Doug McCurry – Doug McCurry & The Verticals


(CHARLOTTE, NC) McCurry has been involved in original since the 1980’s, as both a musician and producer. He was a member of the band Big Brick Building, who released 2 CD’s and drew the attention of industry professionals, critics, and alternative music fans. After several years of absence, Seven Songs About Leaving marks the return of Doug McCurry to writing and recording music. Doug McCurry just released his third CD to date entitled “Doug McCurry & The Verticals.” I could be wrong but influences may include John Lennon, The Style Council, Hard-Fi, We Are Scientists, Talking Heads and The Cribs. Maybe even some of the bluesy more light hearted songs by Bob Dylan. Lyrics inspired by ordinary experiences, nature, and an adventurous spirit no holds barred Americana spirit and attitude. Doug McCurry combines iconic bits of the Great American West with contemporary production values and storytelling.

A diving in and pushing forward that reflect another side of this multi-talented artist. The CD stars off with “”Prelude to Vertical” and ”Knocked Me Down” with its hypnotic horn driven melody lending itself to a captivating yet invigorating vocal performance from DM, At first you listen to his voice and cringe a bit because it’s a bit unorthodox. But as the songs continue – you get used to it and learn to roll with it a bit. Being a professional event planner, I cannot get out of my head the idea that many tracks on this CD filling almost any country function. All 10 songs on “Doug McCurry & The Verticals” have a sort of whimsical musical feel to them almost “where the wind takes you” sort of feel. This makes the world seem right but there’s an underlying sense of hope that your future looks brighter than your past. Just when you think you got this guy and his band down you get blindsided by more songwriting depth. This leads us right into my favorite 3 tracks on the CD “Nasty”, “Five Years Ago” and “Not This Time”. This last one’s got more of a short but sweet message, but still possessing a raw’ sad but true” honesty-style and grace. Not only is McCurry a capable musician, his contribution to the writing and arrangements of all these songs is of paramount importance. This is where true talent either flourishes or fails to show up. Here in this setting McCurry delivers, which is to say nothing of the pervasive and contagious chemistry he shares with the other musicians present. As a whole the bad plays like a well oiled machine. I might add there are songs here for old school Americana fans as well like myself. Indeed Doug McCurry aims to please new listeners as well as his songs are also placed in a near perfect arrangement – 10 solid pieces.

Doug McCurry & The Verticals as a whole provides a wonderful American journey via this electrifying setting with a full gamut of musicians and players. Another hit worth mentioning is “Fireball” and “Bostic Sunrise” 2 great statements that has the good and bad. Doug McCurry also reminds me of Josh Ritter, Nick Drake and The National, The Bravery and XTC.. In the end this is a rock solid release that upholds the classic Americana-jazz-blues-rock standard.

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Score: 4/5/5 Stars

Jill Anderson