Doug MacLeod says “I never plan a theme for my albums. But I believe this album is different”. Doug has lots to tell you but the album and read them – it will be worth it! And the eleven self-penned tracks are a great listening experience.
Opening with Rock It Till The Cows Come Home a 1950’s rockin’ music number that encapsulates the structure and soul of this Louis Jordan inspired track; it is a feel good, put a smile on your face, opening track a fantastic way to start an album that Doug himself believes is a journey of tracks tipping their musical hats to the many musical influences that have shaped Doug’s music. We have a jazz guitar vibe that gives the middle of the track real shape combined with adroit lyrics of Too Many Misses For Me.
Doug is a blues player that sings and writes the songs telling stories he wants to share with you. Ain’t It Rough opens with talking blues as the story unfolds against the rhythmic beat of the drum and Doug’s voice; the country music picks up the voice gets more melodic on a great country blues tale with twist of humor. Then that change of tempo that is a theme with a driving blues number Vanetta; you just instantly connect and think of John Lee Hooker. Now to keep the interest going on the ride home with the last five tracks; can he maintain the momentum achieved? It is a resounding YES! Ridge Runner, a classy instrumental full of twist and turns has a country fair blues feel with wash board and the underlining bass line which picks up the beat and improvises again picking up a gently jazz feeling. Then that contrast with Doug’s vocals shining above the guitar as he delivers a stripped down direct contrast to the instrumental, this really brings the quality of his voice to the fore and gets your attention. Heaven’s The Only Place the penultimate track following a blues take on rock N’ roll again is stripped bare with vocals that are full of yearning and soulfulness leading to the closing number You Got It Good (And That Ain’t Bad) ending the album with a big bluesy shout, with piano shuffle on the drums and his vocals that wrap around the musical framework a great number to leave a lasting memory of an album that is a listen to again and often as Doug delivers blues that is modern, interesting and listenable.
The album incorporates many influences and the result is Exactly Like This; this his third album is full of music driven shapes and textures creating a sound that is full of key changes, beats and tempos that keeps your musical ear appreciatively engaged.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD NINE doodle paws out of TEN ….
1. Rock It Till The Cows Come Home
2. Too Many Misses For Me
3. Find Your Right Mind
4. Ain’t It Rough
6. Serious Doin’ Woman
7. Ridge Runner
8 New Morning Road
10. Heaven’s The Only Place
11. You Got It Good (And That Ain’t Bad)
Doug MacLeod (Vocals, Guitars, Songwriter)
Jimi Batt (Drums)
Danny Croy (Bass)
Michael Thompson (Keyboards)