Doug MacLeod, a prolific singer, songwriter, engaging storyteller, and masterful guitarist was born in the blues and is rooted in the American tradition. MacLeod is a perennial Blues Music Award nominee and multiple Blues Music Award winner. He recently won the 2017 Blues Music Award for Acoustic Artist Of The Year and the Blues Blast Music Award for Male Artist Of The Year.
He is a traveling artist who writes and sings original songs that are based on his own life and experiences. He learned from the old masters, lived the music, and carries forward a valuable tradition. MacLeod is known for his superb songwriting, guitar wizardry, warm soulful vocals, wit and unforgettable live performances. At the heart of a Doug MacLeod performance is his knack for storytelling, bringing characters-from the faceless to the legendary-to strikingly real life.
As a youth Doug overcame abuse and a crippling stutter by turning to music. After picking up a guitar, and singing - he found his voice. While he developed his rich, soulful singing style MacLeod also worked out a unique, unorthodox and powerfully rhythmic acoustic guitar style. The rage of a turbulent youth was eventually channeled through the guitar. Doug uses a relentless right hand to pound out an insistent, churning beat to complement his intricate bottleneck and finger-style technique.
MacLeod's playing landed him sideman gigs with George 'Harmonica' Smith, Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Eddie 'Cleanhead' Vinson, Lowell Fulson and Big Mama Thornton. Over 29 years, 20 studio albums, several live records, compilations, a blues guitar instructional DVD and a live performance DVD, MacLeod has consistently earned raves. His songs have been covered by many artists including Albert King, Albert Collins, Joe Louis Walker and Eva Cassidy. He has co-written songs with Dave Alvin and Coco Montoya. MacLeod's songs have been featured in many TV movies and the hit show In the Heat of the Night and on Grammy nominated albums by Albert King and Albert Collins. Doug’s soulful slide guitar playing was featured in the Los Angeles opening of August Wilson’s "Gem of the Ocean”.
In every note he performs and records, MacLeod follows the rule-of-thumb he learned from country bluesman Ernest Banks of Toano VA.:
"Never play a note you don't believe", and "Never write or sing about what you don't know about."
Like the old masters who taught him, MacLeod's music expresses life and times through an intangible, elusive quality that may simply be a keen sense of what matters most. Doug’s music, stories, and philosophy provide a healing that has helped others overcome the hardships of their lives.
As Pee Wee Crayton's widow Esther once told Doug, "You have a message and you'll send that message mainly to the people who don't go to church." Amen.
"Doug MacLeod is an acoustic roots master. He has been using guitars
and voice to create his own unique musical vision for over fifty
- Elwood Blues aka Dan Aykroyd, The Bluesmobile Radio Show