Blues Blast Magazine‘s May 31 issue features Doug MacLeod on the cover along with an extensive new interview by Don Wilcock!
The first time Doug MacLeod performed “Break The Chain,” the title song from his latest album, was in Denmark. “I was doing a festival. I was in this room. There must have been about 300 people there, and they all stand up there in Denmark. And I mentioned the story of “Break The Chain.” How do you break the chain of abusive families to overcome adversity and not be subject to it?
“I saw some movement as I was singing the song, and there as a young man, maybe 20 years old. He kept moving up through the crowd. He sat down in front of me as I was singing the song, and he sat down like a person who does meditation. He crossed his legs, the hands out on top of the knees, and he was listening to the song.
“It was the last song of the set. When I got done, I was signing CDs, talking to people, and he waited until the very, very end and came up to me. I thought he wanted a CD, but he didn’t want a CD. He just said to me, ‘Mr. MacLeod?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘I heard your song “Break The Chain.’” I said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This means I still gotta chance, don’t I?’ I said, ‘Yes, young man. You still got a chance.’”
For MacLeod, playing electric guitar started out as a way to sell alcohol to hippies and make a living. He was lucky enough to study at the feet of masters like George “Harmonica Smith, Ernest Banks and Lowell Fulson who taught him the power of truth and honesty that is real blues. Projecting that truth became therapy in dealing with his own abuse as a child and has become a window that opens out to his fans in music with a personal spiritual revelation. “I still get chills now remembering that young man,” says MacLeod who plays acoustic and writes all his own songs.
“To me that is the most fulfilling thing that can happen because you’re making a difference in somebody’s life. There’s more to this music than just three chords, and it’s more than just let’s have a party tonight. There’s a way to get through life with this music. There’s a way to handle the adversities that come into everybody’s life. I remember learning it, being around those guys just like (Ernest) Banks in Virginia. How the honesty was.…