Doug Sedgwick

Doug Sedgwick

 Reston, Virginia, USA

One man jam-band with a love for world rhythms, rock, blues, jazz & acoustic guitar. This traveler has some stories to tell. Wildy’s World said: "...this folk/rock singer-songwriter might be one of the best of the genre, and you’ve probably never heard of him ...has tremendous song-writing ability.”


When Appalachia - the best band in central PA - needed lyrics for some original songs in 1978, someone referred them to a Carlisle high school student named Doug Sedgwick. Himself a huge Lennon/McCartney fan and already a respected bass player who had spent some time picking up knowledge (and actually recording with) Berklee grad and neighbor guitarist Mike Childs, Doug left Carlisle for college in FL that same year. From 1976 until summer of 1978, Doug was a subscriber to Guitar Player magazine and devoured every issue cover-to-cover. Fast forward one year and one academic dismissal later and Doug’s next major musical experience finds him playing bass for progressive new wave singer/songwriter Dave Molnar in the suburbs of Detroit. Despite some interest from a small Warner Bros. label affiliate and some white-knuckle studio adventures though, Doug and Dave parted ways. Before and after playing with Dave Molnar as part of “The Hurt”, there were 2 stints in bands with Keyboardist Mike Wolfe: The first being an ELP-style (no guitar) instrumental 3 piece and the second being a larger “show band” that briefly toured the FL club circuit covering Donna Summer and ELO. These bands broke up as well. Doug enlisted in the Army in 1981 and while stationed on Ft. Lewis WA about a year later, bought his first reel-to-reel from a pawnshop and began writing and recording his own acoustic-guitar-based songs. All this time, Doug would seek out open mikes and other musicians, attempting to accumulate as much musical knowledge and experience as he could gather. After being transferred to the VA area in 1983, Doug played his first paid acoustic solo gig at Gerald’s on King Street (now called the Laughing Lizard) in Old Town Alexandria. After leaving the Army with the skills and experience to work as a software engineer, Doug took work in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area where he began collaborating on songs with guitarist and industrial video music composer Mark Boardman. One Doug composition graced a video made for U-Haul, and the upgraded recording equipment he purchased allowed Doug to produce some music Boardman wrote for a soft-core adult film. Around this same time, Mark, Doug and guitar teacher / trumpet player Tom Faver began writing and recording what would amount to 3 albums worth of dense, intricate material made primarily for their own gratification on weekends as Doug began refining and developing his studio engineering skills. Leaving TX to take a different day job, Doug later briefly played lead acoustic guitar for a husband/wife folk duo in DE. (All through this time frame across Texas, Delaware and eventually South Carolina, Doug subscribed to Home and Studio Recording magazine and fortified his hands-on experience with its pages.) Next relocated to Columbia SC, Doug produced a demo recording for legendary local blues outfit Mojo Blue and while shocked at the invite following an impromptu jam – proudly accepted an offer from leader Tony Scarano to play second electric guitar and share the lead vocal chores. Doug also formed his first all-acoustic trio with Tony and Mojo Blue fretless bass player Jim Scott around the same time. For six grueling months, these 2 bands put Doug in front of audiences as many as 4 times a week, occasionally in the same venues where contemporary local Columbia band Hootie and the Blowfish played. Another quest for better day gig work brought Doug back to the Northern VA area in 1992 where he has since enjoyed success as a gigging solo musician and leader of the acoustic duo (once a trio) – BugSnakeWilly – with multi-instrumentalist Steve “Snake” Smith. BugSnakeWilly played the Horizon Dairy festival in 2003 – along with Doc Watson, Junior Brown and Bill Kirchen. In 2004 Doug won his first Honorable Mention in the Jazz/Blues category of the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest for his tune Cable TV. In 2005, Doug won a second Honorable Mention in the World category for his song Peace in Our Hearts. For a brief time, Doug returned to his initial loves - the bass and Lennon/McCartney/Harrison compositions as the leader of an informal Beatles tribute band that played 3 gigs Doug will treasure for the remainder of his days. Furiously gigging and recording since these successes while still continuing to sling code as a full-time software engineer, Doug put out his album: Committed in May 2008 to some very well received reviews. Songs from the album have been receiving Internet radio airplay as well as being played on Loyola College radio, CHES 101.5 FM in Erin, Ontario and Radio Upper Murray in New South Wales, Australia. More recently, Doug has begun recording tracks for a second album – to include at least ONE finished number (Words) that is a gospel/rap duet sung with first-class multiple-award winning indie songwriter hero Daniel “DiEL” Lee.


Cable TV

Written By: Doug Sedgwick

Somehow inherent in the heft of all things is the near-kinesthetic sense of their weight to me.
And at that right time in my reach I can find I have lifted that thing in the grasp of mine.
Once endowed with this moment of chaos, clarity interrupts how I refuse to see.
Yes I'm blind to my life in this state, I'll only ask for forgiveness if you listen this time.

Cable Television is the devil's umbilical cord (x2)
You don't believe it's so
Someday it's gonna' show...

And while a crippling self-awareness has found several widely-scattered thoughts of retreating,
I have imbibed of the juice of the miniature crystallized tree avalanche in the attic.
Mutilated howls long forgotten haven't a chance at any ear-play up against this cacophonous din.
Quiet sits, hands folded in her lap as her head gently tilts toward the woofers

Chorus Repeat / SOLO

No one asked me so I'll tell you how I built a nest of Jell-O
and as my hand had emerged from the greenness:
Awful thoughts occurred to me, and I was deluged with the doubt - hurling trite conjecture at a sky.
Play me solemn; play me slowly, pace your heart up until this roar ignores it all.
Hide that thought. Burn your speakers.
Never let some fool with an over-parched throat take a swipe at you.



Television / (scat…)

Peace in our Hearts (Letter to Leader)

Written By: Doug Sedgwick

Peace in Our Hearts

Keeping so perfectly still
While every synapse is raging
I will fight sleep up until
I have set all your minds blazing

Pre Chorus:
It's not my fate to decide
It's in the hands of my God
Love will meet compromise
We will have peace in our hearts

War makers will not prevail
Spirits live on past destruction
We'll live to see them all fail
That is the master's instruction

Pre Chorus:
It's not their fate to decide
It's in the hands of their God
Love will meet compromise
We will have peace in our hearts

Jesus will side with the weak
He will not walk with your hatreds
While you claim you hear him speak
You have defiled what is sacred

Pre Chorus:
It's not your place to decide
It's in the hands of our God
Love will meet compromise
We will have peace in our hearts

And the world is crying for love...

Grandfather's Mother

Written By: Doug Sedgwick

Around nineteen hundred this much was plain
My Grandfather's mother from Ireland came
Yes, Sadie Douglass was her name
Now her last and my first are the same

She married Frank Sedgwick and bore him a son
Walter they named him and while he was young
Frank fell in a bathtub and his life was done
Would Walter let this sorrow soften him some?

And I've wondered how that cruel man could grow
To father my father and hardly show:
His own mother kindness and "I love you so"

To provide for the family, then Sadie remarried
A stepfather by whom Walter was harried
At sixteen he fled and lied to the army
No family told of his new life alarming

Then Walter's travels brought him a wife
My father's mother was loved all her life
Was there regret for the path Walter chose,
Watching my father love his mother close?

And I've wondered how that cruel man could grow
To father my father and hardly show:
His own mother kindness and "I love you so"

My father raised me to know mother's love
But my mother left us for angels above
Maybe Walt's hardness has helped me to live
And in mother's absence learn love to give

Roles been reversed - would I've done the same
Left the Irish lady who gave me my name?
Grown with no mother, I'm here to proclaim:
I love you Sadie Douglass - your memory remains

And I've wondered how that cruel man could grow
To father my father and hardly show:
His own mother kindness and "I love you so"

Disappoint You

Written By: Doug Sedgwick

Disappoint You

A searing pain inside my head like a quick black car
Quiet in romance and trombones
And far-reaching wind vanes squeaking high overhead

I drove away from there: slept on the off-ramp on the roadside
Learning asphalt as I went; I wasn't lost inside
I walked a line across a wet map and the coffee helped me hide...

A girl behind, a road ahead, a set of strings to bite my hand
My silent smile for myself inside of the breeze
You'll breathe my words in; invisible droplets in a sneeze
And in the case of your deciding what this means:

I disappoint you
You can step down now; leave the place you have appointed yourself
My flight's now climbing where I'm arriving
So you can turn your misunderstanding to someone else

You'll always be you with your unbending mind
I can't split the colors of the kaleidoscope time
I triggered my sympathies; cried like a rag doll
Delivered silver onion shells under my eyelids
Wrecked your newly rode bicycle dream where our thoughts hid

I disappoint you
My dishonest madness and wordplay won't haunt you
You may recollect a childhood dream with the bully on your chest
And your blood on your sleeve
When does the victim strike back?
When he's given the means...

Stepping into the misty field where anger fades to grief
Unafraid to face the mystery of the failure of belief
Screaming malice, chalice raised, I gaze into the abyss
I’m craving joy I feed myself, and moments just like this

So what's with the angry tone and why all the hate?
A splendid many difficult years this boy had to wait
Now here is his heart in the palm of your hand
And he's looking into your soul with the hope you'll understand
But you're already ready to get back to TV
Some manufactured crisis more important than me...

I disappoint you
Intellectually lazy - the summing up phrase
For notions unchallenged who question this face
Specifically deciding to anoint a new realization of schemes
Yet cynically asserting I'd still cash in on all of my dreams


Written By: Doug Sedgwick

Committed to You

I see that chaos reigns in my modern life
Like dancing moments break up the darkest night
But where I've found joy to put my heart to right
I've learned a need to declare...

The piled centuries ring my ears with cries:
Let's cure this lonely need for a life's design
The pressure tears down what inhibition hides
We've got to drive there side-by-side...

And I'm committed to you
We've got a lifetime to do
I've walked around in this world
Looking life in the eyes for your truth

And life will flame back and make the living hard
Once selfish failings will scratch the tender parts
Then reach inside deep and learn to share your heart
Instead of turning anger around...

Amidst a mad world where money takes the lead
We've learned to make love beneath a family tree
Without your softness I'd leave no legacy
And human kindness shines within

And I'm committed to you
We've got a lifetime to do
I've walked around in this world
Looking life in the eyes for your truth

And none of my thoughts want to go lonesome...
(Minds held aloft in a moment of madness)/(Committed)
And all of my dreams turn to emotions...
(Brush to the surface shapes in unfolding)/(Committed)
Not always a story into the journey...
(Art in the abstract splatters the canvas)/(Committed)
Syllables dance in the race to assuage me...
(Always alone in the poem for no one)

And I'm committed to you
We've got a lifetime to do
I've walked around in this world
Looking life in the eyes for your truth

Succumb to passion inside this sweet facade
Your lips against mine like time no one forgot
Our bodies blending fast into a fearsome knot
There's a sound here - call it love

I see that chaos reigns in my modern life
Like dancing moments break up the darkest night
But where I've found joy to put my heart to right
I've learned a need to declare...


Written By: Doug Sedgwick

Rippling velvet ridges of pleasure on the undersides of my brain
Conjure up phrases of praise and excitement as I listen again and again

Drunk with the power over ordinary moments
Growing younger just where I stand
Laugh into summer, I'm leaving my sadness and
I'm counting you into my plans

Tossed from the garden, wandering in cloud-white, stumbling over the land
Teaching each finger a place in a hard chord, tracing my steps in the sand
Underneath a smile I am just the opposite: wholly a clay-molded man
Wilderness surrounds us - why disturb the balance here? Only because we can

These are the tastes of the old tree of knowledge
Abandoned children run at the sun
Let me fall and taste blood - bleeding like a boy should:
I'm counting you into my plans

And there's joy in the making of this time...

Mushroom clouds of happiness linger deep inside of me
Witness what the lost years portend
Blissful in this ignorance and brother of all innocents
I'm counting you into my plans

Tricking out the toolbox sunshine controls me, leading words homeward again
Surrendering the conscious presence inside of me, losing the edge to defend
Jesus in the sidecar gestures at the handlebars, being the best sort of friend
Grinning like a mad man embracing humanity, I blithely ignore him and then...

Angry mobs of hypocrites crucify an effigy missing every word they demand
God knows we're children incapable of reason and she's
Counted that into her plans


Written By: Doug Sedgwick

So who in the world put our feet in this place
Outrageous and wonderful shining a sun in our face
So tragic and awful letting our lives go to waste
Before I was bitter there was no room for that taste

Words are inadequate, and words are my friends
I'm climbing up phrases from a source without end
We're ruled by these words

Outside of my window I can see dirt growing dry
Weather extreme in betrayal has wrecked every sky
I'm clutching a wellspring of goodness still crying inside
For all of our moments of waking we have to decide

Words are magnificent, dancing and lyrical bright love
When hopes are their feeblest all these expressions rise up
And someone hears words

When questions of judgment jump up to weaken my faith
I look in the eyes of my family and re-learn my place
Invisible wires are winding through hubs in our face
God is the network connecting the full human race

Words tear the fabric and let the blood stain our souls
Words eluding their meanings until our fingers let go
Words that live in this moment when only my true feelings show
Tearful reliving a death of a mother at night so we'd know
Your mouth will make words

So please be my friend and I will help smiles gain light
I love every flavor of people who live in my life
The planets will circles so we will have space to collide
Then love is an answer and death is an evil denied

Words, words, words, words...

(I sing the words, I sing the words, yeah...)
Tipping time like a clock on it's side, little rattles hitting plastic cups on a car ride
Diamond hard in a tupperware bowl taking broken glass on a climb in the snow
Shaking line frames, don't avoid the fight: Jesus wants to teach you to live your life right
I'm still a hyporite hanging on a crutch terrified of winning much and then I'll make it up
(I'm spending my time aligning my life w/ the lines from our savior)
A tougher punch broke a rope to the right speed eludes the words and their meanings sit tight
I broke a word and the pain shone a light; fluttering yellow horse wings won't touch the night
(I'm spending my time aligning my life w/ the lines from our savior)
Firefly chemicals wrecked a ribbon white; a creature-like spectacle has never left my side
The lesson burns if you're terrified to die: Jesus wants to teach you to live your life right

What it Takes

Written By: Doug Sedgwick

The static conventions took the lines in my mind
The letting go process was a brand-new design
You're hurting the heart at the very core of my being
The beat will be better with my absence maligned

The money meant nothing 'til you made it all gone
You enabled the soul here that I owned all along
The world is cruel and has a hard way of seeing
My life will be brilliant in a story and song

I've arrived in the time where I will do what it takes -
To please you again

The little things matter when the macro is broke
Your temper betrayed you in the language you spoke
I listened inside of me and the heartbeat was wrong
You played out our plans like you were unwinding rope

Your network connection killed the life in the rock
And meaningless lyrics are hiding a dangerous thought
Your judgment won't know me from the lines of a song
We're all nods and smiles while we're bleeding in shock

I've arrived in the time where I will do what it takes -
To please you again

You think you're so precious
With such a long way to go
Yes, you are delicious
I only wish I didn't know

The lessons are many for the seeker of truth
I left an impression in the artifacts of proof
If it's about ego - I guess that I'm guilty too
Deny me your morals while I'm calling you uncouth

The laundry-line lighter in the wake of you gone
I held up a blank-hand to the onslaught of calm
Clever with rhythm and rhyming and heartbroken blue
Yet here I am singing like the change is my song

I've arrived in the time where I will do what it takes -
To please you again

Wont Be Back (Cruise Control)

Written By: Doug Sedgwick

Relevance - a search for meaning in a media-obsessed base world
Your fifteen seconds expired while you were you sleeping...
and the lens looked the other way
Difference - living with real feeling - flag of knowing is unfurled
Eleven hours in a vehicle that's driving towards a place...
where no-one would say

We... Won't be back
I wanted more to leave behind than an epitaph
We... Have more to say:
But cruise control is on - I'm taking all of my cares to the freeway

End your dance and don't despair over our dreaming where we might go
Candy-flavored monuments to memories
of a sky erupting in blue flames
Where friends keep a vigil, no-one wants to lose their visions glow
Sometimes the lyrics lack for meaning as the rhythms start
to brightly speak our names

=== Refrain REPEAT========

I took a stance, I said goodbye to a life where normal is the norm
I shouldn't cry over any dying memories of a dream
and angels listen anyway

The glowing noise - my favorite shapes starting to take up their form
And happiness is talking through the ceiling speakers...
Let's have a laugh today

=== Refrain REPEAT=========


Doug's first solo album - Committed was released May 2008 on his independent Clockwise Sounds label.

An early release - Cable TV (Also a song contest award winner - See Press) is getting Internet airplay at! Open your Windows Media Player, then do file, open and paste in the preceding link to listen.
Songs from the album are also being played on Loyola College radio, CHES 101.5 FM in Erin, Ontario Canada and Radio Upper Murray in New South Wales, Australia.

Set List

Set List From a Doug (songwriter) solo Show:
(Doug's songs - except some by friends where noted.)
1. Committed
2. Cable TV
3. Junk All the Talk
4. Darker Voice
5. Grandfather's Mother
6. Courtesy Loner
7. Stand Up Blues II
8. Plans
9. Peace in Our Hearts
10. Disappoint You
11. Nothing More
12. Vonnegut (Love to Hate War)
13. What it Takes
14. Watch (Daniel Lee)
15. Mister Shoes (Vic Cook)
16. To Be or not to Be (Philip DeStefano)
17. I Found Love

Set List From a Typical BugSnakeWilly DUO Show:
Satisfaction - Stones
Friend of the Devil - Dead
Real World - Matchbox 20
Reelin' in the Years - Steely Dan
Moses - Original
Hey Good Lookin' - Hank Williams
Small Town - Mellencamp
32-20 Blues - Robert Johnson
What it's Like - Everlast
Canoe - Original
Green Shirt - Elvis Costello
My Love Open the Door - Pete Townshend
Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
The One I Love - REM
Automobile - ZZ Top
Solsbury H