Reference Recordings is proud to present their fifth album with the prolific singer, songwriter, engaging storyteller and masterful guitarist, Doug MacLeod. For A Soul To Claim, Doug teamed with legendary producer and engineer Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Luther Allison, Steve Miller Band) in Gaines' East Tennessee studio, not far from Doug's new home on the Mississippi River in Memphis.
Like the old masters who taught him, MacLeod's music expresses life and times through an elusive quality that may simply be a keen sense of what matters most. "There's humor in my songs, but also messages on how to make it through this life. That's what I learned from the old guys."
Through twelve new MacLeod originals, Doug and his trusty Waterloo guitar Pnut are joined by Memphis studio veterans Rick Steff (keyboards), Dave Smith (bass) and Steve Potts (drums) for five tracks; six tracks feature Doug alone; and one is a solo instrumental. Doug MacLeod and Deems Taylor Award-winning journalist Dan Forte (Vintage Guitar) provide liner notes for the release.
The way Doug sees it, "Blues is about the journey, it's about speaking honestly from your heart. It's a music of hope. No matter what cards you have been dealt - either the cards you started out with in this life, or the cards you're holding now - if it's not a good hand, you can overcome it."
A perennial Blues Music Award nominee and multiple Blues Music Award winner including Acoustic Artist of The Year and Acoustic Album of the Year, A Soul To Claim is Doug's 22nd album.
"Hopefully I will make you laugh, cry, think. Most importantly, I hope I make you feel, because that's what this music is about."
With natural authority and charisma, he communicates one-on-one with listeners.
A great blues record which we should talk about again in the end of year reviews.
Not everyone can just go and create their own genre. Killer stuff.
Doug MacLeod salves the wounds and offers therapy in a world that screams for deliverance.
Fans of acoustic blues, singer-songwriters and Americana will not be disappointed with the latest masterpiece from a national treasure of American music.
Full of wisdom, humor and the self-assurance of a man who has been there and done that, A Soul To Claim is a worthy addition to his growing discography.
For the record's final track, MacLeod sets aside humor and delivers a heartfelt, hopeful song inspired by his son Jesse's successful battle with melanoma. In the song itself, he speaks more than sings, doing so in a hushed whisper that draws the listener close. But then most everything about A Soul to Claim - from its understated instrumentation to MacLeod's insightful and incisive words - has that effect, warmly inviting the listener into the world of this masterful blues songwriter.
this is a CD that should be enjoyed with friends as it's as close as you can get to having Doug perform in your living room.
- Producer & Engineer: Jim Gaines
- Mastering Engineer: Sean Royce Martin
- Recorded January 13-14, 2020 at Bessie Blue Studio, Tennessee, USA
- Total Time: 54:53
- Liner notes by Doug MacLeod & Dan Forte
- Made in USA
|Doug MacLeod||guitar, vocals|
|Dave Smith||bass guitar|
- A Soul To Claim
- Be What You Is
- Money Talks
- Where Are You?
- Dodge City
- Smokey Nights And Faded Blues
- Only Porter At The Station
- Mud Island Morning
- Dubb's Talking Disappointment Blues
- Grease The Wheel
- Somewhere On A Mississippi Highway
- There Is Always Love