As a teenager, Sabrina Duke sang on the Warped Tour and at the famed CBGB music club in New York City. But at 33, she says a full-time life on the road isn't for her.
"I decided that I couldn't sell my soul to the music industry," she says. "I feel like if you can create a fanbase and gain enough experience and learn how the self-promotion works, I think you can get it going on your own. That's exciting for someone like me."
New album: Duke, who teaches second-graders in the Red Lion Area School District and puts her 7-year-old son at the top of her priority list, released her first album in May. The CD features a dozen original songs put together by her and her guitarist, Frank Tittiger, and backed by a band.
"Typically I will write the lyrics and melody, and then I'll get together with Frank and he'll come up with the chords on the guitar," she says. "All of my songs are extremely personal."
Duke delivers strong lyrics in rich, sultry tones on songs like "The One." The voice might be an inheritance from her mother, an artist, while her natural comfort in front of a crowd could be a nod to her father, a performer who "loves to make people laugh."
"I got a little bit of her voice and his stage presence," she says.
She and Tittiger have been working together for about 13 years, a pairing that just clicked for both musicians.
"The first song that we wrote together, 'Knockin on Doors,' took us 45 minutes," she says. "It was unbelievable. We fit together musically."
With a four-octave range and a soulful R&B disposition, there's little that's out of reach for Duke. She attacks her goals with steady persistence.
"My goal was to create this album and have full control over it, and I accomplished that goal," she says. "I'm thinking now my goal would be to open up for a big act, like a Hershey Stadium type event."
Weekend show: First, though, she'll be the headliner for First Cap in the Capital, a show at Fed Live in Harrisburg on Friday.
"I'm nervous and excited at the same time, because it's the first time that I've organized a show like this," she says. "I wanted to make it more about sharing the stage with other talented musicians from the York area."
The Sabrina Duke Band will take the stage after performances by Elijah Cross, Andrew Gobel, Sympathy & the Lion and Strange Birdz.
"I know people will really enjoy it," she says. "They're all really good."
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The Sabrina Duke Band will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at Fed Live, 234 N. Second St., Harrisburg. The First Cap in the Capital show also will feature Elijah Cross, Andrew Gobel, Sympathy & the Lion and Strange Birdz.
Tickets are $10 at the door.
For more information about the Sabrina Duke Band album, visit www.reverbnation.com/sabrinaduke. The album is available online at CD Baby and iTunes.