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Jerry Douglas Bio, Life and Career:
Jerry Douglas was birth on 28 May 1956 (age 67) in Warren, Ohio, United States. Jerry Douglas is undoubtedly the most renowned and prolific Dobro player in current acoustic music, and he is also often regarded as the best instrument performer overall. Douglas is an eclectic musician whose interests run toward jazz, blues, folk, and straight-ahead country in addition to bluegrass, and he is equally capable of appealing to bluegrass fans and new agers who have a taste for instrumental roots music. His primary base is bluegrass, but his tastes also run toward jazz, blues, folk, and straight-ahead country.
His progressive sensibility as a composer has garnered him comparisons to like-minded virtuosos like Béla Fleck and David Grisman, and he has performed with artists such as Emmylou Harris, Paul Simon, T-Bone Burnett, Phish, Lyle Lovett, and the Chieftains. Highlights from his repertoire of solo work include the progressive bluegrass effort Slide Rule, which was released in 1992; the session Bourbon and Rosewater, which was released in 1996 and included Indian guitarist Vishwa Mohan Bhatt; the cerebral Americana of 2008’s Glide; and the cross-genre experiments that were featured on 2017’s What If.
Douglas was born in Warren, Ohio, in 1956, and his father, a bluegrass musician, encouraged him to start playing the Dobro when he was eight. Douglas has been performing bluegrass music ever since. By the time Douglas was in his teens, he was already a part of the band led by his father, and Josh Graves, a member of Flatt & Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Boys, had a significant influence on his playing. The Country Gentlemen were the ones who found Douglas when he was performing at a festival; they ended up taking him on tour with them for the remainder of the summer and eventually got him into the recording studio.
From then on, Douglas established himself as a sought-after session musician. During the second half of the 1970s, he collaborated with artists like J.D. Crowe & the New South, David Grisman, Ricky Skaggs, Doyle Lawson, and Tony Rice, among others. Additionally, Douglas published his first album, Fluxology, on Rounder in 1979; he followed it up three years later with Fluxedo, which, like its predecessor, remained reasonably similar to conventional (if often jazzy) bluegrass music.
Emmylou Harris, Béla Fleck, the Whites, and Peter Rowan are just some of the names that were added to Douglas’s list of credits throughout the early years of the 1980s as he maintained his session career with even greater success. He resumed his solo career in 1986 with the release of the album titled “Under the Wire on Sugar Hill,” which demonstrated his passion for the progressive new acoustic (also known as “newgrass”) trend. After that, he secured a contract with MCA, under which he released Changing Channels (1987) and Plant Early (1989), a more laid-back album heavily inspired by jazz.
In the 1990s, he continued to perform as a session musician for a growing number of well-known musicians, including Alison Krauss, Del McCoury, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Randy Travis, Clint Black, Patty Loveless, Suzy Bogguss, Reba McEntire, Kathy Mattea, and Dolly Parton, to mention a few. His résumé also includes names such as Kathy Mattea and Dolly Parton. In 1992, he returned to Sugar Hill to record the more conventional bluegrass album Slide Rule.
Many reviewers consider this album to be one of his best recordings. The following year saw the release of an instrumental album titled Skip, Hop & Wobble, performed by a trio consisting of Russ Barenberg, Edgar Meyer, and themselves. In 1994, Douglas contributed to the collection Great Dobro Sessions, which went on to win a Grammy award. Two years later, in 1996, he collaborated with Peter Rowan to record the album Yonder as a pair.
Restless on the Farm, released in 1998, was a return to Douglas’ freewheeling eclecticism, which was maintained on the album Lookout for Hope, released in 2002. The first release of Best Kept Secret took place in September 2005. After removing the daring musical work Glide in 2008, he quickly followed it up with the release of a Christmas CD named Jerry Christmas the following year.
In 2010, he contributed to the collection Southern Filibuster: The Songs of Tut Tcontributedleased in recognition of the profound impact that Taylor has had on the contemporary recognizer. As part of the famed Celtic violinist Aly Bain’s Transatlantic Sessions series, Douglas recorded the first of what would become multiple CDs of joint work with Bain in 2010. The soundtrack to the film Get Low was composed by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek, and Rounder Records released it. In the same year, Douglas released the ambitious solo album Traveler.
It was recorded in Nashville, New Orleans, New York, and in the Southern British town of Banbury, and it featured guest appearances from artists such as Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Alison Krauss, Dr. John, and Mumford & Sons. The year 2014 saw the debut of the Earls of Leicester, a band that Douglas formed to pay tribute to the music of some of his most important musical inspirations, including Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, and the Foggy Mountain Boys. The Earls of Leicester released their first album in 2014. Shawn Camp, Charlie Cushman, Tim O’Brien, Johnny Warren, and Barry Bales were the other members of The Earls of Leicester who appeared with Douglas.
The Jerry Douglas Band debuted in the recording studio in 2017 with the album What If, which included a fusion of post-bop and bluegrass music. The current lineup of the band was established when bassist Daniel Kimbro introduced members Christian Sedelmyer, Doug Douglas, and Doug Belote to guitarist Mike Seal, trumpeter Vance Thompson, and saxophonist Jamel Mitchell. Jamel Mitchell is the nephew of producer Willie Mitchell and the son of James Mitchell, a member of the original Memphis Horns. Guitarist Mike Seal also played in the band.
In addition to new originals and cover songs, including Tom Waits’ “2:19,” which was released as the album’s pre-release single and video, he did a radical reworking of songs that he had recorded earlier in his career, such as “Caveman Bop,” “Hey Joe,” and “Unfolding.” In August of 2017, while the band was on tour throughout the country, What If was issued by Rounder and made available to the public. On the album Leftover Feelings, released in 2021, Douglas and his group played the role of John Hiatt’s backup band. Hiatt is a well-known singer and composer.
Jerry Douglas Profile-
P.O. Box 58034
Nashville, TN 37205
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