creative workshop ad
creative workshop

Jerry Douglas: Traveler

| June 26, 2012 | 2 Comments

“I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m not afraid to try anything,” states Jerry Douglas. “That’s what this record’s about.”

That fearlessness is manifested in spades on Traveler, the artist’s 14th solo release and his first in three years. The 11-song album finds the world-renowned Dobro master—described as “the Muhammad Ali of the Dobro” by James Taylor and “my favorite musician” by John Fogerty—defying expectations and ignoring genre restrictions to deliver his most stylistically expansive, personally charged effort to date.

Recorded in New Orleans, New York, Montreal and Banbury, England as well as in Douglas’ homebase of Nashville, Traveler finds the 13-time Grammy winner and three-time Country Music Association Musician of the Year delivering an audaciously eclectic set that teams him with such world-class talents (and avowed Douglas admirers) as Eric Clapton, Paul Simon, Mumford & Sons, Keb’ Mo’, Marc Cohn, Dr. John, Del McCoury, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Jon Cleary, Viktor Krauss and Omar Hakim, as well as Alison Krauss & Union Station, of which Douglas has been a member since 1998.

Traveler‘s title reflects the broad range of musical ground that it traverses, and the many miles that Douglas and producer Russ Titelman covered in order to capture the album’s diverse array of performances. Their visit to New Orleans, for instance, yielded four memorable tracks, including horn-laden readings of the R&B standards “Something You Got” (featuring Clapton on vocals and guitar and Dr. John on piano) and “High Blood Pressure” (with vocals by Keb’ Mo’). Douglas’ acoustic roots are showcased on his Nashville-recorded instrumental originals “Duke and Cookie” and “King Silkie,” and on the haunting “Frozen Fields,” featuring the vocal and instrumental talents of Alison Krauss & Union Station.

Traveler‘s numerous highlights also include Douglas’ heartfelt reworkings of a pair of Paul Simon classics: “American Tune,” included here in an affecting solo Dobro medley with Chick Corea’s “Spain”; and an epic yet intimate reinterpretation of “The Boxer,” recorded in England with U.K. folk-rockers Mumford & Sons providing backup, and in New York with Simon (with whom Douglas has worked extensively, both on tour as an opening act and as a collaborator in the studio) adding an exotic assortment of electric and acoustic guitar parts, Tibetan percussion and high harmony vocals.

“Every song on this record was like an adventure,” Douglas notes, adding, “The idea was to take myself out of my comfort zone, and to keep putting myself in unfamiliar situations. I wasn’t worried about failing, and I wasn’t trying to prove anything. It just felt right to just go for it and try everything.”

In addition to confidently exploring a broad range of material from across the stylistic spectrum, Traveler marks some notable firsts for Douglas. For instance, it’s the first time he’s recorded an album with an outside producer.

“It was different letting someone else wear the big hat, but it worked out great,” Douglas says of studio vet Titelman, whose resume includes classic releases by the likes of Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Rickie Lee Jones and Little Feat, as well as Traveler participants Clapton and Simon. “Russ is wide open to all kinds of things, and because he was there, I didn’t have to worry about things like booking the studio or keeping track of the budget. I just had to show up and play my best. That was quite a luxury, and it made this a better record.”

Traveler also showcases his soulful, wailing lap steel guitar work alongside his Dobro skills. His lap steel is featured on seven tracks, including the original instrumentals “So Here We Are” and “Gone to Fortingall,” both of which are products of Douglas’ budding collaboration with the stellar rhythm section of bassist Viktor Krauss and drummer Omar Hakim, who also provide the foundation of his current touring band.

“Playing lap steel is very liberating to me, especially after working in the acoustic world for most of my life,” Douglas says. “It’s a very different instrument, and it takes me to a different part of my brain. With lap steel, I have access to sustain and distortion, which is something you just don’t get with Dobro. Distortion isn’t big in bluegrass, but it can be your friend.”

Traveler is also notable for featuring Douglas’ first recorded lead vocal, i.e. his persuasive take on the Leadbelly number “On A Monday,” which opens the album (and which Douglas recently performed on “The Late Show With David Letterman”). He actually made his public lead-singing debut in 2011 in no less auspicious a venue than Carnegie Hall, singing “Hey Joe” as part of the “Roots” themed show in James Taylor’s “Perspectives” series.

“I originally wanted to call this record Firsts, but I didn’t because the word’s too hard to say,” Douglas confides. “I even drew up a cover concept, with this little scrawny kid standing on a high-dive board about to jump into a pool, and there’s a shark in the water. That’s what this whole record felt like to me. That’s kind of what I’ve been doing for the last couple of years: drawing up the list of things that I’m afraid to do and then doing them.”

Now, at a point in his life where most other musicians have settled into a routine or are resting on their laurels, Jerry Douglas remains eager to embrace new creative challenges.

“Making Traveler has really been an eye-opening experience,” Douglas asserts. “After doing this, I’m not interested in going back to making records the way I was, going into the studio with 12 songs and recording them with the same group of people. This one taught me about what options are out there, what other ways there are to do things, and what other kinds of music I can play. That’s important when you’ve been doing this as long as I have. Now I’ve got all kinds of records that I want to make.”

www.jerrydouglas.com

Category: Be Heard Jukebox Archive

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Brian Irving says:

    Possibly the BEST version of ‘The Boxer’ I’ve ever heard.
    Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Certaines personnes disent que le mariage est une occasion solennelle, et seulement un longeur mariage était digne et élégant, maintenant cette opinion est trop tradition. Si la mariée ne pas dérangé , il peut essayer une robe courte. La mariée courte qui coûteRobe de mariéemoins de matière, à moindre coût, le prix est naturellement plus abordable. Surtout la épouses petite, la mariée courte vous fait paraître plus sophistiquée.
En vacker grekisk gudinna axel diamant spets brudklänning, eleganta vackra färska vattenlösliga spets blommor. Ren skönhet. Det älskar.bröllopsklänningarKvinnan tillbaka mjuka linjer, människor ofta få en känsla av oändlig frestelse. Fall 2016 fashion show golvet, ryggen full av detaljer
As we all know, cheapcheap jerseys jerseys china online shop is the factory of the world, there are an array of products with good quality and cheap. So , today I will introduce cheap jersey to you.Li Ning · 2016 Sudirman Cup world mixed team badminton championship in Guangzhou successfully concludedof, in these days, the New Cheap Jersey of China became the hot topic in everyone.
fans wChina is the world’s second largest economy, the world’s first trading power.TheWholesale jerseys nation’s major clothing wholesale market is as follows: Guangzhou White Horse Clothing Market.
GUIRENNIAO-This logo is a spiritual totem, smooth graphics implication unstoppable force; flexible deliver an elegant arc movement, strength and speed of the United States, a symbol of passion and rationality publicity “Heart” and “meaning”, “concept” unity; pass the fearless and enterprising mind, showing beyond the realm of self, to unstoppable force to create the future.XTEP-Xtep (China) Co., Ltd. is a comprehensive development wholesale Wholesale jerseysjerseys china shop, production and marketing of Xtep brand (XTEP) sports shoes, clothing, bags, caps, balls, socks mainly large sporting goods industry enterprises.
We will bring appropriate surprises in a particular period of time, such as Christmas Day or a certain time the team to win, and we are able to bring about a correspondingcheap jerseys markdown activity for the fans! Are you interested in ?cheap jerseys free shipping!!! So coming to purchase it!!!