Doug Kolmar
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Doug Kolmar

Band Folk Alternative


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"Album Review - The Whole Story..."

"This is in many ways one of the more original CDs I've heard in quite awhile. At times it's roots rock, at times it's jazz-rock, or a quirky pop-rock ­ it's very hard to put your finger on....Regardless, this is a fun and interesting CD. The standout song is Backyards, a country-rock kind of song, that focuses on the irony of how Americans continue to work more and more hours, and spend much of the overtime money they make on unused leisure equipment. The song is both clever and catchy, with strong lyrics and excellent vocals. " - Aural Fix

"Worth the effort!"

By Dan MacIntosh

It is not for nothing that Doug Kolmar titles his new CD As If I Was Almost Here. That’s because Kolmar writes his best lyrics about particular places.

On “New England,” he goes into great detail about that region. “Indiana (A Blue Song for a Red State)” is even better. On it he sings, “Roll back another sheet of rustbelt grime.” Kolmar’s voice is filled with love, regret, and pathos. On “High Wire,” Kolmar uses the circus as a metaphor for the big top-like atmosphere found in much of modern life.

Kolmar keeps this CD of folk songs about as simple as possible. He’s joined by Jamalieh Haley for a touch of violin on “New England,” and Alan Dickson adds mandolin to “Sailor Song.” But for the most part, this is just Kolmar’s voice and his guitar. Fortunately, he’s also a quite accomplished guitarist.

Writing lyrics is what Kolmar does best, and one can only imagine how good these words would sound dressed up in a little more production. Some artists pile on the production to hide limited lyrics, but a little extra aural sauce would probably help bring out the natural flavor of Kolmar’s smart words.

It takes a little close listening to appreciate what Kolmar has done here, but it is well worth the extra effort.

"Coffeehouse acoustic with jazz foam"

An easy chair, an expresso macchiato, and Doug Kolmar. The Jeopardy answer to what’s a good Friday night, caffeinated. Kolmar’s new CD offers the best of coffeehouse acoustic, richly topped with velvety jazz foam.

Homebody Somebody mixes alt-pop guitar with some humorously dark introspection, a la Bruce Cockburn. A reviewer’s high falutin’ way of saying Kolmar tells a good musical story, some tales earthy, others angrier. But they all work. “Whatever,” the poetic consideration of fate, highlights his natural storytelling chops, essential for all the best folkies. Kolmar’s low and occasionally nasal tones don’t allow for a wide vocal range but make him well-suited for spinning musical yarns like this one and the shimmery, note-bending closer, “Human Scale.”

But I enjoyed him most when he got slightly effervescent, as in the fun-house song, “Bookstore.” Kolmar adds some smooth electric riffs (think George Benson) that lift this track above the mellow coffeehouse feel. It’s a buzzy consideration of the limitations and quirks of human communication, intelligent, melodically rich, and full of surprises, as delightfully eccentric as its subject matter.

Standout track is the wonderfully titled “Never Been a Man,” dreamin’ its way through jazz-tinged changes. This unusual song, “you know, you know, you know,” is as sensuous as folkies go, strangely hot and intelligent, the best combo, to my mind. “I know, I know, I can’t expect you to understand, you’ve never been a man.” That line alone had me thinking for hours. Homebody Somebody, it hits the spot.


"New CD"

Doug's new CD, "Homebody / Somebody", is an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, and intelligent pop music, with great, full arrangements and the kind of lyrics that stick with you long after the music has ended! Doug is an honest, skilled guitarist and a warm, sincere performer!
- Maine Songwriters Assoc. Newsletter


As If I Was Almost Here, July 2006 (now at

Homebody/Somebody - 2005
(available at

The Whole Story is Long and Complicated (under the band name Dogs Gone Fishing) - 2000


Feeling a bit camera shy



Former garage-band guitarist and classically-trained composer, Doug Kolmar moved to Maine from the New York City Area in 2002. After landing in Portland, he was soon playing showcases with Just Plain Folks and Maine Songwriters Association, becoming a regular part of the fertile Portland acoustic music scene and performing at venues such as Acoustic Coffee, 128 Free Street, and festivals, including the Ossipee Valley Bluegrass Festival. He has released 3 CDs: 2001's The Whole Story is Long and Complicated (under the band name Dogs Gone Fishing) and Homebody/Somebody in 2005. As If I Was Almost Here, July 2006

Recent Awards:
April 2006, Peacedriven Song Contest, Honorable Mention for "Dream Darkly"
July 2005, N. Atlantic Arts Alliance Songwriting Contest, Finalist for "Better Part of Me"