Album Reviews

Doug Seegers – Going Down To The River (Rounder)

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Doug Seegers, Going Down To The River, Rounder Records

You’ll swear he’s the guy who… or the one who did the song that… but if you’ve ever heard Doug Seegers before this album, it was likely on some street corner in Nashville, New York City, Austin or perhaps elsewhere. You see, Seegers was an itinerant, homeless busker for decades—and his songs resonate at least as well as, and sometimes better than, some of the very best country and countrified rock songs.

Seegers wrote ’em all, save two, on this marvelously-produced debut. An airy, full-bodied and priceless performance of Gram Parsons’ “She,” from his 1973 album with Emmylou Harris features Harris reprising her role in all her glory, ageless and beautiful in duet with Seegers. Seegers may be Harris’ ultimate partner, singing with what seems like a hundred souls in his breath. Hank Williams, another inspiration, gets fêted with “There’ll Be No Teardrops Tonight,” Seegers sharing the mic and blending wonderfully with the great Buddy Miller. Otherwise, the smoky country soul of “Angie’s Song,” the rolling southern jazz of “Burning a Hole in My Pocket,” and the western hillbilly of “She’s in a Rock ‘n’ Roll Band” simply highlight Seegers himself. That, my friends, is one fantastic thing to behold, and this is one very special and, dare I say, important album.

– Tom Clarke

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