Luke Doucet performing at the 2007 NXNE festival
|Born||Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada|
|Origin||Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada|
|Genres||Indie rock, folk rock, alternative country|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, guitar, piano, drums|
|Associated acts||Acoustically Inclined, Melissa McClelland, Veal, Whitehorse|
Luke Doucet (born June 9, 1973) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist. He has written and performed as a solo artist and as a member of the indie rock band Veal and the folk rock band Whitehorse.
In 2006 and 2011, Doucet was nominated for Juno Awards in the Adult Alternative Album of the Year category for his albums, Broken (And Other Rogue States) and Steel City Trawler. He lost to Neil Young both years. Doucet has received plenty of critical acclaim: the Toronto Star referred to him as "the best young guitarist in the country".
Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, but raised in Manitoba, Doucet planned to become a lawyer before deciding to focus on guitar. When Doucet was six years old, he travelled the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia with his father. When he was just 11 years old, Doucet travelled solo from Winnipeg to Nova Scotia. And at 13, he took a Greyhound bus from Winnipeg to Vancouver.
Doucet got his first guitar later that same year, and played in a blues band with his dad when he was 15. Since his parents divorced when he was young, playing in the band was an opportunity for Doucet to bond with his father .
Luke Doucet was the front man for Vancouver surf rock band Veal. The band has been referred to as Vancouver's answer to the Flaming Lips. Along with Doucet, Veal consisted of bassist Nik Kozub and drummer Chang. Howard Redekopp and Barry Mirochnick had also played bass in the band. Veal released three albums, Hot Loser in 1996, Tilt O'Whirl in 1999 and The Embattled Hearts in 2003. The band is now defunct.
A departure from his work with Veal, Aloha, Manitoba has a mellower, more folk-influenced sound. Bazil Donovan, Barry Mirochnick, Lloyd Peterson, Christine Fellows, Sky Onosson and Gilles Fournier performed on the record.Aloha, Manitoba was the first official release for Toronto record label, Six Shooter Records, with a catalogue number of SIX01. Doucet is still with the label, and has released all of his solo albums with Six Shooter.
In 2004 Doucet released Outlaws: Live and Unreleased, a collection of mostly live songs and two unreleased studio recordings. Most of the album was recorded in February, 2004 at the Rivoli in Toronto.
In 2005 Doucet released his sophomore studio album, Broken (And Other Rogue States). A break-up album, Broken focused on the heartbreak of a failed relationship. Broken was nominated in 2006 for a Juno Award in the Adult Alternative Album of the Year category.
The Fokestar EP was released as a digital-only EP in 2006. It contains five songs, two of which ("Long Haul Driver" and "Bombs Away") are early versions of songs that would be re-recorded for Doucet's next album, Blood's Too Rich.
In 2007 Doucet moved to Nashville where he wrote Blood's Too Rich. Despite being excited about living in such a musical city, Doucet was homesick and "longed [sic] to be back in Canada". Six Shooter released Blood's Too Rich on January 8, 2008 in Canada, and on June 24, 2008 in the United States.
While Doucet's earlier albums are simply billed as ‘by Luke Doucet', Blood's Too Rich is credited to both Luke Doucet and The White Falcon. Doucet wanted to express how important the band had been to his creative process. He worked with them so closely and for so long that they became much more than just hired musicians. The name The White Falcon refers to Doucet's reissue Gretsch White Falcon guitar.
In promotion of Blood's Too Rich, Doucet toured across Canada and the United States with Blue Rodeo, toured Europe twice with Oh Susanna and Melissa McClelland, and toured across Canada supporting James Blunt. In February 2009, Doucet headlined a Canadian tour with opener Amelia Curran.
Blood's Too Rich was listed on "best of 2008" lists, including a mention from the Independent (UK), a spot on Nick Hornby's 2008 top 10 favourite songs (for Cleveland) as well as another nod from Hornby earlier in the year when he said:
Doucet’s album “Blood’s Too Rich” sounds to me as if it comes straight out of 1977 — not the Ramones/Talking Heads/ Clash take on that year, but the Graham Parker/Dire Straits/Tom Petty version of it. Somehow, punk managed to reinvent rock music too, made it sound fresher and less pompous. Doucet is a terrific guitarist, as fluid and as melodic as Mark Knopfler back in the day; but he’s a proper songwriter, too. “The Comandante” has even been accepted as a substitute for Queen, on a good day, and now we’re approaching the awards season it must stand every chance of picking up the coveted Non-Glads Song of the Summer prize.
— Nick Hornby
Doucet also got the number one spot on a Toronto Star list of "unforgettable recordings, performances, and moments in 2008" and Blood's Too Rich won the 2008 Canadian Folk Music Award for "Contemporary Album of the Year"
Doucet has produced all of his solo records and has worked with several other artists as a producer. His production credits include Melissa McClelland's albums Stranded in Suburbia (2004), Thumbelina's One Night Stand (2006) and Victoria Day (2009); three albums by NQ Arbuckle, including Hanging the Battle-Scarred Pinata (2002), The Last Supper in a Cheap Town (2005), and XOK (2008); Hoserista (2000) by Captain Tractor; Rose Cousins' 2009 album The Send Off; and Tanya Coghlin's Astral Is Annie. Doucet also co-produced the first two albums by his band Veal, Hot Loser (1996) and Tilt O'Whirl (1999).
Session and touring work for other artists
Doucet has appeared as a guest musician on albums by Sarah McLachlan, Chantal Kreviazuk, Oh Susanna, Veda Hille, Melissa McClelland, Delerium, John Bottomley, Maren Ord, Captain Tractor, Mae Moore, Major Maker and Lindy Vopnfjörd. Doucet recorded with Bryan Adams and Kathleen Edwards on a song produced by Colin Cripps in 2009 that had a limited release. He also toured the United States and Europe with Blue Rodeo in 2011, replacing Greg Keelor when he was ill.
Luke Doucet married Melissa McClelland on June 24, 2006. The couple announced their marriage on the CBC program Sounds Like Canada on June 23. McClelland and Doucet have since put their respective solo careers on hold, and now record and perform as the musical duo Whitehorse.
Doucet's daughter Chloe was born in 1996. She's also a musician, and she has performed with Doucet on albums and in live performances.
- Hot Loser (Divine Industries, 1996)
- Tilt O'Whirl (Released on Square Dog Records, 1999 and re-released by Six Shooter Records, 2000)
- The Embattled Hearts (Six Shooter Records, 2003)
- Aloha, Manitoba (Six Shooter Records, 2001)
- Outlaws (Live & Unreleased) (Six Shooter Records, 2004)
- Broken (And Other Rogue States) (Six Shooter Records, 2005)
- Fokestar (EP) (Six Shooter Records, 2006)
- Blood’s Too Rich (Six Shooter Records, 2008)
- Steel City Trawler (Six Shooter Records, 2010)
- Whitehorse (Six Shooter Records, 2011)
- The Fate of the World Depends on This Kiss (Six Shooter Records, 2012)
- Six Shooter Records "Six Shooter Records Presents Broken (and other rogue states)"
- Shore Fire Media "From Studying Mime To Drinks With ZZ Top, Luke Doucet Recaps His Rich Life History In Words And Music"
- Mason, Stewart "Allmusic: Luke Doucet Overview"
- Havranek, Carrie "4 to Watch: Luke Doucet". June 1, 2006
- Mason, Stewart "Luke Doucet Overview"
- Aloha, Manitoba liner notes
- Six Shooter Records
- Outlaws liner notes
- Devlin, Mike "Luke Doucet delves deep on new album". January 11, 2008
- Van Evra, Jennifer "Luke Doucet at home on the highway"
- Exclaim! Canada's Music Authority
- Quill, Greg "The Toronto Star, Rock is in Doucet's Blood". March 27, 2008
- "Luke Doucet Myspace". Referenced September 13, 2008.
- Coleman, Nick (December 28, 2008). "The best Rock, folk & jazz albums of 2008". The Independent (London).
- Hornby, Nick (December 17, 2008). "Best of 2008". Retrieved March 30, 2009.
- Hornby, Nick (October 29, 2008). "Living With Music: A Playlist by Nick Hornby". The New York Times. Retrieved Nov 18 30, 2009.
- Quill, Greg (December 28, 2008). "A year of many highs and a few lows". The Toronto Star.
- Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland Find Their Sound as Whitehorse. Exclaim!, August 29, 2011.