Coming March 12, 2013 from Reference Recordings — Doug MacLeod: There’s a Time
Produced by Doug MacLeod and Janice Mancuso and recorded at Skywalker Sound, the “baker’s dozen” tracks on There’s a Time showcase his soulful vocals and trademark guitar sound backed by Denny Croy on bass and Jimi Bott on drums. Acclaimed for their quality audio recordings, Reference will also release the new album on a 200-gram vinyl two-LP set, half-speed mastered and pressed at Quality Record Pressings (QRP), as well as on CD.
“Making this album was different than any other one I’ve done in the past,” recalls MacLeod about the sessions. “They put Jimi, Denny and me on this huge soundstage at Skywalker Sound in Marin County and we sat around in a circle where we could see each other. We played live, no overdubs, just three guys playing some music together.
“Simply put, Jimi and Denny are two of the finest musicians I have ever had the pleasure to make music with. I’ve been known to change arrangements on the spot: add a bar here, take away a bar there. I go with the feeling of the moment. Both Jimi and Denny have this uncanny ability to follow that – even under what could have been pressure circumstances for other musicians.”
A perennial Blues Music Award nominee, MacLeod is currently nominated for “Acoustic Artist of the Year.” Doug is a throwback musician in the great tradition of the traveling bluesman from the genre’s classic era, having apprenticed with some of the best as a sideman with such legends as Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Big Mama Thornton and George “Harmonica” Smith. During that time, he developed his unique, unorthodox and powerfully rhythmic acoustic guitar style, which he puts to great use on There’s a Time playing on a variety of guitars with such pet names as “Moon” (a National M-1 Tricone), “Little Bit” (a Gibson C-100 FE) and “Owl” (a National Style “O”), plus a National El Trovador 12-String.
The other element of Doug’s style is his remarkable ability as a storyteller, another trademark of the classic itinerant blues musician. Listening to the songs on There’s a Time is like attending a master class on storytelling, as MacLeod weaves tales that are visceral, insightful and often humorous (as on the songs, “My In-laws Are Outlaws,” “St Elmo’s Rooms and Pool” and “Dubb’s Talkin’ Religion Blues”).
Like the old masters who taught him, MacLeod’s songs are based primarily on his own life and experiences, instilled with the spirit one particular influential bluesman once told him: “Never play a note you don’t believe, and never write or sing about what you don’t know.”
“If you’re speaking honestly, then I believe you’re coming from your heart,” MacLeod says. “And if you’re coming from the heart, then I believe your chances of getting to another heart are real good. If you can get to the heart, then you can get to the soul, and I think that’s where songs like to live.”