Doug McCurry

Music Emissions

Today I spun to the latest CD from North Carolina based Doug McCurry entitled "Romance Like it Was". Venturing to the internet and reading the bio: I get the impression McCurry is one artist thats extremely passionate about his songwriting craft. From start to finish this CD from McCurry presents a very crazy evil-genius type of mystique but is very groovy and danceable. Almost like a modern day David Bowie if you will with a much harder edge. It has an Alternative Rock-Punk like quality to it but should not to be underestimated or easily pinned down. It dabbles in what I would call dark rock but without the over the top hard rock edge. Trust me when I say this artist is insane like one of his cited influences David Byrne (Talking Heads), but I can also hear XTC, Brian Eno and Tom Tom Club. Any fans of any of these musical styles will enjoy this latest release from McCurry. It's clearly marketed for those who like a male singer with a mystique of say a David Byrne and even some of the moer crazier music from Michael Stipe (R.E.M). I get the impression McCurry is company are rolling with what they know as an artists and performer within each one of these songs. In other words they hit the mark remarkably well by just being who he is. Favorite track is Track 1 (Blast Off). All songs possess amazing feel and the songwriting takes you farther down the road than the typical Independent Artist. Within each one of these songs McCurry delivers pure musical mojo. McCurry is clearly a force to be reckoned with when it comes to any artistic expression - especially music.

Independent Music Digest

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

They just don’t make artists like they used to. What am I talking about? Back in the day say 10-20 years ago there was something special about artists in the Music Industry. Not just special in the sense on their musical craft, but there ability to be themselves in how they gravitated a fanbase without even trying. I like to call this component “Magical Mojo” and it seems to have vanished without a trace. The last artist I heard that had ”Magical Mojo” was “The Gorilaz,” “The White Stripes,” ”Beck” and “Amy Winehouse”…..that’s pretty much it over the last 10-20 years. Actually there’s an artiss who goes by the name of Doug McCurry has some of this magic as well.

“Romance like it Was” (2012) his latest release and it has much to commend it. Admittedly, there is a whole lot of variety to these arrangements and performances – probably because this CD has many things going for it. First: the impressive McCurry is the real deal Singer/Songwriter who comes to us from North Carolina. He has the voice, look, muscianship and the songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. Second: There is a unique quality to this catalogue that breaks the mold from the mundane pop-rock that’s been filling the airwaves lately. McCurry has delivered a pure-alternative-rock driven sound that will remind you of say Blur, Cake, The Flaming Lips, and yes the almightily Beck. Not every square inch is filled with a vocal delivery under duress – but musical space this allows the music to breathe via McCurry’s amazing gift to dig deeper than the next artist. My top tracks are the ones about females: “Wanda”and “Christina”. Equally as impressive is how true to himself McCurry is. Basically he has the mojo and brings it via this latest collection of 12 tracks. I always said if you can play it a party, then it’s marketable. The music is extremely likeable and commercially viable with a fresh sound and dare I say youthful aftertaste. It also takes us back to our musical roots with a more traditional rock foundation – I like the call. It will also genuinely lift your spirits unlike most music you hear on the radio.

EvO:R

This is McCurry’s latest effort Romance like it Was (2012) and it certainly does not disappoint. Venture to the internet – it will reveal an emotionally charged musical journey from North Carolina to your heart. This is one artist who brings to the table an elite songwriting craft coupled with top flight musicianship and a knack for making a the emotional connection with listeners. Musical flavors presented: Folksy-Rock-Alternative-Rock, Psychedelic Americana.

The opening track "Blast Off” a marquee song that sets the stage perfectly for this CD. It was a great intro piece that stuck in my head and had me eager for what lied behind the next corner.

All in all the whole CD is brilliantly delivered with warm musical textures and flowing compositions that push hard. Headed up by singer-musician McCurry (Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards, Percussion, and loop sampling), Lisa Spring (Violin), William Earl (Drums and Percussion, Chris Johnson (Trumpet and Keyboards, Brent Bagwell (Saxophone) and Greg Gilbert (Bass).McCurry’s voice compliments this style of music well. Musical overtones reminded me a bit of Pavement, Ween and even Weezer to Beck.

There are some fantastic yet unexpected pieces on this CD which gives this musical production a very accessible feel emotionally. The overall fretwork is impressive and the writing style is brilliant and I would describe it as emotional, pure, genuine and a bit zany and eccentric. McCurry has all the singer/songwriter qualities needed to gravitate a fan base here in the US and abroad. Need I say more. Favorite piece on the CD is a toss up between “ Wanda” and “Future Dreams.”

PR-Inside, Mojo, CMJ

Alternative Pop-Rock musician Doug McCurry's New CD "Romance Like It Was" is 12 tracks of pure delight. Though the album is his first since the 2010 release of "Seven Songs About Leaving" McCurry has most definitely not lost his touch. "Along The River," which is the 4th track on the album, is an inspirational and spiritual song performed in the style of rock and roll. McCurry's voice grabs hold of you and never lets go as he takes you along for a walk along the river. The track utilizes a very interesting violin and guitar blend, which are excellent for this well arranged track. The use of a choir adds depth and dimension to this jam, moving you spiritually while kept in balance with the vocal style and the excellent musicianship and band. "Along The River" isn't a gospel song, but the message is a spiritual one, and the track is an effort that shows a level of perfection reached by all involved. The unique sound of the band makes the single even that much better, and listeners will mark May 22nd (the date of the CD's release) on their calendars for sure. This is a 'must have' for listeners who want beautiful music with a beautiful message and an authentic and well produced sound.

Indie Music Digest

CD REVIEW: Doug McCurry - Seven Songs About Leaving

 

 "A brilliant snapshot of music"... "A rare find" 

 

You may remember Doug McCurry from the days he was in the band Big Brick Building, who released 2 CDs & drew the attention of both industry professionals & music critics alike. After several years in the shadows, “Seven Songs About Leaving” marks the return of Doug McCurry.

 

Logging in at just over 30 minutes, the CD kicks things off with “Mama Said” a dynamic intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm, infectious vocal harmonies, & accents with catchy rock chorus. Track 2 “21st Century Car” shifts gears a bit with a steady flowing acoustical rhythms, interesting harmonies, & creative sonic vocal layering. This coupled with sinister keyboard accents, & mesmerizing lyrical content makes for a very interesting statement. Track 3 “Mama Said No 2” serves up more of the same trippiness & sounds like Peter Gabriel south of the Mason Dixon Line.  The music itself is an impressive blend of alternative & acoustic rock, & with just a dash of punk. The writing, playing, & singing abilities for McCurry are impressive, & I might add McCurry plays all musical instrumentation on the CD as well. McCurry’s voice goes down smooth, & at times reminds me of John Lennon, Wayne Coyne (Flaming Lips.) What I like the most about the CD is its sheer song for song unpredictability & darkness. You never really know what’s waiting for you around the next corner. I give McCurry high marks on his writing virtuoso and not being afraid of being original. Unlike other dark artists out there like Marilyn Manson who try so hard to convince you they belong in a rubber room, McCurry just refuses to put forth the effort. The lyrics seem very straightforward but make no bones about it they are extremely thought provoking and painfully real. It took courage, skill and deep honesty to write this music. There is dark pain and lamentation lingering everywhere, but you'll notice bright pockets of hope that shine through as well. To McCurry I say "dude get some therapy, but not until we get a few more CD's out of you first". There’s also plenty of rich sonic layering woven deep within the fabric of the mixes. In classic parallel fashion the subject matter of some of these songs is also buried deep within the lyrical content. Make no bones about "Seven Songs About Leaving" is a dark record, but McCurry never once goes over the top. Give this CD a wide berth & the Suicide Hotline Number. From melancholy “October Rain”, to radical “Wake up call”, to dark “Dig a Hole” this CD pretty much has it all. I can honestly say I was entertained the entire time, with never a dull moment on this entire CD. “Seven Songs About Leaving” pushes the envelope hard, & will keep you guessing the entire time. The CD ends with “Jesus is Calling” a smooth melancholy assessment of the truth, with numbing acoustical vibe waving you in for a smooth landing.          

 

From start to finish “Seven Songs about Leavingis an impressive catalogue of music. The music is highly original, unpredictable as hell, & pushes the envelope hard. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius of Doug McCurry. McCurry possess enough musical talent & songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. The melodies & harmonies are well crafted, with lyrical content is hard to pin down, & the music is dark & genuine. Like the aforementioned I really enjoyed the Trippiness & sheer unpredictability of all the songs. Overall it makes for a brilliant snapshot of music. I really admire artists out there who are themselves and just let the chips fall where they may. Praise goes out to the artist that can show us something real and genuine beneath their veil of vanity. Doug McCurry is one of those artists that shows you his perspective. Be advised you may not want to listen to “Seven Songs About Leaving” on the night your wife leaves you, but if your looking for tripped out musical experience that offers up alternative & acoustical rock overtones I highly recommend you jump head first into “Seven Songs About Leaving.”

EvO:R Entertainment

By the time I was a minute into the second track, 21st Century Car, I was sold on Doug McCurry’s talent and creativity. All the content on this record could be played with an acoustic guitar and vocal and they would work well, as the lyrical content is strong enough to do the whole singer/songwriter thing. But Doug stretches his creativity and uses every tool in his arsenal to give us a musical backdrop with plenty of depth. In the tradition of songwriters like Ian Hunter, David Bowie, and Tom Petty – Doug gives us good solid lyrics with a lot of acoustic and electric guitars that are surrounded but experimental sounds.

Blurt Magazine

The BLURT staff put our heads (and ears) together and we have the latest pick for our Blurt/Sonicbids "Best Kept Secret": it's Doug McCurry, from Charlotte, NC.

 

McCurry's been active in the Tarheel music scene since the ‘80s, working as musician, producer and engineer - yours truly has great memories of seeing his early band Big Brick Building, who issued two full-lengths and was one of the most respected Charlotte outfits, back in the day. He's been on hiatus for a good while, but recently resurfaced with the album Seven Songs About Leaving, which he describes as pondering "the certainty of change, and the paradox of an unknown future that accompanies it - choices, consequences, impulses, and indecision are manifested in events that can haunt a person for a lifetime." Indeed, a track like the densely-layered but kinetic and pounding "Wake Up Call" has a sonically haunting/disturbing quality, while "Mama Said No. 2"'s psychedelic vortex and funky undercurrent makes for a distinctively headspinning experience. And the briskly strummed "21st Century Car," with its bold blend of acoustic and electronic textures, smartly updates the classic Byrdsian cosmic cowboy ethos.

 

Nice to have the man back on the board again after all this time.