Doug MacLeod has been bringing the blues to the European continent as of late, and was recently interviewed in the Belgian publication Het Goor Gooreind in an article headlined by Doug’s quote “You have to listen to as much music as you can.”
Here are some quotes from the interview, and you can catch a translation of the interview in its entirety on Doug’s website www.doug-macleod.com:
Julian: “B.B. King’s guitar is called Lucille. What’s yours called?”
Doug MacLeod: “This one’s called Moon. I don’t know where it comes from. This is the one that National (National Reso-Phonic Guitars, red.) made for me. The one I had been using for so many years, called Mule, was a National. But it wasn’t in their catalogue so they asked me if I wanted to consider playing one that was in the catalogue. Of course I wanted to consider that, but I said: “If I don’t like the new one as much as I like Mule, then I’m going back to playing Mule.” So they made this guitar for me and they gave it to me, now six months ago. After about two and a half weeks, they called me up and asked me: “Have you named her yet?”. I said “no”, because they knew that if I had named her, I was going to keep her. Maybe a month later, they called me again. “How’s that new guitar going?”. I replied: “It’s going good. And by the way, I named her. Her name’s Moon. And she’s been with me ever since.”
Julian: “Your music has been covered by a lot of respected artists. Some artists don’t like their work being covered. Prince, for example, was quite unhappy with Sinead O’ Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U” and Roger Daltrey will always point out that “Behind Blue Eyes” is “not a Limp Bizkit song”. What’s your opinion on your compositions being covered by others?”
Mr. MacLeod: “Two I thought were really great. One was Eva Cassidy doing Nightbird. I think she did a phenomenal job. My regret is that I never got a chance to meet her. I always wanted to know how she could interpret it, because that song was about a prostitute that was good to me when I was younger. Not financially, but she knew I had no business being on the street. She took me in and gave me an education, so I wrote that song for her. When I heard Eva Cassidy do it, I just, I said … (silence). Now I tell people: “If you want to hear the definitive version of that song, you have to listen to Eva Cassidy!”
The other person that did a great job on a song of mine was Albert Collins. He did a great job on Cash Talkin’ (The Workerman’s Blues).”
Julian: “You were 13 years old when The Big Bopper, Buddy Holly and Richie Valens died in what was later referred to as “the day the music died”. What do you remember about that time?”
Mr. MacLeod: “At thirteen, I was still in New York. We used to go to a series of music shows at the Brooklyn Fox Theater. Big R & B shows, where I saw Big Joe Turner – ironically, so many years later, I was playing guitar for him in California! But “the day the music died”, I know what they meant by that, but to me, I don’t think the music ever dies. Some of the great artists might die, but the music doesn’t. The music they made lives on for generations!”
Julian: “Great, just great! Do you follow current musical trends?”
Mr. MacLeod: “Yes, thanks to my son. He’s a 27-year old singer/songwriter with a few albums. He pulls my coat on stuff and I like to listen to it. I can’t honestly say that I’m influenced by these younger guys. My influence comes from other places; soul-jazz like Jimmy McGriff, Hank Crawford and Wes Montgomery …”
Julian: “Wes Montgomery?”
Mr. MacLeod: “Ooh, you’d love him. Check him out. An excellent jazz guitar player! Nowadays, you can easily go on iTunes and sample everything. To get influenced, to get ideas, I go to country music, jazz, pop, folk … not to blues, cause that’s mine. You have to listen to as much music as you possibly can. Otherwise, you would get very narrow-minded, musically.”
Read the full interview on www.doug-macleod.com!
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