Let me start by saying that I have thought long and hard about posting Albums Of 2014 so early in the year - but I know what I like and I like what I know (that sounds vaguely familiar in a Prog sort of way) - so for Albums that I know are going to make the list, well why not get them in early to give everyone an opportunity to seek out and get a few months more enjoyment if they feel so inclined as to invest
I came across Doug Paisley by looking at the Amazon 'Also Bought' section on one of the albums I was looking at. I often trawl through these selections to see if I can find anything I like.
It was an earlier album called Constant Companion. From it, this song called At The End Of The Day.
That was back in 2010. In 2012 he released an EP called Golden Embers.
These tracks didn't appear on the follow up album, the exquisite Strong Feelings this year.
photo courtesy of Countryweekly.com
So I kept an eye out for Strong Feelings. Doug is a Canadian from Toronto, who sings with a warm, husky tone.
The album opens with the longing Radio Girl.
Some reviewers have classified Doug's sound as 1970s folk rock - but I think that a bit too simplistic. There is a warm glow to the album which elevates the songs to much more than the usual singer/songwriter fare.
However, I can see how there say that and although I'm loathe to pick out influences, I think there's a direct line from fellow Canuck Neil Young in acoustic mode, on several of the tracks including the excellent It's Not Too Late. I can even hear echoes of The Band.
photo courtesy of music.cbc.ca
Which might not come as a surprise as Doug gets some help on the album from the legendary Garth Hudson.
The instrumentation is quite sparse with Doug's acoustic often only accompanied by some percussion, piano or organ.
photo courtesy of endoftheroadfestival.com
The country feel permeates onto several of the tracks but it doesn't feel like a Country album somehow. It feels more than that.
photo courtesy of northcountrypublicradio.org
Listening to this album is like drinking a nice warm whisky and leaves a beautiful aftertaste for a long time after it's finished.
So let Doug envelop you in his lovely Canadian burr and sit back and enjoy.
Twitter - @Doug_Paisley