Photographs tumble onto a desktop. We cut to a car blaring down the highway towards a city. An Italian diner. Dropping a quarter into a jukebox. The Gary Douglas Band’s “Million Miles Away” plays as we watch the lyrics flash across the screen in this new video from the acclaimed country unit, the black and white pictures finding a splash of color as we press forward. The words are synchronized with heartfelt imagery that matches up with their extended meaning, and though the tempo of the song is somewhat pendulous, it starts to feel like we’re moving at a million miles a minute by the time we reach the track’s epic saxophone solo.
Right off the bat, the melodies are larger than life in “Million Miles Away,” but they’re delivered unto us in a very conservative, unassuming manner. The fragility of the music behind the vocal track is preserved by this meticulous master mix, and our focus is never swayed from the volatile relationship between Douglas and the bassline. The rich, natural timbre of his voice is constantly grinding against the thick low-end of the strings, but thanks to the tender piano play, the two meld together to make one heck of a strong cocktail.
OFFICIAL VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9_uHKMSZDM
There’s a lot to be said about the instrumentation that drives “Million Miles Away,” but I really feel like the mix deserves just as much of our attention. In a word, it’s sublime. When Douglas belts out the chorus, his vocal slips through our speakers and hits us at full force, as if we were sitting in the front row at one of his concerts instead of listening to a studio session from the comforts of our own home. This sharply-appointed single actually sums up the production quality of Deep in the Water and really all of the Gary Douglas Band’s work to date.
Douglas himself sounds very relaxed here, and I would argue, more so than he has in previous efforts. There’s no hesitance, no sense of inhibition looming over his vocal. The subject matter doesn’t feel forced or alien in his lyrical interpretation of it; quite the contrary, actually. It sounds and feels like a personal admission, a diary entry, or something held deep within his consciousness that could only be conveyed through music. Douglas is completely in touch with his creative self in this song, and the tonality that he’s rendering in the process is nothing short of brilliant.
You don’t have to be the biggest country fan in the world to really dig what the Gary Douglas Band are laying down in “Million Miles Away,” but I will say that those of us who can’t get enough of rustic balladry of the classic American variety find a genuine anthem in its seductive harmonies. There’s been far too much debate as to whether or not country music is in total stagnation lately; artists like Gary Douglas have been rewriting the rulebook from the underground, and based on the buzz that this single has surrounding it right now, the notion of his band seguing into the mainstream and eventually conquering it doesn’t sound all that farfetched anymore – if it ever did to begin with.