Fraser MacDougall

Fraser MacDougall


A multi instrumentalist, funktified, jazz schooled, folkie with a love for reggae, dub and electronic sound manipulation. Creating dynamic groove folk music performed with intensity, improvisation, multiple instruments and a consious voice for progressive social movement.


People often forget that musicians write music as a form of expression. We forget that with every note or every lyric, people have something to say. Artists themselves often forget that music is a way of voicing one’s own opinions.
Fraser MacDougall is that overarching reminder that a song is a conversation, a dialogue of values and perspective between the writer and the reader, the composer and audience. His music is heartfelt and historical in that it draws from both his external life experiences and his internal reflections. In the summer of 2005, he recorded What It Sounds Like with a friend, an 8-track D.A.T. recorder and one intention; to introduce the world to the mind of Fraser MacDougall, the album is what that sounds like.
He plays all of the instruments on the album but in a live setting, he settles into the acoustic and electric guitars and his soft-textured, yet powerful voice. Fraser is often joined on stage by a range of musicians, but continues to perform solo as well, and recently performed with a Montreal-based improv comedy troupe providing soundscapes for their show. It is this honest versatility that adds to his musical expression, and as he travels deeper within himself he also evolves with everything that comes his way.
Fraser has sited musical influences from the worlds of jazz, folk, reggae/dub, hip-hop, rock, funk and electronic music, and is continually shaped by the artists he shares the stage with. Such artists include the Kalmunity collective, Throwback, Bullfrog, Joel Plaskett, Mathew Barber and In Us Aso, as well as an entire network of musicians in Australia and New Zealand.
Fraser uses his lyrics to tell the stories of his world travels, to express his politics and to communicate environmental awareness. Before leaving university Fraser founded, actualized, and performed in a now annual eco-festival called Rock for the River. Many of his songs are self-reflexive about music itself, and the industry in which he often feels trapped. At the same time, Fraser is committed to using the positive medium of music to bring about changes in the world he lives in. His former band, The Stairway Movement, received a grant from the Quebec government that allowed them to musically educate kids in elementary school.
His sound is somewhat hard to place as he draws from so many different wells of inspiration, but his sense of rhythm is perhaps the most powerful element to appear in his compositions. He no doubt, has an ear for groove and can turn the simplest progression or melody into the funkiest vamp. Fraser’s guitar work blends jazz and folk into a unique hybrid which audiences can comfortably dance to and genuinely marvel at. But like improvisation, Fraser’s art is full of surprises and rooted in exploration and evolution. Even though What It Sounds Like is less than a year old, his songwriting has already begun to move in different directions and the songs that appear on the album take on a life of their own when performed live.
Like Dylan, Fraser is a bard. Like Davis, he stretches himself in every possible direction. Like Difranco, his political views cannot be separated from the music that encases them. And just like everyone from whom Fraser has learned, he can teach and must be given attention.

By Jeremy Young (



Written By: Fraser MacDougall

I was walikin trhought the park ,
it was night but it was not dark, the light from the city were shining bright,
hopin round like a country toad,
through a city whose landmarks i know, but the passers by i cant identify,.....
weavin in and out of cars
as they pass by in disregard,
for a amphibious tree huggin soul,
city of, soul
Freedom high, freedom low,
that the way, it goes around this city, city of soul,
it depends how much cash you got in your pocket, how much dynamite youve got in your spite, how much reason you have in your desicions and how much pride you take in you life,
This environmental ploy is the only buoy keeping my head above water,sustainable living is all im after, as i try to find a place for my head to lay, but this back is used to a bed and under the bench i found the key ,
to this city of soulllllllllllllllllll.


Fraser MacDougall - What It Sounds Like-
ten track lp

In the first few days of June 2005 a solo album was recorded with aid from neighbor and sound engineer Drew Vergil, in the empty dining room of the recently sold MacDougall home. Combining Drews technical skills and Frasers musical material and sketches within a small window of opportunity they surrounded themselves with instruments and recording gear to layer: Vocals, acoustic and electric guitars, bass, piano, percussion, drum set, and harmonica. The result is an album titled What it Sounds Like, inspired by the organic process captured during live takes on a rented Tascam 8-track recorder. The album is an independant project that is currently being assembled and distributed by Fraser and is availabe for download from his website.

Set List

Live solo performances are largely guitar and vocal based, while working with live-loops, mouth percussion, and turntables.
Since "What it Sounds Like " release a group of all-star montreal based musicians collaborate with fraser to add there expertise and instrumentation to highten the overall live sound and performance expereince. Live shows are dynamic featuring different grooves, tempos and textures, vocal harmonies and multiple instruments: ac/elec guitars, upright and electric bass, Wurlitzer piano,accordian,glokenspeil, cajoun, djembae, banjo, mandolin, and violin.