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Doug Cox

Doug Cox - A Musical Biography

Doug Cox is a roots music renaissance man. From his bucolic home in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island the slide guitar and dobro master has carved-out an amazingly diverse career as a recording artist and touring musician who has played festivals, clubs and concert halls across Canada and the United States and around the world from Dobrofest in Slovakia to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

An acclaimed educator, Cox has produced a series of instructional video-CD-book packages to teach slide guitar, dobro and blues playing. He also finds time to serve as artistic director for two of the west coast's most popular music festivals, and to his credit, Cox organizes all his varied music business activities so he can spend as much time as possible with his wife and three young daughters.

Cox has just released Stay Lazy (Pacific Music), his fourth CD as a leader in ten years. It's an impressive, eclectic showcase of the musician's gifts as a songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and soulfully succinct soloist on dobro and slide guitar. The Boston Globe has called him "one of the world's most expressive dobro players," and Stay Lazy demonstrates why Cox is held in such high regard by critics and his fellow musicians. He's toured and recorded with Amos Garrett, Long John Baldry, Ellen McIlwaine, Ken Hamm, Rick Fines and Dave Gogo, and most of them perform with Cox on Stay Lazy.

"It's my best CD by far!" enthused Cox while taking a break from his next recording project, a collection of live performances with funny man Todd Butler. "For Stay Lazy, I've selected favorite performances from my three previous CDs plus some new recordings I'm really excited about."

On Stay Lazy, Cox teams-up with Amos Garrett for a playfully juicy reading of Life Is So Peculiar, leads an all-star bluegrass group through a withering version of Ellington's Caravan, and belts-out his originals, Cold When I'm Dead and When The Answer Comes with an expressive Bob Dylan-like growl. He joins Clive Gregson and jazz bassist James Young on a stunningly beautiful rendition of George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps and uncorks gentle, dobro-sweetened rearrangements of Neil Young's After The Gold Rush and Stevie Ray Vaughan's Lenny. Cox, Rick Fines, and Ron Casat team-up to give the reggae classic, Johnny Too Bad a clever, countrified reshaping, and his joyous vocal inspires Ellen McIlwaine's roaring slide guitar showcase, I Like To Slide. Wake Up Lisa/Mary Greig is an amazing, original folk instrumental that sounds as old as the hills, while his arrangement of Black Eyed Susie gives that dusty traditional tune a sprightly west African rhythmic underpinning. Cox also offers a soul-revealing vocal reading of his original, My Father and a funnier, but no less honestly autobiographical gem called My First Bike. Stay Lazy also includes Cox's bluegrass-inspired arrangement of Fanfarinette that serves as a theme song for CBC Radio's Discdrive, and the musician's mesmerizing environmental plea, Listen To The Water. It's already a favorite on several radio programs.

Stay Lazy is a stunning collection of thoughtful songwriting, virtuoso playing, and brilliant arranging. Although it is essentially a compilation, the CD has an exquisitely sequenced flow that mirrors the care and craft evident in each of Cox's elegant dobro and slide guitar solos. Recent Grammy Awards for the O' Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack and the Foggy Bottom Boys' Man of Constant Sorrow have introduced the general public to the dobro's haunting, expressive sound. They're going to love the magic Doug Cox conjures-up on Stay Lazy.

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Doug Cox Canadian Borderline

Very Rare and Out of Print

The first release by Dbroist, Singer, Songwriter Doug Cox. Over 20 musicians contribute their talents on Canadian Borderline including bluegrass masters Tony Trischka, John Reischman and Slavik Hanzlik, Irish Rover ! Will Millar, blues bassman Henry Oden of the Joe Louis Walker Band and Canadian blues guitarists Ken Hamm and David Gogo.

 Novel and unexpected turns of picking, song choice and instrumentation - Cox's version of Duke Ellington's Caravan is unbelievable

DIRTY LINEN

 & ... a tasty eclectic stew of Cox originals and unique cover choices with a variety of ethnic ingredients.

COUNTRY WAVE

 

 

Doug Cox and Sam Hurrie Ghosts

From The Georgia Straight
Vancouver, BC

The groove’s the thing for Hurrie and Cox

By Alexander Varty

Publish Date: 23-Mar-2006

If it’s hard to picture Sam Hurrie as a bluesman, it’s even harder to believe that he was once a Churl. A slight, serious-looking man, Hurrie could easily be taken for an aging intellectual, and with his soft voice and gentle laugh he sounds like one, too. But put a guitar in his hands and it’s quickly apparent that he’s a blues virtuoso, and that he’s been playing that music for a long time. Since the late 1950s, in fact, when first Buddy Holly and then John Lee Hooker changed his life.

“I grew up in Toronto, and I started playing just before Buddy Holly got killed,” Hurrie explains on the line from his home in Cumberland, on Vancouver Island. “I really liked Buddy Holly because I thought ‘If that short, geeky little guy with glasses can go onto The Ed Sullivan Show and do that, I can probably do that too.’ And then after I’d been playing for maybe six months I was doing my homework one night—I think I was in Grade 9—and I accidentally tuned my radio to one of the black stations that used to broadcast across the lake from Buffalo and Rochester, New York. ‘Boogie Chillen’ came on, by John Lee Hooker, and that was the first blues I ever heard.”

By the mid-1960s, Hurrie was taking a serious interest in acoustic blues, while also playing electric guitar for the aforementioned Churls. “We were basically a very derivative Rolling Stones–type band,” he says dismissively. But the would-be rock stars were good enough that they were soon lured away to New York City, where they became the house band at the Scene, one of the era’s leading nightclubs. John Lennon and Paul McCartney came to see them play. Jimi Hendrix was an occasional jamming partner. Fame eluded them, though, and eventually Hurrie came back to Canada, settling in Powell River.

“Starting in about 1970, I took 35 years off,” he says.

Since retiring from his paper-mill job and moving to Vancouver Island, however, Hurrie’s been making a quiet return to his days as a touring musician, most often in the company of his neighbour Doug Cox, an internationally acclaimed Dobro and slide-guitar specialist. And pleasant though their debut, Hungry Ghosts, might be, it only hints at the subtle depths of concerts like the one they’ll give at Rime next Friday (March 31).

Both Cox and Hurrie are great guitarists. Hurrie has a very fine voice. And between them, the two are developing a particularly lovely and unforced kind of on-stage chemistry. They’re obviously respectful of each other—and of the material they play, which ranges from Delta-blues classics to raga-inspired instrumentals to original songs.

“We’re kind of hoping that the music will be what sells the shows, as opposed to tap-dancing bats,” says Cox, interviewed from his own Cumberland home.

“We have the same approach, in that the groove’s the thing, to paraphrase Shakespeare,” Hurrie adds. “We do very few tunes that don’t involve generous portions of groove. We also spend a lot of time listening to each other, and if Doug starts taking a tune in a certain way that I wouldn’t have thought of, I’ll go, ‘Oh, this is new. This works well for me.’ Then I’ll kind of follow along—and he does the same. So it’s structured, but it’s very loose at the same time. We try to leave lots of air, and lots of room for innovation and for improvisation.”

Innovation and improvisation will soon become an even larger part of Cox and Hurrie’s musical life, for their duo is on the verge of becoming a trio with the addition of Bangalore-born, Montreal-based percussionist Ganesh Anandan.

“We’re going to have to rethink everything we do, because we don’t want it to look like it’s just Doug and Sam with a percussionist,” Cox says. “We want it to look like a real trio, so I think it’s going to really stretch all of us a lot, because we’re going to be heading off into a lot of new directions.”

Directions that might include Tuvan-influenced overtone singing and Weather Report covers; Cox is eager to explore some relatively radical instrumental techniques, and he reports that Anandan is capable of a variety of vocal and percussive styles beyond those of South India. But as long as Hurrie’s in the picture, the blues will remain the cornerstone of their music.

“I’m always drawn back to the appeal of Robert Johnson,” says the veteran guitarist. “Why does he speak to us across the generations? I mean, why is it that you can listen to ‘Hellhound on My Trail’ and it’ll still make the hair on the back of your neck stand up? I don’t know if we’ll ever really know the answer to that question, but there’s an agelessness and a timelessness about the blues that has always appealed to me.”

Doug Cox and Todd Butler Dobro and Guitar

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's only a matter of time before two gifted performers who share a love of guitars, who live in the same town and who strive to create something musically unique turn their friendship into a creative partnership. That's how easily it started for Comox Valley residents Doug Cox and Todd Butler (or Todd Butler and Doug Cox, depending on which one you ask.) They began jamming together. Loose-knit jamming turned into a few shows, and a few shows turned into a few more. They both sang. Todd told some jokes along the way and Doug played his Dobro. Then Todd shot off some riffs on his guitar and Doug went at his Weissenborn.

Before they knew it, they had an album ("Live Blues", 2002) to promote and a growing fan base of supporters who wanted to hear more original songs. One problem. This impromptu duo didn't have more originals. So they wrote some. With considerable experience behind them - Todd and Doug each have multiple solo recordings to their credit - they entered a studio in March and emerged in June with their proper debut, "Dobro and Guitar". It's just like the early days: Doug plays his Dobro and Todd plays his guitar. Except this time neither of them sing.

They share a lifetime of stage experience between them, which shows at every turn on "Dobro and Guitar". The record's 12 songs are punctuated with passionate, expert musicianship, most notably Doug's note-perfect and soulful Dobro skills and Todd's lightning quick mastery on the guitar. Their two styles work symbiotically like a match made in heaven. They even manage to slide a bit of comic levity in on the song, More Musta. "Can I get a copy of this tape?" Todd yells jokingly after an apparent bad take. It's the same question which has been asked for years by this duo's fans. Now there's an official answer. "Dobro and Guitar".

They've played everything from a small blues festival on Hornby Island to Alberta's legendary North Country Fair. And each time they won new fans and delighted old ones with a mix of humour, compassion and grace. That's how it started. That's how it will always be.

Doug Cox Stay Lazy

new CD, called 'Stay Lazy' and is now available! ...

Doug Cox - A Musical Biography

Doug Cox is a roots music renaissance man. From his bucolic home in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island the slide guitar and dobro master has carved-out an amazingly diverse career as a recording artist and touring musician who has played festivals, clubs and concert halls across Canada and the United States and around the world from Dobrofest in Slovakia to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

An acclaimed educator, Cox has produced a series of instructional video-CD-book packages to teach slide guitar, dobro and blues playing. He also finds time to serve as artistic director for two of the west coast's most popular music festivals, and to his credit, Cox organizes all his varied music business activities so he can spend as much time as possible with his wife and three young daughters.

Cox has just released Stay Lazy (Pacific Music), his fourth CD as a leader in ten years. It's an impressive, eclectic showcase of the musician's gifts as a songwriter, arranger, bandleader, and soulfully succinct soloist on dobro and slide guitar. The Boston Globe has called him "one of the world's most expressive dobro players," and Stay Lazy demonstrates why Cox is held in such high regard by critics and his fellow musicians. He's toured and recorded with Amos Garrett, Long John Baldry, Ellen McIlwaine, Ken Hamm, Rick Fines and Dave Gogo, and most of them perform with Cox on Stay Lazy.

"It's my best CD by far!" enthused Cox while taking a break from his next recording project, a collection of live performances with funny man Todd Butler. "For Stay Lazy, I've selected favorite performances from my three previous CDs plus some new recordings I'm really excited about."

On Stay Lazy, Cox teams-up with Amos Garrett for a playfully juicy reading of Life Is So Peculiar, leads an all-star bluegrass group through a withering version of Ellington's Caravan, and belts-out his originals, Cold When I'm Dead and When The Answer Comes with an expressive Bob Dylan-like growl. He joins Clive Gregson and jazz bassist James Young on a stunningly beautiful rendition of George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps and uncorks gentle, dobro-sweetened rearrangements of Neil Young's After The Gold Rush and Stevie Ray Vaughan's Lenny. Cox, Rick Fines, and Ron Casat team-up to give the reggae classic, Johnny Too Bad a clever, countrified reshaping, and his joyous vocal inspires Ellen McIlwaine's roaring slide guitar showcase, I Like To Slide. Wake Up Lisa/Mary Greig is an amazing, original folk instrumental that sounds as old as the hills, while his arrangement of Black Eyed Susie gives that dusty traditional tune a sprightly west African rhythmic underpinning. Cox also offers a soul-revealing vocal reading of his original, My Father and a funnier, but no less honestly autobiographical gem called My First Bike. Stay Lazy also includes Cox's bluegrass-inspired arrangement of Fanfarinette that serves as a theme song for CBC Radio's Discdrive, and the musician's mesmerizing environmental plea, Listen To The Water. It's already a favorite on several radio programs.

Stay Lazy is a stunning collection of thoughtful songwriting, virtuoso playing, and brilliant arranging. Although it is essentially a compilation, the CD has an exquisitely sequenced flow that mirrors the care and craft evident in each of Cox's elegant dobro and slide guitar solos. Recent Grammy Awards for the O' Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack and the Foggy Bottom Boys' Man of Constant Sorrow have introduced the general public to the dobro's haunting, expressive sound. They're going to love the magic Doug Cox conjures-up on Stay Lazy.

Doug Cox and Todd Butler Live Blues

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doug Cox and Todd Butler are veterans of the Canadian music and entertainment scene.
Now, desperate to break into the "Big Time", they have joined forces! Having both ended up in Vancouver Island's Comox Valley, it was only a matter of time before these two old friends started playing together and what they discovered was a shared interest and love of the Blues,Swing, Satire, Folk and Roots/Traditional music.

They have been dazzling audiences--and confusing themselves--ever since with an irresistible musical feast of blues classics, crafty instrumentals, funny social satire and touching, tender ballads, served up with humour and humility!

Doug's mastery of the dobro and slide guitar along with Todd's witty songwriting and unique flat-picking style create a powerfully entertaining combination. Their show is a twisting, turning journey through a wide variety of musical landscapes yet remains firmly grounded in the warm, friendly sounds of acoustic instruments played by guys who love them. Except, of course, when they crank up the amps...!

Doug Cox Life Is So Peculiar

Doug Cox is known as one of Canada's finest slide steel guitar players.Life Is So Peculiar is a rewarding journey for the listener as Cox moves strongly into a new blues sound and style. The title song features a duet with Blues great Amos Garrett. The single My First Bike exhibits both the strength of Cox's songwriting skills and his ability to "rock" witht he best of them.

Genre - Roots/Blues

Track Listing:

  1. Mother Earth
  2. Life Is So Peculiar
  3. Johnny Too Bad/Blackberry Blossom
  4. My First Bike
  5. Born To Be Blue
  6. Brother Bill
  7. The Sun Sometimes Shines
  8. Black Girl
  9. Rope Strchin' Blues
  10. Wake Up Lisa/Mary Grieg
  11. Further Along/Water Too Wide
  12. The Blues Came To Canada