Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 7:00 pm
Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library (map)
4100 Virginia Beach Blvd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
The day after the concert, Doug MacLeod is offering a Blues Guitar Workshop. The workshop will take place from 1:00–4:00 PM at the Central Library. Attending the concert entitles you to a $10 discount on the workshop.
Doug MacLeod is a singer-songwriter in the American tradition. He is a traveling artist that writes and sings original songs that are based on his own life and experiences. He learned from the old masters, lived the music, survived the life and carries forward a valuable tradition. MacLeod is known for his superb songwriting, guitar wizardry, warm soulful vocals, wit and unforgettable live performances. At the heart of this is his knack for storytelling, bringing characters—from the faceless to the legendary—to strikingly real life.
While he developed his rich, soulful voice MacLeod also worked out a unique, unorthodox and powerfully rhythmic acoustic guitar style. His distinct style of playing was a byproduct of pent-up rage from his turbulent childhood and the segregation drama in his new home of St. Louis. The rage of his youth was eventually channeled through his guitar, using his relentless right hand to pound out an insistent, churning beat to complement his intricate bottleneck and finger-style technique.
MacLeod’s playing landed him sideman gigs with George “Harmonica” Smith, Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Lowell Fulson and Big Mama Thornton. Under their tutelage, he learned how to thrill an enrapture a crowd.
Over 28 years, 18 studio albums, several live records, compilations, a blues guitar instructional DVD and a live performance DVD, MacLeod has consistently earned raves. His songs have been covered by many artists including Albert King, Albert Collins, Joe Louis Walker and Eva Cassidy. He has co-written songs with Dave Alvin and Coco Montoya. MacLeod’s songs have been featured in many TV movies and the hit show In the Heat of the Night. Two of his songs are on Grammy nominated albums by Albert King and Albert Collins.
From 1999 to 2004 he hosted Nothin’ But The Blues, a very popular weekend blues show on Los Angeles’ KLON-KKJZ. He has also been the voice for The Blues Showcase on Continental Airlines and contributed his soulful slide guitar playing to the Los Angeles opening of the August Wilson play “Gem of the Ocean”. For ten years he penned “Doug’s Back Porch,” a regular feature column in Blues Revue Magazine in which he shared his humorous and insightful stories with thousands of readers. He won the Golden Note Award in 1997 for his AudioQuest album You Can’t Take My Blues. In 2006 Solid Air/Warner Bros. released Doug’s guitar instructional DVD 101* Blues Guitar Essentials.
MacLeod signed with FRESH a subsidiary of Reference Recordings in 2010. His new album Brand New Eyes was released in March of 2011. In every note he performs and records, MacLeod subscribes to the rule-of-thumb learned from country bluesman Ernest Banks who instilled in him to “Never play a note you don’t believe”, and “Never write or sing about what you don’t know about.”
Like the old masters who taught him, MacLeod’s music expresses life and times via an intangible, elusive quality that may simply be a keen sense of what matters most. There is a philosophic and healing side to MacLeod’s music and his stories that has helped others overcome the hardships of their lives.
As Pee Wee Crayton’s widow Esther once told Doug, “You have a message and you’ll send that message mainly to the people who don’t go to church.” Amen.
Jim Bulleit is a retired English teacher and father of two from Virginia Beach. He has been performing since junior high school, when he sang for a rock band playing the Bar Mitzvah circuit in Bethesda, Maryland, where he grew up. He began playing guitar and writing songs while an undergraduate at Duke University. In his twenties, he played solo acoustic music in some of Tidewater’s seedier bars. After marrying and having two boys, Jim produced a CD, “A Family Album,” which he debuted on Barry Graham’s “Off the Shelf” program on WHRV. In the 1990’s he sang and played lead guitar for the Outer Limits, a cover band made up of other teachers. For the last six years, he has been the co-director of a praise band at Old Donation Episcopal Church.