River Road –  The Gary Douglas Band (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

31265593_2410589195633675_4972983383240998912_oMany years ago there was a band I adored called The Del Fuego’s and a song in particular that I just couldn’t get enough of that went by the name of Allen’s Mills. It was the sound of a rock band putting their own stamp on country, even before the term alt-country had become fashionable. It was a raw and ragged take on Americana, again before every music journalist and music aficionado had even begun to argue over what the term even meant. It was…well, it was simply great. And everything I loved…and still love, about that song beats at the heart of River Road.

But no mere plagiarism or pastiche going on here, Gary Douglas is too smart to just settle for that, no, this is his own sound it is just that it takes in all the hallmarks of that iconic song which in turn referenced a host of greats from the days of yore. And indeed mine! Throw in some anthemic Springsteen-esque fist in the air antics, forged of underpinning pianos, epic guitar lines and squalling saxophone breaks and you have something pretty damned awesome. The sound of everything you love made into something you haven’t heard before. How does he even do that?

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