A Soul To Claim
Reference Recordings is proud to present our fifth album with the prolific singer, songwriter, engaging storyteller, and masterful guitarist, Doug MacLeod. For A Soul To Claim, Doug teamed with legendary producer and engineer Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Luther Allison, Steve Miller Band) in Gaines’ Tennessee studio, not far from Doug’s new home on the Mississippi River in Memphis.
Like the old masters who taught him, MacLeod’s music expresses life and times through an elusive quality that may simply be a keen sense of what matters most. “There’s humor in my songs, but also messages on how to make it through this life. That’s what I learned from the old guys.”
Through twelve new MacLeod originals, Doug and his trusty Waterloo guitar P-nut are joined by Memphis studio veterans Rick Steff/keyboards, Dave Smith/bass, and Steve Potts/drums for five tracks, six tracks feature Doug alone and one is a solo instrumental. Liner notes from Doug MacLeod and Deems Taylor award-winning journalist Dan Forte (Vintage Guitar), provide liner notes for the release.
The way Doug sees it, “Blues is about the journey, it’s about speaking honestly from your heart. It’s a music of hope. No matter what cards you have been dealt—either the cards you started out with in this life, or the cards you’re holding now—if it’s not a good hand, you can overcome it.”
A perennial Blues Music Award nominee and multiple Blues Music Award winner including Acoustic Artist of The Year and Acoustic Album of the Year, A Soul To Claim is Doug’s 22nd album.
“Hopefully I will make you laugh, cry, think. Most importantly, I hope I make you feel, because that’s what this music is about.”
On This Recording
- A Soul To Claim (5:09)
- Be What You Is (4:05)
- Money Talks (3:56)
- Where Are You? (4:54)
- Dodge City (5:16)
- Smokey Nights And Faded Blues (4:35)
- Only Porter At The Station (4:27)
- Mud Island Morning (3:20)
- Dubb’s Talking Disappointment Blues (5:45)
- Grease The Wheel (4:11)
- Somewhere On A Mississippi Highway (5:33)
- There Is Always Love (3:34)
“Doug MacLeod’s A Soul To Claim, like many of his 21 previous albums, makes it clear that he’s an archetype of the top-level blues storyteller: wry, sharp-witted, virile, inclined to poke fun at sentiment.… MacLeod bestows his music with a human intimacy that’s a function of his affable personality and the original material he works with. With natural authority and charisma, he communicates one-on-one with listeners.” —Frank-John Hadley, Downbeat Magazine
“It’s hard to think that after all this great music there would be more gas in the tank to create new and amazing stuff. MacLeod never rests on his laurels and here we see and hear him giving us an amazing new album of music that will once again turn heads and garner attention. Kudos to this old sailor and great human being for giving us another superb album of music that we can enjoy again and again.” —Steve Jones, Blues Blast Magazine
“If you’re an existing fan or one that should become one, you know this set is going to take you off the beaten path—and that’s a good thing! Not everyone can just go and create their own genre. Killer stuff.” —Chris Spector, Midwest Record
“His lyrics will make you smile… “Money Talks” has a solo John Lee Hooker-like boogie structure punctuated with impressive guitar picking, a passionately delivered treaties that takes on even more gravitas in these inflationary times.…MacLeod goes out with two solo tunes. “Somewhere on a Mississippi Highway” is about a great night he had somewhere in Tunica, MS in his youthful days after having had no luck with the gals in either Memphis or Mississippi. He tells the story as only he can. He brings this stirring set to a close with the tender “There Is Always Love,” for their son Jesse, initially diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma cancer, only to have beaten cancer twice. So, appropriately at the end of this album, prayers are answered and light shines through the darkness. His is a sentiment to forever cherish. MacLeod is a true master. Put this among the best of the many excellent albums in his catalog.” —Jim Hynes, Making a Scene