Doug McCurry & The Verticals
Doug McCurry has been involved in original since the 1980’s, as both a musician and producer. He was a member of the band Big Brick Building, who released 2 CD’s and drew the attention of industry professionals, critics, and alternative music fans. After several years of absence, Seven Songs About Leaving marks the return of Doug McCurry to writing and recording music. This latest 10 track release is called Doug McCurry & The Verticals” I cannot believe how long it’s been since I heard a good rock n’ soul record. Let me repeat that – “good rock n’ soul.” I review a lot of music week in and week out, and looking back over the last 5 years at what’s landed in my in-box I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Music seems to be steering away from a guitar driven primary to more of an electronic based primary. Music also seems to be delivered much louder these days than it used to be – not in a good way either. I guess many feel you are not capable of turning up your volume knob so they’ve done it for you. Check my pulse maybe I’m dead. I want to hear and feel something well real, somewhat comical and powerful at the same time.
So enter Doug McCurry based out of Charlotte NC who is no stranger to the music business having released 3 albums over the last few years. McCurry to me is a late 80’s influenced blues/rock band with a contemporary feel. He may have been influenced by Beck, Ween, Guster, Jonathan Coultan, The Rentals, Nada Surf and The Long Winters. Right from the start McCurry provides some interesting sounds for this classic yet distinctive style of music. By the way it’s guitar and horn driven. The result is perfect setting for McCurry’s raspy yet smooth voice. Make no bones some tracks provide an unplugged setting as well. With fading rock based influences over the years, there’s possibly a nod in the direction here from Talking Heads, T-Rex and even Violent Femmes. My favorite track “Knocked Me Down” spot on lyrics and emotionally engaging music about love, loss, distraction, and trying to stay fully present in a rapidly paced and changing world. McCurry might be knocked down but he’s got bounce back. There’s an almost 80’s sound to songs like “Not This Time” and Don’t Know”. I’m not sure that I’ve got this right, but it sounds as if McCurry is singing about life on the grind, but with a positive outlook about the road ahead. He’s trying to keep it positive despite some not so bright days – but pokes fun at it all on many pieces. It’s definitely to me more blues-based soul rock than rock, but I liked it a lot despite the somewhat flashback sound. Sometimes McCurry reminds me of David Bowie.
A guy like McCurry will get good draws at places like House of Blues of even The Hard Rock Café. “Fireball” and “Stick Around” is two solid finale movements. “Fireball” comes at you full board and wraps up a strong 10 track album. All song present mainly acoustic guitar, drums, organ, Horn sections, Accordion, and syncopated electro-rhythm section rounds out the overall accompaniment. McCurry is a good rhythm player in his own right and has the prefect voice for this style of music. Laid back and perfectly comfortable in his skin he draws out his words with a dramatic quality
Like I had previously mentioned I cannot believe how long it’s been since I heard a rock n’ soul record – until today. When all is said and done this is a classic return of classic Blues based Alternative Rock and it’s long overdue for me. I also get the feeling McCurry is not afraid to be himself in modern world. I think that’s why like many others look forward to hearing more of his music in the future and maybe catching him live. Who knows where the future will lead? But one thing is for sure. When one listener to the music of Doug McCurry – it just makes you feel something powerful.
Purchase Link: https://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/DougMcCurry