Doug MacLeod at The Harbourside Club, Liverpool – Thursday 8th March 2007

Posted on: Friday, Mar 9, 2007


A full house greeted Doug MacLeod on his first appearance at The Harbourside Club. And the man from St Louis fully justified the large attendance with a captivating performance of self-penned acoustic blues. The programme covered a range of styles, reflecting the various artistes that have influenced MacLeod’s musical development.

After opening the first set with an upbeat boogie, he provided in “She Boogie’n” whimsical reminiscences of his life in St Louis as a seventeen year old. The slow blues, “My Love’s Grown Cold”, was inspired by Blind Willie McTell, while “My Black Pony” was delivered with some terrific slide work on his National steel guitar. Humour was never far from the surface. In response to his question ‘Anyone in love?’, one solitary female arm was raised. “Okay,” said Doug, “this song is for all those men whose woman will say on the way home ‘why didn’t you raise your hand?’” The song was very appropriately called “If You Going To The Doghouse, (remember where you buried your bone)”. Another highlight of the first set was the excellent “The Devil Is Beating His Wife” in the style of the early Delta blues.

The second set was equally varied and enthralling with another upbeat opener followed by a boogie and “The Addition To Blues”. There were songs influenced by Dave Myers, Mississippi John Hurt and Robert Johnson and the gospel-tinged “The Sun Shine Down My Way”. The tremendous show was concluded with an hilarious number describing the most improbable array of animals on a farmyard and their unpredictable behaviour. The audience lapped up the humour whilst fully recognising the superb vocals and dextrous guitar playing that underpinned it.

This was a magnificent evening’s entertainment from a brilliant performer, who expertly interweaves humorous observation and home-spun philosophy with his masterful delivery of the blues spectrum.

Lionel Ross

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