Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones review…October 19, 2018….

DOUG DEMING

AND THE JEWEL TONES

COMPLICATED MESS

ELLERSOUL 1809

COMPLICATED MESS–SWEET POISON–YOU RASCAL YOU–HOLD ON–NEED MY BABY–BLUS STOP KNOCKIN–DEEP BLUE SEA–SOMEDAY PRETTY BABY–CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS–JUST A MOMENT OF YOUR TIME–I’M WALKIN–COOKIN’ AT THE KITCHEN–RAT KILLIN

Doug Deming is another artist we have enjoyed listening to for a number of years.  He joins the EllerSoul roster with his latest release, “Complicated Mess,” but it’s really not complicated, at all,  as long as you dig the blues that jump, jive, and wail from the first note!  Doug was born in Detroit, but now calls the Gulf Coast side of Florida his home base.  For this set, he offers up ten original swingers, plus three rarely-performed covers.  This set also features guests Kim Wilson, Little Charlie Baty, Bob Welch, and Sax Beadle, making for a sweet blues ride, sho’ nuff!

The title cut leads off, full of Doug’s fat-toned guitar.  It’s a swampy tale of a bad lover who “makes everything I do seem wrong!”  That spooky vibe continues with another lover who “wouldn’t tell me her name,” only giving out “Room 224” and that “Sweet Poison that overtook me!”  Kim is on the big ol’ chromatic here, too.  The slow groove of “Deep Blue Sea”has fantastic piano from  Bob Welch, while Doug’s foray into soul-blues, “Hold On,” hits a perfectly-sweet vibe!

His covers are red-hot, too.  Dig “I’ll be glad when you’re dead, You Rascal You,” and a unique version of the Fat Man’s “I’m Walkin,” as Doug uses his guitar to re-create the piano strides, but doesn’t mess with the Sax Beadle solo at the bridge!  The third cover served as one of our favorites.  Kim Wilson is once again on harp, as Doug hits a deep Excello groove on a sweet cover of Lazy Lester’s “Blues Stop Knockin,” effectively capturing Lester’s plaintive “why can’t misery set me free?”  Our other favorite was the rhumba-rockin’ original tale of “Someday Pretty Baby, you’ll bring that sweet lovin’ home to me!”

Altho this set was laid down in Hayward, CA at Bigtone Records, it could have easily been done at 2120 Michigan Avenue back in the day!  Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones keep alive that good ol’ vintage sound, while making it current for today’s contemporary fans.  Hey y’all—get ready to cut some rugs to a “Complicated Mess!”  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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