Douglass Street
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"Douglass Street "Watch it Cowboy""

by Arianna Mallet
March 19, 2009

You know when you catch a new song on the radio and you just can't change it until the song is over? Even if you have no idea who is singing? Maybe it's the lyrics or the voice or something. Douglass Street did that to me. On every track, in fact.

The fivesome's debut album, Watch it Cowboy, combines rockabilly badness with Cross Canadian Ragweed Intelligence, and it's laced with a high level of musical entertainment that far exceeded my expectations (which were decidedly indifferent in the first place).

"Let's Get It On" is a cowboy original, packed full with chopping redneck-mean lyrics. Love it. "Pour Myself to Sleep" is like Jimmy Buffet meets Blake Shelton's "Some Beach." "Working on Some Lonely" on track eight is the first ballad-esque heartbreak song on the album; it shrewdly weaves a nice tale of "what coulda been." For a brief minute, the electric guitar had me reminiscing about Guns N' Roses on "Sweet Thing." The last track, "21 Guns," is a sobering finale on this album - a bird's eye view of a soldier's sacrifice neatly complimented with a background acoustic strumming and a fitting moment of silence.

Hard to believe this group formed in 2008. Lead singer Doug Gusching has wonderful vocal ability, and he's backed by some gifted singers and musicians. He's got a drawl, too, though I'm not sure whether it's authentic Indiana or authentic Someplace-else. I got my harmonica on this album (thank you) and just the right amount of guitar and drums. This group has some gifted songwriters, indeed. If this album is any indication, you'll know them by name very soon. My only complaint is that the album is heavy on love songs and has an unnecessary amount of girl-focused attention. But I'm a girl. Guys, I'm sure you'll love it all.

Check out their CD release party at the Rock-N-Horse March 27 and 28. You can also download "Watch it Cowboy" at iTunes and CDBaby.com - Whatzup Magazine


"Douglass Street Brings Country Back with "Watch it Cowboy""

By Eric Andrews
Independent Reviewer

Remember the days when Nashville still had at least the faintest aroma of sawdust underneath its heels & whiskey on its breath? Before "crossover" became the no-longer-secret word of the day & country music had all but sold their soul for some magic beans? Well, Douglass Street sounds like their mission is to bring the twang back to Nash Vegas, and coming from outsiders in the Hoosier State, it is a hostile takeover that is welcome & necessary. The "Cowboy" in WATCH IT COWBOY is certainly the operative word here.

Bands are not exactly a dime a dozen in country music, at least when success & longevity are concerned. In a genre where vocalists & made-to-order songs rule the game, it seemed the days of Alabama (who had some pop success, but never lost sight of their roots even while collaborating with Lionel Richie & 'NSYNC), Southern Pacific & Confederate Railroad have gone the way of the dinosaur. Even Rascal Flatts have gotten in touch with their inner pop star & kicking up their heels seems the furthest from their mind.

With any luck, Douglass Street ought to bring those days back & add their name to the all-too-short list of successful country bands who can write their own music, thank you very much!

Most bands usually accent the "country" in the subgenre of "country-rock," but it is clear Douglas Street does the opposite & WATCH IT COWBOY pays off in spades for that. Even the ballads have a kick to them while still providing ample opportunities for crying in your beer. The opening "Way Before You Did" exemplifies this approach, and later entries like "What Do I Do" & "Working On Some Lonely" maintain that clear-eyed method of tugging on the listener's heartstrings without yanking them.

Lead singer Doug Gusching's voice has the air of "love sucks, but life goes on": probably not the most commercial attitude to write about, but it speaks the truth nonetheless. "Pour Myself To Sleep" is enough to have Kenny Chesney rethink his status as country's favorite beach bum with its gentle tropical undertones, and also stays realistic about the fleeting nature of love.

Back to kicking up those heels, WATCH IT COWBOY has plenty of those moments for those who have ten-gallon hats tucked away somewhere. It does not get anymore redneck than "Let's Get It On" with fighting words delivered at a breakneck speed that would make Michael Stipe proud (think "It's The End Of The World As We Know It" with a mullet). "Where You Goin" has "line-dance" written all over it, along with "Girls Night Out", which can definitely make it onto the playlist of any neighboorhood bar band, although guys may want to pray for a happier ending when it comes to chatting up that special lady.

In which case, the suggested domestic bliss of "She Dances" might be the perfect soundtrack. Its naughtiness is more sly & with a wink than outright crude (we ain't talkin' Warrant & "Cherry Pie" here), and definitely has the makings of a killer video on CMT---at least in the hours it still shows them & with the requisite creative camera angles for keeping it family-friendly. I definitely can smell a single on this song, but that is the beauty of WATCH IT COWBOY. Every song could find a home on the radio, and a record label definitely has their work cut out for them in deciding what to release.

Finally, the album comes to a sobering end with the armed forces tribute of "21 Guns". Regardless of how you feel about war, the song is enough to bring out the patriot in you without shoving you full of naive jingoism, a la Toby Keith. This is one ballad Douglass Street is not afraid to let its guard down on & embrace emotion, but as always, managing to keep the tears at bay & a brave face on at all times.

At a time when it seems country music is too busy reaching out to listeners who would not set foot near a saloon, a rootsy band like Douglass Street might appear to have been born a few decades too late. On the other hand, those musicgoers who have wondered where the twang has gone might be greater in number than imagined, and a large collective "Yee-Haw & Hallelujah!" might be in order for the occasion of WATCH IT COWBOY. For someone who likes his country music to sound country (are those banjos I hear?!) & pop to sound pop, and never the twain shall meet, that is certainly my reaction.

It is always refreshing to hear music made by people who are well aware of where the genre came from & who do not give a damn about being the flavor of the month. Douglass Street & WATCH IT COWBOY help say, if belatedly, what should have been told to crossover country specialists long ago. - Eric Andrews


Discography

Watch it Cowboy EP - March, 2009

Photos

Bio

Douglass Street generated buzz all over Northeast Indiana, interest from Sony-Nashville, and MySpace friends from across the country before playing their first show. The members of Douglass Street have been involved in regionally nominated and award winning bands spanning from country to rock alternative, but it was the shared passion for country music that brought these great musicians together to form Douglass Street.

With a desire to put their music in front of audiences stretching outside of the local bar and club scene, Douglass Street has combined their highly anticipated and well-received original music with cover tunes ranging from the Top 40 country of Dierks Bentley, Trace Adkins and Gary Allan to the raw edge of country sounds from Cross Canadian Ragweed, Randy Rogers Band and Eric Church.

The band is also proud to self-release their first album, Watch it Cowboy, on March 27, 2009. You can pick up a copy at a show, or through iTunes starting March 27! With twelve original tracks there is something for all music fans!

When Douglass Street hits the stage, it’s a no holds barred country explosion of great music and performance. With signature country leads, rocking country beats and amazing and dynamic vocals, Douglass Street is a band that knows how to get country music fans dancing, moving and having a good time… and does it consistently night after night!