Review: Doug MacLeod – There’s A Time

Posted on: Saturday, Mar 30, 2013

Doug MacLeod There's A Time

Review: Doug MacLeod – There’s A Time
Reference Recordings RR130

Doug MacLeod, is a hugely popular performer in the UK, not least in Liverpool where his appearances are always enthusiastically attended by his coterie of fans. There’s A Time, his first recording with Reference Recordings, comprises thirteen self-penned numbers, on which he is accompanied by Denny Croy on bass and Jimi Bott on drums.

The album presents a typical mix of blues-oriented compositions, played on a variety of guitars, including three favourite instruments affectionately named by the St Louis-based bluesman as “Moon” (a National M-1 Tricone), “Little Bit” (a Gibson C-100 FE) and “Owl” (a National Style “O”). He also makes excellent use of a National El Trovador 12-stringer.

“Rosa Lee” opens the box, driving along with a strummed accompaniment before making way for the slow blues, “Black Nights”. “The Up Song” delivers encouragement with a catchy, falsetto break in the voice, while, as its title suggests, “My Inlaws Are Outlaws” introduces the first taste of Doug’s trademark humour. The album also contains three talking blues in the shape of “The Entitled Few”, “Run With The Devil” and “Dubb’s Talking Religion Blues”, with another helping of MacLeod’s distinctive brand of whimsy.

“A Ticket Out” considers the leaving of loved ones with a tinge of regret in contrast to “St Elmo’s Rooms And Pool”, with its affectionate reminiscences of a bar in Norfolk, Virginia, where sailors were ripped off with a touch of style. ”I’ll Be Walking On” advises on bidding farewell to an old flame without rancour while “East Carolina Woman” questions the motives for running away from a relationship. Elsewhere, the difficulty of helping others and of living with past dilemmas provides the themes for “The Night Of The Devil’s Road” and “Ghost” respectively.

The album is a typically high calibre performance from a consummate professional with Doug MacLeod’s rich, powerful vocals brilliantly complemented by his impressive range of guitar mastery and the bonus of a suitably sensitive rhythm section.

LIONEL ROSS

Doug MacLeod Website
Reference Recordings Website

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