Doug Hream Blunt: My Name Is Doug Hream Blunt (Luaka Bop, 2015)

October 21, 2015 at 11:00 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Doug Hream Blunt: My Name Is Doug Hream Blunt

Doug Hream Blunt: My Name Is Doug Hream Blunt

Once again, Luaka Bop unearths a record collector phenomenon/cult classic and gives it a widespread release, hopefully spreading the legend in question even further. Doug Hream Blunt is a San Francisco-based musician who started making music in the ’80s and eventually pressed 2 12″ records which sat in the “local” bins around San Francisco’s record stores, and eventually became discovered by music geeks and made its way to WFMU and other sources for strange, offbeat music. His shining moment is (and will always be) the astonishing outsider soul masterpiece “Gentle Persuasion”, which is entirely the type of song that completely stops you in your tracks the first time you hear it. All I have to say is, you will never hear the word “butt” the same way after you hear this song. I’ve listened to this song more times than I can count (I actually found an original copy of the record when I was in Austin once) and it never, ever gets old. Other than that, there’s the groovy “Fly Guy” (which also ends the album in an instrumental version which replaces the lyrics with loads of flutey synth soloing, unless it’s actually a really bizarre guitar sound, it’s hard to tell) and a lot of songs which, well, sound similar to the other songs but with different lyrics. The liner notes say that some of the songs even have the same backing tracks. They all tend to be around 5 or 6 minutes long and feature rhythms which are almost Krautrock-like in their hypnotic repetition. The songs all have very straightforward lyrics and copious amounts of guitar soloing. Sultry duet “Caribbean Queen” has nothing to do with the Billy Ocean hit of the same name (for all we know, it could’ve been recorded first). “Big Top” is one of of a few songs with cheery, circus-like melodies. It’s impossible to tell when these songs were recorded (even the artist doesn’t seem to know for sure) and some of them are pretty rough sounding, especially “Big Top” and “Trek”, but it all just lends to the off-the-cuff charm. “Gentle Persuasion” remains the smash hit, but if that song strikes a chord with you, you’ll want to hear the entire thing.

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