Doug MacLeod (musician)
April 21, 1946 |
New York, United States
Doug MacLeod (born April 21, 1946, New York City, United States) is an American storytelling bluesman. Although now associated with his home in Los Angeles, he has lived and worked in North Carolina, St. Louis, Port Washington, New York, and Norfolk, Virginia, where he was stationed in the United States Navy. He became acquainted with the blues in St Louis in his teens and started his career playing country blues on acoustic guitar, finding that singing eased a chronic stutter and helped him to eventually overcome it. Although predominantly associated with acoustic guitar, his skills were developed as a blues bass player, and honed by his subsequent journeys into jazz and electric blues.
MacLeod's formative blues instruction is attributed to a man he knew as Ernest Banks who also gave him the guiding principles of his music and performances:
“Never play a note you don't believe”
“Never write or sing about what you don't know about”
He also formed a strong friendship with George "Harmonica" Smith who not only became his mentor, but also the source or experience for many of his songs and stories in his live performances. Unable or unwilling to use his correct name, George always called him "Dubb", a name also adopted by his loyal followers, the DubbHeads.
MacLeod plays only his own compositions (of which he is credited with over 300), but his music has also been recorded by many other artists, including Dave Alvin, James Armstrong, Eva Cassidy, Albert Collins, Pee Wee Crayton, Papa John Creach, Albert King, Chris Thomas King, Coco Montoya, Billy Lee Riley, Son Seals, Tabby Thomas, and Joe Louis Walker.
He has also been a long-time contributor to Blues Revue magazine with his column "Doug's Back Porch".
MacLeod's live performances preserve the tradition of the blues as a story-telling medium, expressed by his soulful voice and powerfully rhythmic acoustic guitar style. He usually plays a National Delphi guitar (accompanied by his left foot), with stories or introductions between pieces. The tales come from his early performances when he felt that he did not have enough music to fill a show. He has appeared in blues and jazz festivals and his own shows around the world, but particularly in the US and Europe.
As well as writing and performing, he also teaches guitar and has released his own instructional DVD, and has hosted blues radio shows Blues Highway and Nothin' but the Blues (1999 to 2004), and was the voice for the Blues Showcase of Continental Airlines.
He has won three Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C. Handy): Acoustic Artist of the Year and Acoustic Album Of The Year in 2014, and Acoustic Artist of the Year in 2016. He has been nominated for several consecutive years for:
- Best Song in 2006 ("Dubb's Talkin' Politician Blues"), in 2014 ("The Entitled Few") and in 2016 (“You Got It Good (and That Ain’t Bad)”),
- Acoustic Artist of the Year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
- Acoustic Album of the Year in 2012 (Brand New Eyes), 2014 (There's a Time) and 2016 (Exactly Like This).
- Historical Album in 2017 (Live in Europe).
His portrait is displayed in the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He received the Golden Note award for Best Original Recording (for his album You Can't Take My Blues). His songs have featured in Grammy Award-nominated albums: Albert King's I'm in a Phone Booth, Baby (1984) ("Your Bread Ain't Done"), and Albert Collins' Cold Snap (1986) ("Cash Talking, The Working Man’s Blues").
- Live in Europe (Black & Tan) 2016
- Exactly Like This (Reference Recordings) 2015
- There's a Time (Reference Recordings) 2013
- Come To Find -Reissue (APO) 2013
- Doug MacLeod Direct-To-Disc (APO) 2012
- Brand New Eyes (Fresh! from RR) 2011
- The Utrecht Sessions (Black & Tan) 2008
- Live at XM Radio vol. 2 (Black & Tan) 2007
- Live at XM Satellite (Black & Tan) 2007
- Where I Been (Black & Tan) 2006
- Dubb (Black & Tan) 2005
- A Little Sin (Black & Tan) 2002
- 101 Blues Guitar Essentials (instructional DVD) (Solid Air Record / Alfred Publishing) 2006
- Whose Truth, Whose Lies (Sledgehammer Blues (formerly AudioQuest Music)) 2000
- Live As It Gets (with John "Juke" Logan) (Mocombo Records) 1999
- Unmarked Road (Sledgehammer Blues (formerly AudioQuest Music)) 1997
- You Can't Take My Blues (Sledgehammer Blues (formerly AudioQuest Music)) 1996
- Come To Find (Sledgehammer Blues (formerly AudioQuest Music)) 1994
- Live in 1991 vol. 1 (Black & Tan) 1991
- Live in 1991 vol. 2 (Black & Tan) 1991
- Ain't The Blues Evil (Volt/Fantasy) 1991
- 54th and Vermont (Stomp) 1987
- Woman In The Street (Stomp) 1986
- No Road Back Home (Hightone) 1984
- "2016 Blues Music Awards Winner List". Blues411.com. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
- "Blues Music Awards Nominees - 2013 - 34th Blues Music Awards". Blues.org. Retrieved 2013-03-20.
- "Blues Music Awards Nominees 2017". Blues.org.
- "Blues Music Awards Nominees 2017". Blues.org.
- "Whose Truth, Whose Lies". Valley Entertainment-Sledgehammer Blues. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "Unmarked Road". Valley Entertainment-Sledgehammer Blues. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "You Can't Take My Blues". Valley Entertainment-Sledgehammer Blues. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "Come To Find". Valley Entertainment-Sledgehammer Blues. Retrieved 17 June 2010.