Nothing Ever Goes as Planned – The Gary Douglas Band (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Rtjy1g8AEven when delivering such a poignant song as this, one that points to the cracks in the American Dream, the dark underbelly, the false promises and societal failings, there is something wonderfully smooth, soothing almost, about the overall nature of the song. That takes some doing, making such a heavy concept sound like a lullaby. But that is why his music stands out from the pack I guess.

Slow burning its way from a gentle country ballad to a restrained, acoustic driven rock song and finally to an anthemic crescendo, musically the song covers a lot of ground which seems to match the wide-ranging and powerful lyrical imagery. Gary Douglas knows how to hold your attention, that’s for sure, not only through the sonic journey you follow him on but through the compelling subject matter. Music is often escapist, designed to take you away from the harsh realities of life, but its great to come across an artist who isn’t afraid to talk about those subjects. He may not have the answers but he reassures you that you are not alone and sometimes that is all you need.

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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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