Artist: Doug MacLeod
Album: Live in Europe
Label: Under the Radar Music
Release Date: 07/24/2016
Here we have a new album recorded live some years ago, back in 2006 to be precise. Now, a full decade down the road, it sees the light of day begging the question why has it taken so long? For this is a release that captures the very essence of MacLeod live: his near-droll, languid laid-back vocal delivery perfectly matched by his soulful, deceptively understated fine resonator slide fretwork and tasteful picking.
As ever with this guy, the lyrics reflect his own experiences, mini-memoirs for the most part, and echo his usual themes of life on the road, love and hardship, simpering pleasures greatly appreciated, with eight of the nine tracks self-written. The sole exception is his extended – a full fourteen minute take – cover of Bukka White’s old standard “Panama Limited,” which despite its length and being a train-song – never wanes or bores. Instead it serves as a clear, shining example of MacLeod doing what he does best and clearly hauling the audience along with him down the tracks.
Dubb, as he’s affectionately known, is a repeated Memphis Blues Challenge award winner, again picking up another gong earlier this year for his work. With this album, where he grumbles about feeling under the weather during the session, he illustrates just why he has a growing reputation and following in the world of acoustic blues music. A positively excellent album, a must for all lovers of the genre. Don’t let this one slip away.
– Iain Patience