Douglas Clegg

Douglas Clegg


Award-winning songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Clegg has 7 independent CD's out. The title cut of his first was recorded by folk legend Bill Staines. A 1989 finalist at Kerrville, "he demonstrates a maturity of sound that only comes with time..." (New Hampshire Sunday News)


Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Douglas Clegg's career as a songwriter and performer began with his early training on piano, inspired by watching his father play stride and boogie-woogie. After a few years he taught himself guitar, and then fiddle, mandolin, accordion, and various other strings, winds, and open-reeds.

Clegg began writing songs in 1980, and has since made his living performing in clubs and coffeehouses, in concerts and at festivals throughout New England, the northeast, and other parts of the US. and Canada. His lively performances of original songs and traditional tunes, his expert musicianship, and strong, pleasing voice have made him a well-known and sought-after artist on the folk music circuit.

Victory Review of Seattle, Washington, says "Clegg does everything but set himself on fire, and his writing is excellent -- focused, understandable, and universal -- a refreshing change."

Clegg recorded his first album, Fill My Thirst, in 1987. The title song has been recorded by Bill Staines, and the record received strong reviews and sales. He was a 1989 finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival (Texas) songwriting competition, and has won numerous other songwriting and fiddling awards, and has gone on to record six more CD's on his own label, including a collection of children's songs and a Christmas project.

Boston's WUMB Radio says Clegg is "intense and sincere. His singing, especially, comes from so deep down; emotionally, it's very satisfying...he plays like lightning, sings like thunder." The New Hampshire Sunday News says "Clegg demonstrates a maturity of sound that comes only with time, both in the writing and the musicianship." And the Boston Globe calls Clegg "an adept multi- instrumentalist," and his style "just plain good music, performed well and without gimmicks."

Clegg performs with guitars (six-string, steel, and twelve-string), piano, fiddle, accordion, mandolin, and flute. His recordings receive airplay on over fifty radio stations nationwide, as well as in Europe and Australia. He has shared the stage with Patty Larkin, Dave Van Ronk, Livingston Taylor, Jonathan Edwards, Tom Rush, Beppe Gambetta and many more. Bill Staines says "Doug is a wonderful songwriter with a great sense of tradition."

Now living in Santa Barbara, California, Douglas Clegg is one of the reasons that acoustic music thrives today, and the strong personal statement he makes is sure to connect with any listener and inspire any lover of hand-crafted music.


Old & Grey/Flowers of Edinburgh

Written By: Douglas Clegg/Traditional

Words and music by Douglas Clegg
copyright 1997 Clegg Yolk Music/ASCAP

Let me, old and gray,
still play the fiddle
My body worn,
may my fingers yet be nimble
My heart will rise
with my good ear to the strings
And the tune upon the air
will make my woman sing

Let her heart be known to me without her telling
Her graceful step, and her beauty compelling
Our lives entwined, ours a love that never binds
And the days of morning sun the ones our memories find

Let our feet take to the dance when the work's done
Our voices raised, our cups be full and then some
Friendship diverse as the four winds of the earth
And may the stranger from the storm find comfort by our hearth


Written By: Douglas Clegg/Clegg Yolk Music/ASCAP

Words and Music by Douglas Clegg
Copyright 1985
New Lyrics Copyright 2006
Clegg Yolk Music/ASCAP

I think I knew you early on
Before the chords of white man’s song
Rang heavy in your hills
By the hundreds in those days
They came to live in other ways
To see their dreams fulfilled

My great-grandfather came to stay
Ran tugs on San Francisco Bay
Took Oakland as his home
He worked away his life to give
The children of his wife a place
To settle down and live

Chorus: California, how I mourn for you
You’ll always be my home but you may
Never be my home again

Born in Redwood before dawn
My life with you was just a song
I thought would never end
But then by millions people came
The gold was now a different game
But people play to win


How I miss your silver bay
Long to feel the ocean spray
Oh, I love to see the Golden Gate at sunset
But far too many feel your breeze
They know you now, they love your trees
I just can’t be alone with you, but I won’t forget

Tag: California, they came for their fortunes
And they robbed you of yours

Ben Long Wolf

Written By: Douglas Clegg/Clegg Yolk Music/ASCAP

Ben Long Wolf
copyright 2000 Douglas Clegg
Dedicated to the life of Ben Long Wolf

(There is a place over the mountain
Where I will go when I am done
And I will face the living waters
At the setting of the sun)

On the sacred ground of Crazy Horse where the Rapid Creek runs down
Thirty-six years into his life Ben Long Wolf was drowned
Somewhere in this land of plenty a man nobody knows
Slipped away into the river and that's just how it goes

(Chorus) Hoka hey, Hoka hey*
Our tracks upon the earth will fade away

On the Pine Ridge reservation, 1962
There was no future for a boy, there wasn't much to do
By the time Long Wolf became a man they'd fought at Wounded Knee
Now most of them were out of work and racked with poverty

Up in Rapid City living under 6th St. Bridge
Ben Long Wolf had drunk too much as he all too often did
And they still don't know if he was pushed as through the cracks he fell
It doesn't matter anyhow, and there's no one left to tell

*"Hoka Hey"

This could mean different things to different people,
and it would also depend on how it was used. It
basically means "It is a good day!" Hoka Hey is
considered a way of life by many people. A way
of living one day at a time, enjoying the "present".
Hoka Hey is also what Crazy Horse used to say
when going into battle to encourage the warriors
to be strong. In this way he meant it as, "It is a good
day to live, a good day to fight, and a good day to die!"

It Wasn't Supposed To Turn Out This Way

Written By: Douglas Clegg

It Wasn’t Supposed To Turn Out This Way
Words and Music by Douglas Clegg
Copyright 2007 Clegg Yolk Music/ASCAP

My country ‘tis of thee
We learned all the songs
And we sang of liberty
I was only eight years old
JFK fell
They said it was a magic bullet
But Eisenhower did foretell
And it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way

We had to fight the Viet Cong
150 thousand died
Those that didn’t don’t belong
I was just a bit too young
They said I was caught up in the times
They maybe don’t notice
All the Vietnam vets with the cardboard signs
And it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way

I still believe that the day will come
We’ll stand together and take back the night
Until then there is work to be done
Keep the vigil, hold the light

New York City and the Pentagon
That clear morning
Too many systems all went wrong
Three thousand stories
Forty-seven columns of three-foot steel
In dust and rubble
And the broken hearts that cannot heal
And it wasn’t supposed to turn out this way

Last time: We’ll stand together and put everything right


1989 Fill My Thirst
1994 Only Fools Predict the Weather
1996 I Want To Grow Up (Children's CD)
1998 Looking For A Sign
1998 Noel (Christmas CD)
2000 Light Of The World
2007 Tales Of Content

Set List

A set is usually 12-15 songs, and mostly original songs with some traditional and covers, and those are likely to be of the ones I have recorded.
A typical 50-minute list, with encore:

Black Jack Davey (on mandolin, traditional)
Craney Pond (guitar/vocal)
California (guitar/vocal)
Take This Hammer (Huddy Leadbetter, steel guitar/vocal)
Vigilante With A Paintball Gun (steel/vocal)
Crossing Over/The Road To Lisdoonvarna (original/traditional, on fiddle)
Ben Long Wolf (flute/guitar/vocal)
It Wasn't Supposed To Turn Out This Way (guitar/vocal)
Witch of the Westmoreland (A. Fisher, guitar/vocal)
Old and Grey/Flowers of Edinburgh (fiddle)
Waterfall (guitar/vocal)
It Is What It Is (guitar/vocal)
My Father's Piano (K. Olsen, piano)
Rivers (twelve-string/vocal)