From October 9 – 12, GRAMMY® Award-winning Dobro master Jerry Douglas will showcase songs from his latest KOCH Records solo album, Glide, along with his five-piece band at the Blue Note in New York City. Douglas continues his four-part music series as the 2008 artist-in-residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum in Nashville, TN with his final show on September 30. Notable guests in attendance have included Alison Krauss, Travis Tritt, Emmylou Harris, Earl Scruggs, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer, Guy Clark, Ricky Skaggs, Lloyd Green, Jesse Winchester, Jim Foglesong, Paul Kennerly and John Cowan. Some of today’s top country music stars will guest appear at Douglas’s last show at the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum. Interviews and photos are available upon request.
Internationally recognized as the world’s most renowned Dobro player, Jerry Douglas undoubtedly ranks amongst the top contemporary maestros in American music. Douglas has garnered twelve GRAMMY® Awards and numerous International Bluegrass Music Association awards, and holds the distinction of being named "Musician of the Year" by The Country Music Association (2002, 2005, 2007), The Academy of Country Music (11 times), and The Americana Music Association (2002, 2003). In 2004, the National Endowment for The Arts honored Douglas with a National Heritage Fellowship, acknowledging his artistic excellence and contribution to the nation’s traditional arts, their highest such accolade.
In February 2008, Beard Guitars released the Jerry Douglas Signature Resonator Guitar. Designed in conjunction with Douglas and master luthier Paul Beard, the unparalleled ingenuity behind the Limited Edition run of the 50 hand-crafted guitars establishes a new standard by which all resophonic guitars will be measured for years to come. Each instrument is fully compatible with Fishman’s new Jerry Douglas Resonator Pickup. At this year’s Summer NAMM (June 20 – 22, Nashville Convention Center), Fishman officially debuted its Jerry Douglas Signature Series Aura Imaging Pedal. The effects unit emulates 16 custom Fishman Aura images created and used by Douglas specifically for resophonic guitars.
Douglas’s musical brilliance has graced over 2,000 recordings by such distinguished artists as James Taylor, Paul Simon, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Elvis Costello, Garth Brooks, Charlie Haden, Earl Scruggs, Phish, Emmylou Harris, Bill Frisell, The Chieftains, and the eight million-plus selling soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou?. Since 1998, Douglas has been an inimitable member of Alison Krauss & Union Station, and over his career has been a featured player in such groundbreaking bands including The Country Gentlemen, J.D. Crowe & The New South, Boone Creek, and Strength in Numbers (of which both Sam Bush and Edgar Meyer were also members). While music aficionados have come to know the sound of Jerry Douglas from his stunning contributions to countless albums and concerts with other acclaimed artists, it is with his singular solo recording projects where he unabashedly unveils the elegance of his own songwriting and artistic virtuosity.
Douglas’s latest recording, Glide, marks his twelfth solo release. Featuring nine instrumental compositions and two tracks with standout vocal performances by country music legends Travis Tritt and Rodney Crowell, it is a follow-up to his critically acclaimed, The Best Kept Secret (KOCH Records), and the 2007 collection, Jerry Douglas: Best of the Sugar Hill Years (Sugar Hill Records). Glide portrays his adventurous and eclectic musical palette as it incorporates elements of bluegrass, country, rock, folk, Celtic, Scottish and New Orleans-inspired music. Earl Scruggs, Sam Bush, Edgar Meyer, Lloyd Green, Tony Rice, Carmella Ramsey and members of his touring band including drummer Doug Belote, bassist Todd Parks, violinist Luke Bulla and guitarist Guthrie Trapp support Douglas on various tracks on his much-anticipated new album.
Diverse themes and portraits traverse the collection of 11 songs presented on Glide. The opening track "Bounce," a song written by Edgar Meyer, Sam Bush, and Douglas, is evidence of their longstanding close friendships. Written while on a short tour together this past year, "Bounce" exhibits a youthful spirit with each artist outguessing the next as they trade licks a top its buoyant and playful rhythm. The title track, "Glide" is a Douglas original, evocative of the sensation of ice skating, skiing, or flying. Douglas also notes that it "conjures images of cars made in the 30’s, 40’s and early 50’s with big round fenders having slogans such as TurboGlide and Dynamo chromed onto them." "A Marriage Made In Hollywood," a track written by Paul Brady and Michael O’Keefe, features a commanding vocal performance by Travis Tritt, and depicts an emotional story of a drug addict bent on getting his 15 seconds of fame.
In addition to his trademark Dobro work, Douglas also contributes his transcendent lap steel guitar playing on "Route Irish." Another Douglas original, the song is in response to his witnessing several back-to-back days of news coverage of the Iraqi war. A friend recommended the title after returning home from Iraq; it’s the actual name of the road connecting the Baghdad Airport to the Green Zone. "Sway" is Douglas’s interpretation of a funeral march; a tribute to New Orleans, recorded in New Orleans. With the assistance of a handful of select horn players, he eagerly sought out to capture a distinctly Louisiana feel that was part Dixieland and part Salvation Army Band. "Unfolding" is an Edgar Meyer composition they performed while in Strength In Numbers. Douglas arranged a compelling string section for the piece with Luke Bulla playing all the parts. Written by Rodney Crowell, "A Long Hard Road" features a warm and memorable vocal performance by Crowell with Carmella Ramsey and Douglas singing backgrounds, and Tony Rice on guitar.
Every time Douglas hears Earl Scruggs play "Home Sweet Home," he confesses, "I’m six years old again." He adds, "Scruggs recorded this track on Foggy Mountain Banjo around 1964, and any card-carrying bluegrass fan owns a copy or can’t come in the club." The new rendition highlights a trio with Scruggs, Rice and Douglas. With his instrumental interpretation on the singing style of the Louvin Brothers, Douglas camps it up in "Two Small Cars In Rome" with duet partner Lloyd Green, the world’s preeminent pedal steel player. This slide by slide tune also recollects the narrow streets in Italianate films by Academy Award-winning actress Sophia Loren. "Trouble On Alum (Hector the Hero/Wooed and Marret)" is a medley of two ancient Scottish songs that Douglas braced together for a commissioned piece he did as an accompaniment to paintings by American watercolor artist William Matthews. He plays all the instruments on "Trouble On Alum." The album’s closer, "Pushed Too Far" is a staple in his live repertoire and a co-write with Russ Barenberg. Originally recorded for the MCA Master Series, which unfortunately went out of print, Douglas offers a newly recorded version and half-jokingly notes that it has "too many notes for beginners."
Whether he’s performing alongside Eric Clapton at the 2007 Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago, on tour with his band opening for Paul Simon (Fall 2006), appearing live on A Prairie Home Companion, or playing his featured role with Alison Krauss & Union Station, there is only one Dobro player who can voice such a distinctive and familiar sound: Jerry Douglas. As he continues his incalculable influence on bluegrass and it’s many related genres, Douglas forges as a true pioneer in American music.
Release Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2008
3. A Marriage Made In Hollywood
4. Route Irish
7. A Long Hard Road
8. Home Sweet Home
9. Two Small Cars In Rome
10. Trouble On Alum (Hector the Hero/Wooed and Marret)
11. Pushed Too Far