Doug MacLeod review…March 12, 2013…

DOUG MACLEOD

THERE’S A TIME

REFERENCE RECORDINGS  RR-130

ROSA LEE–BLACK NIGHTS–THE UP SONG–MY INLAWS ARE OUTLAWS–THE ENTITLED FEW–A TICKET OUT–RUN WITH THE DEVIL–ST. ELMO’S ROOMS AND POOL–I’LL BE WALKING ON–EAST CAROLINA WOMAN–THE NIGHT OF THE DEVIL’S ROAD–DUBB’S TALKING RELIGION BLUES–GHOST

 

Doug MacLeod is one of the most respected bluesmen in the world.  He’s been nominated for Blues Awards (this year in the Acoustic Artist category), created an instructional guitar DVD, hosted his own blues radio show, and contributed “Doug’s Back P orch” to Blues Revue readers for ten years.  And, he’s released nineteen critically-acclaimed albums, the most recent being “There’s A Time,” for the Reference Recordings label.  This set boasts thirteen originals, all done in Doug’s warm, witty, and soulful style.  He’s joined by Denny Croy on bass, and Jimi Bott on drums, and it was recorded “live in the studio,” so what you hear is what went down when three great musicians get together!

 

Doug’s vocal style is steeped in the traditions of the old-time travelling troubadours, and, just like a great storyteller, his lyrics will make you think.  There are too many highlights n this set to count, so we’ll start with the title cut, cleverly-disguised as “The Up Song.”  Done in a brilliant, upper-register delivery, Doug reminds us that “There’s A Time” to stand up, wake up, even speak up, but never to give up!  “Run With The Devil” is a deep, brooding blues that gives a subtle nod to Robert Johnson and his infamous “deal,” and tells us that “if you run with the Devil, you gonna burn.”  The set closes with another powerful, sparsely-arranged blues, “Ghost.”  It’s Doug’s way of telling us to stop chasing ghosts, and to learn to let things go.

There are some quite humorous moments, too.  “My InLaws Are Outlaws” is a real hoot, altho Doug swears it’s NOT a true story!  And, the “Golden Rule” down at “St. Elmo’s Rooms And Pool” is “do unto others before they do unto you!”

 

We had two favorites, too.  People who would take advantage of others less fortunate just because they feel they are “above it all” get their come-uppance in “The Entitled Few.”  And, perhaps the most thought-provoking cut on the set is “Dubb’s Talking Religion Blues.”  It takes a hard look at those zealots who believe that their religion is the only true ticket to salvation.

 

The man affectionately-known to his fans as “Dubb” writes songs that hit you in the heart and go straight to your soul.  Albums such as “There’s A Time” are the reason that Doug MacLeod is such a revered man of the blues!   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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