Doug MacLeod's dark singing and sparse guitar playing are a throwback to the country-blues artists of the 1930s, although his lyrics have more modern sensibilities. Much of this superior album is haunting and mildly disturbing, giving one the feeling that there is a great deal beneath the surface. It is the type of blues/folk recording worth experiencing several times, in contrast to those of recent times that express more obvious sentiments. Bassist Jeff Turmes is on just seven of the dozen songs (five of which also include drummer Stefev Mugalian); three of the remaining tunes are duets by MacLeod with percussionist Oliver Brown, and the two others are unaccompanied solo performances. Although the leader's guitar playing is impressive, it is his distinctive and very sincere voice on his dozen originals that sticks in one's mind.
Doug MacLeod's dark singing and sparse guitar playing are a throwback to the country-blues artists of the 1930s, although his lyrics have more modern sensibilities. Much of this superior CD is haunting and mildly disturbing, giving one the feeling that there is a great deal beneath the surface….
Doug MacLeod displays several sides of his artistry on this AudioQuest CD. His music ranges from solo folk numbers in the idiom of Leadbelly (but covering different subjects) to country blues with a trio, a few romps with the wailing harmonica of Carey Bell and two collaborations with the country fiddle of Heather Hardy. MacLeod's appealing voice is easy to understand, his lyrics are thoughtful and fresh (even when covering universal subjects) and his melodic guitar playing is versatile. MacLeod's well-conceived set should appeal to collectors of acoustic blues and folk music.–by Scott Yanow
Anyone who has had the opportunity to see Doug MacLeod perform, listened to his dozen or so albums, or read any of the 72 columns he wrote for Blues Revue from 1999 to 2010 knows that he is a storyteller and/or philosopher prince (if not philosopher king). He’s an affable – as in easy-going – musician who has been headed down the road a long piece and has plenty of stories to tell. His latest CD, Brand New Eyes, is topped to the brim with good music and a lifetime of collected wisdom.The 56-minute disc opens with the title song……