Paul Dougherty – Keep It in your Pocket | Album Review

pauldougertycdPaul Dougherty – Keep It in your Pocket

Self-Produced on Bake it Black Records

CD: 12 Songs, 51:09 Minutes       

Styles: Blues Covers

Not too long ago, this reviewer was an avid writer of “fanfiction,” where authors use established game and movie settings to posit new adventures. For instance, what if one created one’s own Jedi Knight in the time of Episode VII, or were another apprentice wizard at Hogwarts? I often wondered why more people weren’t reading my stories, after I poured hours of effort into them. One of my fellow writers commented, “They’re too original. Fanfic is all about familiarity and tropes. Readers want to see the same characters they’ve seen a thousand times, with the same plots they’ve seen a thousand times, only written in someone else’s distinctive voice.” When I recalled this statement recently, a light bulb went off in my head: “Aha! The blues is just like fanfiction. No wonder CD’s full of covers make their way into the market year after year.”

Keep this in mind, blues fans, as you peruse Paul Dougherty’s Keep It in your Pocket. It may not have any original material on it, but if what you want is the soul-food comfort of “Stormy Monday,” “The Thrill is Gone,” and “Spoonful,” look no further. In terms of instrumentation, it’s above average, but Paul’s vocals could use some fine-tuning. Remarkably, he plays all the instruments – horns, drums, and all guitars, among others. Yours truly honestly thought this was an ensemble album, but her jaw unhinged once she re-read Dougherty’s promo sheet. Since Paul has hit the blues scene once more, a tribute release might seem more than fitting. His 2013 album River Pearl featured thirteen original blues, roots, and Americana tunes, dominating the #1 spot on the Roots Music Report for the international charts for 8 weeks.

Paul Dougherty was born in Houston and grew up in Nashville. His father, Tommy Dougherty, was a blues and soul singer/Hammond organ player and extensive vocalist in the Nashville studios, including the 1970s releases Touch My Soul on Emerald Records and Tommy Dougherty on Guinness Records. Paul sang and played guitar in various original Nashville bands, including the regional touring group The Uninsurables. After moving to Munich, Germany, he’s continued playing and recording, writing all of the songs for his CD’s until this current one.

The following cover is the one Ms. Wetnight has heard the least, and is therefore the freshest:

Track 06: “Me & the Devil” – Every blues fan worth their salt knows the Robert Johnson legend: “Early this morning, when you knocked upon my door, I said, ‘Hello, Satan. I believe it’s time to go.’ Me and the Devil was walking side by side…” Dougherty’s slide guitar, marvelously melodic yet understated, permeates this tale of being the Adversary’s companion. It’s one of the shortest tracks on the album, yet it’s one of the best.

Hey, blues aficionados, if you’re searching for a soulful one-man-band’s take on the classics, this CD is for you. However, if you’re looking to dish out dough for some original songs, then Keep It in your Pocket.

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