Howlin’ At The Moon Music Publishing Company
CD: 10 Songs; 33:37 Minutes
Styles: Blues Rock, Country Blues, Americana
In March of 2014, Blues Blast Magazine reviewer John Mitchell showcased a CD by the North Carolina-based Doug Prescott Band, called Blues in the Key of Sea. It’s somewhat unusual for musicians to release more than one album per year, but Doug and his ensemble are on a roll. On Karma & The Big Caboose, they present eight quirky original songs and two covers. Overall, their offering is a mixture of blues rock, country blues, and Americana. On the inside cover is the ‘Big Caboose’, with Prescott standing proudly on it. He should be proud after having made the top twenty on the Reverbnation charts recently. This bodes well for all his future feats.
Doug is a blues artist of many specializations, playing bass, trumpet, and acoustic guitar as well as singing lead vocals. With him are Tommy Hartley on acoustic, rhythm, slide and lead guitar; Ken Johnson on bass, rhythm and lead guitar; Andy Cheek on drums; Tony Bowman on piano, organ, keys and vocals; Craig Fuller, Nancy Middleton, Jill Kuhn Sexton, Jason Merritt, Jeff Hart, Holden Richards, Keith Buckley, and Tom Maxwell on vocals; Eric Kulz on trombone and trumpet; Eddie Blair and Berkeley Grimball on sax; John Simonsen on tuba; Allyn Love on pedal and lap steel guitars; Charles Pettee on mandolin; FJ Ventre on acoustic bass; Willie Painter on lead guitar; John Teer on fiddle; and Beverly Bosford on conga drums.
The following three songs will certainly be conversation starters among blues fans:
Track 03: ‘Coffee Shop Girl” – This country acoustic number might have been better backed by a balalaika: “There’s a girl in the coffee shop – she’s a Russian spy. I see her there every day, hacking the wi-fi…Hey, Natasha, give me a sign. Tell me things will always be just fine. I can see us trading stories over a vodka. Can’t you? You and I both know that’ll never come true.” With Russia/U.S. tensions running high, such lyrics are unnerving and hilarious at the same time.
Track 08: “Black Bone Snake” – No other blues song concerning reptile-related vendettas is better. “I’m gonna cook his goose. He’ll simmer in his own juice. He’ll get too hot, and then he gonna fry. I’m gonna get his caboose!” Ken Johnson plays great electric rhythm guitar.
Track 10: “Sailin’ Shoes” – Originally composed and performed by Lowell George, the final number is Doug’s homage to all things sea-related. From Prescott’s killer bassline to Tony Bowman’s crisp piano keyboards, all the instrumentals might call Elvin Bishop to mind.
Even though Doug’s vocals are a bit flat, his creativity helps makes up for it. Purists might not find themselves completely satisfied with his mixing of genres, but for those who like a bit of country and Americana mixed in with their blues, this CD will please their palate!