The Gary Douglas Band releases River Road

The Gary Douglas Band releases River Road


Few musicians have been able to balance a so-called “straight” life with one steeped in imagination and creative cultivation, but he has in the past, singer/songwriter Gary Douglas continues to deliver with his latest release, “River Road,” which has been conquering specialty airplay in recent days. Playing like the soundtrack to the dusty morning that follows a lumbering night on the road meeting its conclusion in a cheap motel, this gem from the Gary Douglas Band’s forthcoming album, Deep in the Water, is a self-described teaser of what’s to come in the group’s new full length release.

If we must characterize artists just by reputation alone, then there is no reason why music enthusiasts should not place The Gary Douglas Band in the highest regard thanks to their tightly wound prowess around the studio and stage alike. Their work ethic speaks for itself on a track like “River Road.” Taking a dash of folk rock and sprinkling in a fat helping of Bob Seger’s rebellious interpretation of soul, Gary and his crew don’t mess around with pretentious choruses or self-serving introductions to their sonic vibrancy; instead, they plunge into the sonic abyss without inhibition to see what magic they can manifest.

The broad definition of rock music, as conveyed by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, is as follows:

“Rock & Roll is often used as a generic term, but its sound is rarely predictable. From the outset, when the early rockers merged country and blues, rock has been defined by its energy, rebellion and catchy hooks, but as the genre aged, it began to shed those very characteristics, placing equal emphasis on craftsmanship and pushing the boundaries of the music. As a result, everything from Chuck Berry’s pounding, three-chord rockers and the sweet harmonies of the Beatles to the jarring, atonal white noise of Sonic Youth has been categorized as ‘rock.’”

While this definition is completely accurate in its analysis of a genre that has dominated the last century of popular music, what is to be said of the disciples of rock that have used these principles to create a new style of conformity? Isn’t conforming to the standard, the status quo if you will, the very antithesis of what rock n’ roll represents and is rooted in? If you take a look at some of the garbage that major record labels are bankrolling at the moment, you might be a little confused by what producers are considering to be standards these days, and want to completely turn your back on our precious, electrified four bar blues forever. If you’re feeling close to that point, then you need to immediately seek out The Gary Douglas Band’s contributions to the conversation, starting with this most recent single. “River Road” indeed can drown out the Top 40 dribble, but it never for a moment feels like an exercise in indulgent retrospection.

Explore more of The Gary Douglas Band and their grooves online at their official website and listen for “River Road” on select radio stations nationwide.


Michael Rand

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