Review: Doug MacLeod – Raw Blues 2


Doug MacLeod – Raw Blues 2

Doug MacLeod – Raw Blues 2
Format: CD – Digital / Label: Sledgehammer Blues
Release: 2024

Text: Pascal Wilhelm

Lately I came across a Facebook post by Nathan D. James on Doug MacLeod. “A master story- teller, songwriter, vocalist and guitarist known to the world over for his iconic style of acoustic blues”, he wrote.

I must shamefully admit that I never studied the man’s music, but Doug apparently has been of great support to Nathan and now my review master offers me the chance to write a review for ‘Raw Blues 2.’ That’s the opposite of having a hellhound on your trail!

And yes people, Robert Johnson’s influence is very present in Doug’s work. But really don’t expect someone who tries to play LIKE him, that usually fails miserably.

What you will hear on this record is someone who plays with the same intensity but adds his own acoustic style and lyrical content. I was truly captivated from the get-go. What is it that someone can play and sing and you just need to listen, almost like you are haunted (but in a good way).

This is the kind of record you play in a room with the light out and your eyes closed. Perhaps it is the lessons Doug kept to his heart from Ernest Banks, a one-eyed country blues man from Toano, Virginia: “Never play a note you don’t believe” and “Never write or sing about what you don’t know about.”

That is how you create your own music and learn how to tell a story. Doug hardly needs any introduction, I learned now. He was a sideman with George “Harmonica” Smith, Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Lowell Fulson and Big Mama Thornton and already has 29 studio albums to his name, several live records and compilations, and even two blues guitar instructional DVD’s.

His songs have been covered by Albert King, Albert Collins, Joe Louis Walker and Eva Cassidy, and have been featured in many TV movies and the hit show In the Heat of the Night.

Ashamed to say that this was my first introduction to his work. Thanks Nathan!

01. Fine Lookin’ Sugar
02. Keep On Moving
03. Just Like A Minstrel
04. Horse With No Rider
05. Goin’ Down Country
06. My Good Girl Blues
07. One Good Woman
08. Long Time Road
09. All I Had Was The Blues