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One Man Country Blues @ Jazz Live

December's blues show at KSDS Jazz Live got a definite shot in the arm tonight with the performance of singer /songwriter, country blues specialist Doug Macleod.

Macleod is as much a storyteller as anything else, and his stories are pretty entertaining. He prefaced each song with some subtle instrumental foreshadowing while he set up the idea, or revealed the punch-line as it were.

Amidst all the laughter and tall tales were the surprisingly supple power of his vocals and a true mastery of the National Delphi Resonator guitar, which he affectionately referred to as his "mule." While many of his pieces began with a kind of stereotypical "boogie" type introduction, with the aid of his rock-solid foot stomps-- Macleod often improvised up a storm, injecting many bits of dialog not commonly associated with the country blues style-- octaves and moveable chord voicings along with chromatic contouring of the blues scale.

Throughout it all, he demonstrated the one thing master musicians have in common: a unifying sense of flow. One man, one voice, one guitar and two feet proved to be all that was necessary for 90 minutes of compelling music making.

Opening with an obvious metaphor for death, "Long Black Train," alternated between percussive thumb-strokes and long stretches cleanly executed finger-picked chords, while the lyrics painted ambiguous notions on when the conductor might call your "last stop."

Macleod's songs have been covered by many top-notch bluesmen and women, perhaps most notably Albert King's version of "Your Bread Aint Done," an allegory concerning the mentally unstable, of which he slyly observed, one out of every three persons, is a member.

As the evening progressed, Macleod began exploring alternate tunings and using the slide to create textures that were grounded in the pioneering works of Son House and Elmore James, but always with a totally original direction that explored a much broader range of the instrument.

The man is a veteran performer, that's for sure. He often had the crowd cracking up with his well timed stories and lyrical innuendo, like when he sang, " she makes love so good to me, you think it's happening to you."

You couldn't help but like this guy, even if the blues weren't necessarily your cup of tea.

Image

Photo of Doug Macleod by Chad Fox

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December's blues show at KSDS Jazz Live got a definite shot in the arm tonight with the performance of singer /songwriter, country blues specialist Doug Macleod.

Macleod is as much a storyteller as anything else, and his stories are pretty entertaining. He prefaced each song with some subtle instrumental foreshadowing while he set up the idea, or revealed the punch-line as it were.

Amidst all the laughter and tall tales were the surprisingly supple power of his vocals and a true mastery of the National Delphi Resonator guitar, which he affectionately referred to as his "mule." While many of his pieces began with a kind of stereotypical "boogie" type introduction, with the aid of his rock-solid foot stomps-- Macleod often improvised up a storm, injecting many bits of dialog not commonly associated with the country blues style-- octaves and moveable chord voicings along with chromatic contouring of the blues scale.

Throughout it all, he demonstrated the one thing master musicians have in common: a unifying sense of flow. One man, one voice, one guitar and two feet proved to be all that was necessary for 90 minutes of compelling music making.

Opening with an obvious metaphor for death, "Long Black Train," alternated between percussive thumb-strokes and long stretches cleanly executed finger-picked chords, while the lyrics painted ambiguous notions on when the conductor might call your "last stop."

Macleod's songs have been covered by many top-notch bluesmen and women, perhaps most notably Albert King's version of "Your Bread Aint Done," an allegory concerning the mentally unstable, of which he slyly observed, one out of every three persons, is a member.

As the evening progressed, Macleod began exploring alternate tunings and using the slide to create textures that were grounded in the pioneering works of Son House and Elmore James, but always with a totally original direction that explored a much broader range of the instrument.

The man is a veteran performer, that's for sure. He often had the crowd cracking up with his well timed stories and lyrical innuendo, like when he sang, " she makes love so good to me, you think it's happening to you."

You couldn't help but like this guy, even if the blues weren't necessarily your cup of tea.

Image

Photo of Doug Macleod by Chad Fox

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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