscle Shoals, AL to record her 3rd record there with Producer John Gifford III in November 2019.  Her band will include original members of the Fame Gang and The Swampers.   She will be live with her full band again on August 28th in Parker Press Park in Woodbridge NJ for their outdoor concert series, as well as at the Haverford Music Festival in Haverford, PA along with Larry Campbell & Theresa Williams, Teddy Thompson, Amy Rigby and others.  





"’Hallelujah Hello' is Emily’s best album to date. She reminds me of some of the great earthy, big-voiced roots singers I loved in the 1970’s— Tracy Nelson, Marcia Ball and more. She borrows from that blues and roots tradition but makes it her very own with her sensitive and personal lyrics.” - Rosanne Cash (Singer, Songwriter, Author)


"Marianne Faithful meets The Carter Family on Tony Joe White's front porch.  Emily invites you up on that porch and tells you stories you want to hear over and over again. She's condensed classic novels into 3 and a half minute sweaty gems.” - Marco Giovino, Producer/Drummer (Robert Plant, Patty Griffin, Norah Jones)


“An immediate knockout. A small masterpiece.” - John Apice, Americana Highways


"Emily Duff singing and writing feels truly sanctified by Soul Deep sounds of gritty-sweet Southern R&B. Can I get a witness?” - Howard Wuelfing, Howlin' Wuelf Media


"Betty Lavette, Irma Thomas, Etta James and Doris Allen. Women who really were the equals of Redding and Pickett - that’s the pool that Duff dives into on Hallelujah Hello and she comes back to the surface with pearls.” - Paul Kerr, Blabber ’n Smoke


"Magnificent in its lyrical capacity, with texts ranging from the gospel itself to the most greyish of our existence that lead us to the need for redemption, although always loaded with elegance, Duff flits between the swing and the honky tonk, between the rockabilly and soul, between country and rock and roll, between the solemnity of Mahalia Jackson and the mockery of the Rolling Stones of Sticky Fingers. An authentic gem.” - Eduardo Izquierdo, Rock on Magazine 3/27/19


"Praise be to the rock & roll survivors, and on 'Hallelujah Hello' New York vet Emily Duff gives her own thanks with some meaty slide guitar and stained-glass organ. One part Patti Smith, one part Muscle Shoals, it’s the title track to her new, just-released LP.” - Jeff Gage, Rolling Stone Magazine


"Extraordinary musical gifts sometimes come to us from unlikely places. Hallelujah Hello is a rich musical gift from Emily Duff that music aficionados will appreciate and enjoy..”  - Howard B. Leibowitz, Elmore Magazine


“You get the best of both Americas with Emily Duff. The New York native has urban cool in spades, her drawled vocal implying dive-bars and dangling cigarettes. But as with 2017’s Maybe in the Morning, Hallelujah Hello benefits from her move to FAME Studios, Alabama, where a wishlist of of Muscle Shoals veterans give her songs a slug of Southern twang. Standouts like Get in the Water and Jesus Love this Tired Woman nail the balance beautifully.  It’s a strong return.” - Henry Yates, Country Music Magazine UK 


"Duff proves that lightning can strike twice in the same place. Following what has to be the most underrated album of the past few years, Maybe In the Morning, Duff returns to Muscle Shoals a second time. But this time the lightning is in the form of a gospel album.  Taken together, her last two recordings demonstrate that Duff is one of a handful of today’s great R&B artists, not just as a vocalist but as a writer and bandleader as well. She’s dynamite." - Amos Perrine, No Depression


"Emily Duff raises the church roof with her soulful vocals on the stunningly moving album Hallelujah Hello. Every song on Hallelujah Hello moves and transforms, and Emily Duff testifies to the power of the Spirit on each of the powerful gospel tunes” 

- Henry Carrigan, The Alternate Root


"I found myself dancing to this record. Not a pretty sight. Emily Duff is so cool and hot at the same time. This record has that much lauded Muscle Shoals Sound, and great songs, and Emily’s wonderful performances.” - Linda Thompson, Singer


“Emily Duff is a great artist! Every time I see her play live I can’t help thinking how much Keith Richards would dig it if he were there. She’s the real thing!”  - Willie Nile, Singer-Songwriter


"Emily's record, Hallelujah Hello is easy on the ears, with that sweet 'n' natural Muscle Shoals sound and soulful singing that makes you happy to be American.” - Robbie Fulks, Singer-Songwriter


"Emily Duff knows her way around a heartbroken lyric, and here she's added the Sound of the South to the mix…”   - Christine Ohlman, Singer - SNL Band


"This record took me to church and back for confession.  It’s Americana/Alt country at its best! The production is top notch. I can hear and feel what every musician has to say. The ballads make me wanna watch the sun go down on a back porch in Alabama sippin’ a cold one.  All and all this record has no wasted lyrics or throw away tracks.  It has a perfect sequence to stroll you through the journey of life’s biggest question….” 

- Johnny Pisano, Musician 


"The music, the singing, the feel is as elemental as dirt and grass. Emily Duff is a yearning gospel tinged blues-kissed rockin’ folk artist with occasional subtle, surprising hints within the songs that she’s also listened to her fair share of the Beatles. And it is all laced throughout with true soulfulness. ” - Tom Shaner, Singer-Songwriter


"The uber talented Emily Duff is at it again. She just released here follow up to “Maybe In The Morning” and it is a good one. From New York City by way of Muscle Shoals, this 12 song, 45 minute album will give you more shakes than Baskin Robbins. While “Maybe In The Morning” was a bit more on the rockabilly/honky tonk side of the tracks, “Hallelujah Hello” is pure southern gospel. And Emily nails it. Right down to the stellar backing vocals and the Hammond organ licks all over da place.  Do I have to say it again? okay, I love local, independent artists. And Emily Duff is just that. Besides being indie as all get out, she is also a stone cold singer-songwriter. Since conversion seems to be a central theme of this collection, let me just say you will be converted after one listen. Hallelujah!” - Harry Kaplan, Twangrila


Play this podcast on Podbean App