|The Jerry Douglas Band||What If (August 18, 2017)|
The Jerry Douglas Band — What If • Previous: “Traveler”, release date: June 26, 2012, Label: Koch. Accolades: US Grass #1, US Heat #3, US #168.
≥ 15 Solo recordings.
Birth name: Gerald Calvin “Jerry” Douglas
Born: May 28, 1956 — Warren, Ohio, United States
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Jill.
Album release: August 18, 2017
Record Label: Rounder Records
01 “Cavebop” 4:50
02 “Unfolding” 7:14
03 “2:19” 4:09
04 “What If” 6:46
05 “Hey Joe” 6:19
06 “Battle Stick” 4:49
07 “Go Ahead and Leave” 3:11
08 “Butcher Boy” 4:34
09 “Freemantle” 4:28
10 “The Last Wild Moor” 4:39
11 “Hot Country 84.5” 3:07
℗ 2017 Rounder Records, a division of Concord Music Group, Inc.Description:
• The Jerry Douglas Band — led by 14~time Grammy Award~winning musician Jerry Douglas — have announced their new studio album What If will be released Friday, August 18 via Rounder Records. To coincide with the announcement, RELIX.com has partnered to premiere the album’s lead single “Cavebop,” which Douglas tells the publication is “an experiment employing Bebop Jazz improv with a dash of Bluegrass for good measure.”
• Throughout the album’s 11~tracks, What If decisively merges jazz inclinations with the bluegrass, country, blues, swing, rock, and soul that Douglas spent his life absorbing and performing, forging a sound that flies beyond the boundaries of anything he~or anyone else~has done before.
• What If marks the recorded debut of The Jerry Douglas Band; though Douglas has recorded several of these songs previously; he turns them inside out here in bold new arrangements filled with unexpected elements. For example, in 1992 he covered “Hey Joe,” the Billy Roberts folk tune that became one of Jimi Hendrix’s most beloved blues-rockers, as an uptempo bluegrass song. Here, it’s recontextualized again with drums and fiddle~and horns instead of mandolin. Speaking of changing the feel, Douglas’ rendering of Tom Waits’ “2:19” is a funky revelation, dripping with soul ~ and vocals that sound like they’re rolling from the lips of a grizzled Beale Street bluesman killing it at 3 a.m., not a three~time Country Music Association Musician of the Year. He also radically reconfigures the album opener “Cavebop,” originally recorded in 2002. This time, it contains the horns he always wanted it to have. “The first time I recorded it, we just played it as fast as we possibly could,” says Douglas. “This time, we made it a bit more sophisticated, with more of an arrangement. A lot of times, when you record songs, you don’t really know ’em yet. I got another shot at this one.” © The Jerry Douglas Band, “2:19”, 7/13/2017, Paste Studios, New York, NY
• As soon as he graduated from high school, Douglas headed to Washington, D.C., to join Charlie Waller, Ricky Skaggs, and Doyle Lawson in the Country Gentlemen. He’s since performed in so many incarnations; at one point, he counted membership in eight bands~simultaneously. His recent history includes his band the Earls of Leicester~his version of the Flatt and Scruggs band~with Shawn Camp, Charlie Cushman, Jeff White, Johnny Warren, and Barry Bales; their self~titled 2014 debut earned Douglas his 14th Grammy. He’d already picked up eight with Alison Krauss & Union Station, with whom he’s closing out his second decade, and shared the Album of the Year win for O Brother, Where Art Thou?, the film soundtrack that helped replant traditional roots music in the modern American psyche. • http://www.rounder.com/Review
Written By Hal Horowitz // August 16, 2017 // Score: 4/5
• If it’s Dobro you’re after, the first name that comes to anyone’s mind is Jerry Douglas. A master of the instrument (and lap steel) since he was a teenage prodigy, Douglas is the most versatile, eclectic, awarded (14 time Grammy winner) and well recorded Dobro player living and perhaps ever. He’s also the most musically inclusive, shifting from jazz to world music, blues, folk, country, rock, R&B, and of course bluegrass during a fascinating, profoundly wide~ranging 40 plus year career that has found him collaborating with a multitude of “A list” musicians from various genres including Emmylou Harris, Paul Simon and Derek Trucks.
• But in a way, What If is a new beginning. It’s the debut from the appropriately named Jerry Douglas Band after a few dozen titles in partnership with others and solo. The expansive, seven piece unit includes a sax and trumpet horn section in addition to bass, drums, guitar, fiddle, obviously Douglas’ Dobro and, perhaps unexpectedly, occasional vocals.
• Not surprisingly, it’s a freewheeling, musically sprawling set, perhaps more jazz and rock oriented than most would expect. Douglas writes most of the material yet works up innovative, substantially rearranged versions of “Hey Joe,” best known by Hendrix’s cover but here given a caffeinated backwoods workup, and Tom Waits’ “2:19.” The album’s centerpiece is its title track, a pensive progressive jazz/bluegrass fusion instrumental that allows the members to stretch out and shows both their creativity and talent. Ditto for the Douglas~Bela Fleck co~write “Freemantle,” best described as bluegrass/jazz fusion, where Douglas’ Dobro interweaves with the horns and guitar in electrifying fashion.
• There’s enough fret~shredding in the opening five minute “Cave Bop” (a re~recording of a Douglas original, first heard in 2002) with its high energy soloing and near free~jazz approach, and the closing “Hot Country 84.5” that’s somewhat more laid back but just as musically challenging, to satisfy those looking for Douglas’ sizzling picking. But it’s the interaction of the instruments throughout, in particular the horns, that makes this a true band production. More meditative material such as the Celtic~influenced “Butcher Boy” and the lovely “The Last Wild Moor” incorporate group members with restrained instrumental grandstanding. The contemplative “Go Ahead and Leave” is a sweet showcase for Douglas’ sedate side.
• Whether you come for hot licks, compositional diversity or to experience a talented band firing on all cylinders with like~minded players delving into a variety of styles they love, the superb What If has you covered. Hopefully this is the start of a long term ensemble, willing to test individual musical parameters and expand their roots based standards into new, dynamic and fresh frontiers. • https://americansongwriter.com/
• THE PROLIFIC DOBRO PLAYER TALKS ABOUT HE MINDSET REQUIRED FOR COLLABORATION, WHETHER IT’S WITH CLASSICAL PIANISTS OR ALISON KRAUSS.
Beard Guitars: http://www.beardguitars.com/
|The Jerry Douglas Band||What If (August 18, 2017)|