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Doug MacLeod

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Doug MacLeod is one of the last remaining bluesmen who learned from the old masters, lived the music, survived the life and carries forward that valuable tradition. Within the blues world, 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.

“My name is Doug; my formal name is Douglas,” MacLeod yarns, telling about when his mentor George “Harmonica” Smith recorded a spoken intro for “It’s the Blues,” (from MacLeod’s 1984 debut No Road Back Home). “He couldn’t—wouldn’t—say ‘Doug.’ I don’t know why. He always called me ‘Dubb.’ And then when he got mad at me, he called me ‘Dubblass.’ “ I would say, “Hello, George” and he would say, “Hello, Dubb.” And I’d say, “We’d sure like to hear you play some blues,” and he’d say, “Okay, I’ll blow some blues for ya.”

When they hit the button, what came out of Smith’s mouth shocked everyone. “Everyone stopped and said, ‘What?! What did you say, George?’ And he said, ‘I called him Doug.’” Asked why, Smith replied, “Well that’s his name, isn’t it? And his mama’s gonna hear this record, and every mama should be able to hear her son’s name called right.”

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