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As the fire trucks drove away, Douglass Thompson and his wife surveyed the smoldering wreckage of their Wisconsin home and wondered what they were going to do. Two days later the phone rang with an offer to move to Charlotte, NC...they accepted.
Douglass Thompson grew up in the Midwest playing music. Writing words. Making them fit.
Influenced by the masters of the craft (Bob Dylan, john Prine, Guy Clark, Jerry Jeff Walker)
Thompson has chosen 13 songs for his debut album, "it was a good plan...live at the evening muse"
A lifetime of experience (hotel owner, record store owner, service writer, sports announcer, group home manager, and failed stints at selling cars and insurance) infuses Thompson’s songs with humor and intelligence, as well as a deep sense of empathy for the human condition.
One reviewer has called these songs "three minute novels" and they feature a rich and varied cast of characters, from Spade Cooley, the western swing bandleader, to film directors Sam Peckinpah and John Ford, to Anastasia of the Romanov Empire of Russia, to a Dutch prostitute and one particularly colorful ex- girlfriend.
The album was produced by Eric Lovell for Blue Bubble Studios, who also played lead guitar, and dobro, and features Rick Blackwell ( who has played with Kathy Mattea and Janis Ian, among others ) on the upright bass. Also featured are a few of Charlotte's most well respected "veterans”, Gigi Dover on vocals, Tom Kuhn adds mandolin to a couple tracks, and the fantastic Molly Brown steals the show with her trombone on the cut, "she's still in jail again"
Bob Dylan-duh! John Prine-midwestern & global at the same time Guy Clark-the uncrowned king of texas(la freeway is my favorite song about moving) Loudon Wainwright III-best I ever heard at writing about himself-writewhatyouknow! Steve Earle-fearless as a writer and artist,a personal hero for sure Neil Young - how ironic is it that the best chronicler of the American Myth is from Canada-eh?...from Cortez to Pocahontas thru the Civil War, Nixon to welfare mothers to that plane crashing in a Pennsylvania field…. Butch Hancock-romantic epics and biting populist humor Tom Russell-so great at character sketches and stories of real people Robert Earl Keen-almost as funny as Prine,almost as personal as Wainwright Graham Parker-the first british guy on my list-nobody's better when pissed off Paul Kelly-the only aussie,great lyrics wed to perfect melodies,w or w/o his band Greg Brown-started as a folkie,ended up as an important artist who pushes his borders Randy Newman-so snide,so cynical,so funny-when he's not being vulnerable Bruce Springsteen-still brilliant when not so damned domestically content Chuck Berry(with an honorable mention to Johnny Johnson,his pianist) Lennon/McCartney-aw you know-my sisters had all the albums Townes Van Zandt-a lonely poet, too drunk and disaffected at the end to know how great an impact he had on other writers-pancho &lefty should've been filmed by sam peckinpah Steve Goodman-wrote compact little gems, he could breakyourheart or bustyourgut Stan Rogers-nobody wrote better songs about the great lakes/Canada Shel Silverstein-when my daughter was about 3 she'd pick shel's book "The Giving Tree" for me to read cuz she thought it was so funny to watch me cry (and I always did) Woody Guthrie-my favorite all time New Yorker cartoon had a king high on a hill wearin a guitar singin, "this land is my land, this land is my land…" still cracks me up-w/o woody the top of this list would have a different name Warren Zevon - always surprises me and makes me laugh or think or both Shane Macgowan - london - irish drunkard poet with an incredible mastery of the irish folk lyric and melodic traditions (hope he doesn't die) Tom Waits-san diego drunken poet with an incredible mastery of the beat vocabulary and the cool jazz melodic traditions (glad he didn't die) Jimmy Buffett - some people call him the John Denver of the florida keys - but especially his early work had a lot of sharply observed moments Kinky Friedman-before the mystery novels there was "they ain't makin jews like jesus anymore"and "ride 'em jewboy"-a great writer Jerry Jeff Walker-pretty inconsistent but truly great on a handful of songs,"curly & lil" - "hill country rain", and of course "mr. bojangles" Dave Carter-I was at his 2nd to last gig w/tracy and was amazed at his songwriting, what a tragic loss, tho I feel lucky to have seen him Kris Kristofferson-brought intelligence as a virtue to the Nashville mix and was the first country songwriter I paid attention to Dave Alvin - I always loved the Blasters and his take on America is dead-on and his writing is full of cynicism and wit with a keen eye for detail Steve Forbert - the Mississippi kid turned New York folkie… has never made a bad album… turns a phrase and finds the right tune to go with it Mark Germino-probably the least known name on this list...fiery,populist writing..left and right wingers are fair game..