Thursday, April 29, 2010
Doug MacLeod - No Road Back Home - Vinyl Album
Doug MacLeod, the four time W.C. Handy Nominee who has songs on two Grammy Nominated Albums, was born in New York City, spent his formative years in North Carolina, moved back to New York, and was in his teens when his family moved to St. Louis, where he first heard the blues. In the mid-60's he enlisted in the Navy, and while stationed at Norfolk, VA., began to play acoustic country blues in the coffeehouses in Virginia and Maryland. During this time he met the one-eyed Blues-man Ernest Banks who taught him not only the music of the blues, but the philosophy of the blues. Doug's quotes, 'Never Play a Note You Don't Believe' and "Never write or sing about what you don't know about.' came from those 'countrified teachings'. Following his service in the Navy, Doug attended school, played the blues guitar part in the show 'Grease', explored jazz, and toured with Mary MacGregor supporting her number one hit 'Torn Between Two Lovers'. After a meeting with Shakey Jake Harris in 1977, Doug returned to his roots and began playing the blues in the Los Angeles area.
Doug's reputation as a superb guitar player spread quickly as he played with such blues giants as Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, Big Mama Thornton, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and Big Joe Turner. Also in Los Angeles, he met the legendary George "Harmonica" Smith, who became not only one of his best friends, but also a mentor and major influence on his music and his life.
Unlike some other bluesmen now leading their own bands, guitarist and singer/songwriter Doug MacLeod spent many years as an apprentice before forming his own band. MacLeod has worked as a sideman for many different artists from the Los Angeles-area blues scene, including Big Joe Turner, Charles Brown, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, and George "Harmonica" Smith. MacLeod was born in New York on April 21, 1946, and his parents moved to St. Louis shortly after his birth. He spent his teen years frequenting the blues clubs there, learning from people like Albert King, Little Milton, and Ike and Tina Turner. He took up the bass in his teens and played around St. Louis with local bands before enlisting in the Navy. MacLeod was stationed in Norfolk, VA, and spent his off-duty time playing in blues bars. He eventually settled in Los Angeles, accompanying many other blues performers before forming his own band. His songs have been recorded by Albert King, Albert Collins, and Son Seals. MacLeod's 1984 album, No Road Back Home, was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award in 1984 and has since been reissued on compact disc on the Hightone label. MacLeod has widely available albums on Audioquest -- Come to Find (1994), You Can't Take My Blues (1996), Unmarked Road (1997), and Whose Truth, Whose Lies? (2000). His first Audioquest disc features guest appearances by harmonica players Carey Bell and fiddle player Heather Hardy, while the second has a guest appearance by harp player George "Harmonica" Smith. MacLeod has also recorded for a variety of independent labels, including such albums as Woman in the Street, 54th and Vermont, and Ain't the Blues Evil. 2002 saw the release of MacLeod's A Little Sin, recorded in July of that year with producer/frequent collaborator Joe Harley.
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