SongVault Artist Profile
TN, United States
Country / Americana
Born in Hamilton, Ohio, Doug’s formative years were spent in his Father’s hometown of Hyden, KY (pop. 250). Located about midway between Thousandsticks and Smilax just West of Hazard, this was a fertile place for Doug’s country roots to grow strong and deep. Our ears are grateful.
Music was a big part of his Fathers large family in the Eastern KY hills. All the kinfolk seemed to either sing or play an instrument. Naturally, Doug yearned to join the fun, and asked his Dad to teach him to play the guitar. The guitar was a great present for a five year old, but the greater gift was Dad’s teaching Doug’s little fingers their first three chords which began Doug’s musical journey.
Doug took to his newfound joy with a passion, and just one year after picking up the instrument, his proud parents entered him in his first talent show. Doug’s rendition of “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog” won him 1st prize, and the course was set.
Upon spotting his first piano at his Dad’s church, Doug set his mind to teaching himself to play. From then on he played and sang at every service he could. By the age of 15 Doug had formed a country band with his cousins and he sang lead and played bass with them every weekend at various places throughout the Kentucky coal country.
Sensing the talent that was emerging as her son learned several instruments; Doug’s Mother led him another step forward and took him to an audition for the Renfro Valley Jamboree in Renfro, KY. Doug sat at the piano and began to sing. The musical director stopped him halfway through the first song and said he’d heard enough. Doug was hired on the spot.
Initially hired to play piano for the house band and sing one song per show, Doug’s powerful vocals generated such a fan response that he was soon given three songs in the set list. Two years of playing regularly with seasoned professional musicians allowed Doug to hone his skills and develop the stage presence that he carries with him today.
Back in his native town of Hamilton, OH, Doug supported himself and his young family by working construction jobs while continuing to play churches, fairs, and festivals whenever he got the chance. By 25 the cuts and bruises of construction work combined with the undeniable pull of his love for music led him to learn the Nashville number system in order to begin doing studio session work. As the session work grew into stage work, Doug started playing larger shows and began to taste where all this was heading.
Once, while playing guitar for the opening band at a Tracy Byrd show, Doug was warming up his guitar and vocals in the dressing room when Tracy and his manager heard him and stopped in. Tracy stood silently until Doug finished and then said, “Man that was some great singing. Someone’s gonna hear you one day and that’ll be it.” Truer words were never spoken.
That encounter led to Doug opening several shows for Tracy which in turn led to his opening many more for artists such as Merle Haggard, John Anderson, Ty Herndon, Ricky Lynn Craig and others.
The inevitable outcome of this background is Doug’s emergence as a star in his own right. Recently signed with Junction Records, Doug is currently completing his project titled “ There Is A Time” in their Junction Recording Studio in Nashville. The initial rough cuts from this record are phenomenal even as raw tracks. The final mix promises to be one of those “stay where you are, turn it up, and play it again” kind of records. Songwriters on the project include: Charlie Craig, Marty Stuart and Jimmy Tittle, Brad Davis and John Sturdivant Jr., Larry Marrs, Rodney Dillard and Mitchell Jayne, Johnnie Wright and Jim and Jack Anglin, Tony Stampley, and a couple penned by Doug himself.
Doug’s voice alone has the power to take over a room. Combine that with his mastery of the guitar, and the conviction with which he sings each song, and you’ve got a powerful performance that’ll make your ears grin.