Live in Europe sounds really impressive, unless you are in Europe, where “Live in the USA” sounds more impressive. By now an elder statesman of the acoustic blues, singer-songwriter Doug MacLeod, known as “Dubb,” took his National resonator guitar named “Spook” and headed over to Holland back in 2006. This is a reissue of a DVD originally recorded back then, when MacLeod was signed to Black & Tan Records. He recollects that he had a fever that day and he had only 50 percent of his voice. This is the raw recording of MacLeod, Spook and his stomping foot. “No overdubs, no pitch control, no do-overs. It was one night when one of our best and finest acoustic performers today wasn’t feeling too good but went on stage anyway.” If that weren’t written here you would never know it. MacLeod is such a consummate professional, a superlative singer-songwriter and guitarist, a storyteller and performer, that the only thing you will notice is that this is a seasoned pro, a man who cut his teeth playing guitar for George “Harmonica” Smith. He’s played with Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Lowell Fulson and Big Mama Thornton. For three decades or so he has been an internationally successful touring musician, and if you don’t know him as a player, maybe you know him as host of Nothin’ But the Blues on Long Beach / Los Angeles’ KLON-KKJZ. Top that with winning the 2016 Blues Music Award for best acoustic blues artist. On this album he is a bit more gentle than normal, delivering nine tunes. He starts off with one of his signature songs I Want You, with his classic pick-up line by now so often copied by lesser men, “I want you / don’t you know I want you / every word is true / this man wants you.” He does a 14-minute-long version of Bukka White’s train song The New Panama Limited. He also delivers smooth versions of his standards Home Cooking, Cold Rain, Long Time Road, Turkey Leg Woman and Master Plan. Bad Magic is an homage to one of his early mentors, Ernest Banks of Toano, Virginia, a one-eyed bluesman who taught MacLeod, “Never play a note you don’t believe.” MacLeod surely took this advice to heart. As a performer and singer, MacLeod is simply unmatched. He interacts with the audience with plain talk, humor and natural “we’re all neighbors and friends” dialogue. He plays a pounding, percussive heartbeat on the guitar, singing with his rich and vibrant voice. Another thing he learned from Ernest Banks is to play his National resonator guitars with such rhythmic force that his audience can’t keep their feet still for wanting to dance. MacLeod remembers. “Ernest said, ‘You have got to make them dance.’ Because he said if they weren’t dancing they weren’t drinking, and if they weren’t dancing and drinking, he wasn’t going to get paid. So, you got to make them dance. The old bluesmen like Ernest Banks and Son House used to do that. Ernest said, ‘You ain’t shit unless you can make them dance.’” If there is one guy on the scene today who keeps the blues vibrant, fresh and new while keeping to the tradition and adding fiery and intensive original news songs, it’s Doug MacLeod.
Released today: B&T 954 – Doug MacLeod – Live in Europe
Besides four studio CD’s that we released on Doug MacLeod we also recorded one of his live shows. Those live recordings were released on a limited edition concert DVD in 2007. The DVD is no longer available and there for we decided to make this great music available on other platforms. The release will be digital only and available as streams and downloads on all the platforms. This is the first official (audio) release of Doug playing live as a solo artist. Here you can listen five tracks of the new release.
B&T 954 – Doug MacLeod – Live in Europe
We are preparing another great release ! Between 2002 and 2008 we released four great studio CD’s by Doug MacLeod on Black and Tan Records. But since the real magic comes out during his shows we also recorded a live concert in 2006. These live recordings were released on a limited edition concert DVD (The Blues In Me). The DVD is no longer available and we think it is time to make this great music available on other platforms. We edited the recordings and extracted eleven complete songs from the two live sets. This will be the first official (audio) release of Doug playing live as a solo artist.The release will only be available as stream and download on all the platforms. Scheduled release date is March 3, 2016.
He is a traveling artist that writes and sings original songs that are based on his own life and experiences. He learned from the old masters, lived the music, survived the life and carries forward a valuable tradition. MacLeod is known for his superb songwriting, guitar wizardry, warm soulful vocals, wit and unforgettable live performances. At the heart of this is his knack for storytelling, bringing characters-from the faceless to the legendary-to strikingly real life. As a youth he overcame abuse and a crippling stutter by turning to music. After he picked up a guitar, and tried to sing – he found his voice.
MacLeod’s playing landed him sideman gigs with George ‘Harmonica’ Smith, Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie ‘Cleanhead’ Vinson, Lowell Fulson and Big Mama Thornton. Under their tutelage, he learned how to thrill and enrapture a crowd. His songs have been covered by many artists including Albert King, Albert Collins, Joe Louis Walker and Eva Cassidy. He has co-written songs with Dave Alvin and Coco Montoya. MacLeod’s songs have been featured in many TV movies and the hit show In the Heat of the Night. Two of his songs are on Grammy nominated albums by Albert King and Albert Collins.
From 1999 to 2004 he hosted Nothin’ But The Blues, a very popular weekend blues show on Los Angeles’ KLON-KKJZ. For ten years he penned “Doug’s Back Porch,” a regular feature column in Blues Revue Magazine in which he shared his humorous and insightful stories with thousands of readers. Like the old masters who taught him, MacLeod’s music expresses life and times via an intangible, elusive quality that may simply be a keen sense of what matters most. There is a philosophic and healing side to MacLeod’s music and his stories that has helped others overcome the hardships of their lives.