39th Blues Music Award Nominee!
• Acoustic Album of The Year
• Acoustic Artist of The Year
2018 Blues Blast Music Award Nominee!
• Acoustic Blues Album of The Year
Break The Chain Wins Blues Music Award!
Doug MacLeod's Break The Chain recording has won the 2018 Blues Music Awards Acoustic Album of the Year!
A prolific singer, songwriter, engaging storyteller, and masterful guitarist - born in the blues and rooted in the American tradition.
In this release, his third album for Reference Recordings, Doug MacLeod continues to explore the breadth and depth of the human condition. Recorded by References Grammy-winning engineer 'Prof.' Keith O. Johnson at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California, Break The Chain brings twelve MacLeod originals. Each song is extremely personal and at the same time, universal; covering subjects topical, humorous, and soulful; from the satirical to the sublime.
The title work, Break The Chain, composed and performed with his son Jesse, focuses on breaking the cycle of family violence and abuse. A powerful concern all too many are familiar with, Doug and Jesse confront this pervasive issue directly and personally, bringing it out of the shadows. Together, they share the healing, reconciliation and peace available to all who work to prevent the cycle from repeating and to Break The Chain.
The album is co-produced by Doug MacLeod and Janice Mancuso. Bassist Denny Croy , drummer Jimi Bott and percussionist Oliver Brown join Doug in duo, trio and quartet settings. Like all Prof. Johnsons sessions, Break The Chain was recorded live, in realtime, with no overdubs or effects. It is being released on compact disc with HDCD. A prolific singer, songwriter, engaging storyteller, and masterful guitarist, Doug is a perennial Blues Music Award nominee and multiple Blues Music Award winner including Acoustic Artist Of The Year and Acoustic Album of the Year.
For 41 years, REFERENCE RECORDINGS has been one of the most innovative and respected independent labels in the music business. RR releases have been highly praised for their dedication to high quality sound in the service of great music. Founder Tam Henderson was joined in 1978 by engineer Keith O. Johnson, and some 145 projects later, RR is still recording what many consider to be the finest-sounding classical, jazz and blues discs in the world.
"Doug MacLeod, a craftsman of rare skill and sagacity, shares more than a few dramatic affinities with past greats as he offers his own creative parameters to the common 12-bar language. distinctive, well-regulated singing and note-bending on classic guitars stimulate the keening hopefulness [performed] with five assured sidemen, including his son Jesse on guitar. One topical spoken track, 'What the Blues Means To Me,' affirms life's light amid the darkness." - Downbeat Magazine
"Recorded over a four-day period in October 2016, MacLeod and co-producer Janice Mancuso eschewed the type of post-production work that erases errors and sweetens the mix. The producers even banned overdubs. Break the Chain, MacLeod asserts, reflects 'music made by humans for humans'. The music is as truthful as it is beautiful and sublime." - Stephen A. King, Living Blues
"Singer, songwriter, and skilled guitarist Doug MacLeod has won four Blues Music Awards, including 2017's Acoustic Artist of the Year. As a singer and guitarist, this New York native is a cross between John Hammond and Eric Bibb (check out the beautiful solo resonator-guitar ballad 'Church Street Serenade'). Albert King, Albert Collins, Joe Louis Walker, and James Armstrong, among others, have recorded his compositions. Break the Chain offers 12 blues originals that ponder Saturday night rituals ('Goin' Down to the Roadhouse'), lost dreams ('LA: The Siren in the West'), politics ('Who's Driving the Bus'), and aging ('This Road I'm Walking'). But MacLeod is first and foremost a keeper of the torch who celebrates Tampa Red and turns his attention to the blues itself. 'What the Blues Means to Me' is a spoken-word piece that heralds the genre to which he has devoted his career. And 'Mr. Bloozeman' takes a gentle poke at young players who haven't paid their dues. Recorded live by Grammy-winning engineer Keith O. Johnson at Skywalker Sound and processed in HDCD, Break the Chain allows the vocals and sparse acoustic instrumentation to pop right out of my KEF LS50s." - GC, The Absolute Sound, Music 4/5, Sonics 5/5
Mastered by Prof. Keith O. Johnson
1. Goin' Down To The Roadhouse
2. Mr. Bloozeman
3. Lonesome Feeling
4. Travel On
5. LA - The Siren In The West
6. One For Tampa Red
7. What The Blues Means To Me
8. This Road I'm Walking
9. Who's Driving This Bus?
10. Church Street Serenade
11. Going Home
12. Break The Chain