With apologies to Josh Graves and Mike Auldridge, Jerry Douglas has to be considered one of the preeminent dobro players of his generation, an expressive, fluid stylist and a stalwart "usual suspects" studio musician, Douglas has backed countless artists on bazillions of recordings, and has carved out a fine solo career as the same sort of bluegrass-pop crossover modernist as Bela Fleck and his crew. I'm partial to his older stuff from the early newgrass days, but love his tone whenever I hear it. Here's a quick look at his work...

Discography - Best-Ofs

Jerry Douglas "Americana Master Series: Best Of The Sugar Hill Years" (Sugar Hill, 2007)

Discography - Albums

Jerry Douglas "Fluxology" (Rounder, 1979)
Jerry Douglas "Everything's Gonna Work Out Fine" (Rounder, 1987)

A perfect showcase for dobro (oops! excuse me... resophonic guitar) whiz Jerry Douglas' uniquely seductive "flux" style of picking... This album was also an early indicator of troubles to come for the newgrass scene, since it holds virtuousity up higher than stylistic variety and could start to sound rather repetitive after a while... But, man, what a player! The 1987 CD reissue combines the classic tracks from the Fluxology LP with the later, more mellow 1983 outing, Fluxedo.

Jerry Douglas "Under The Wire" (Sugar Hill, 1986)

Jerry Douglas "Changing Channels" (MCA, 1987)

Jerry Douglas "Plant Early" (MCA, 1989)

Jerry Douglas "Slide Rule" (Sugar Hill, 1992)

Jerry Douglas, Russ Barenberg & Edgar Meyer "Skip, Hop & Wobble" (Sugar Hill, 1993)

Jerry Douglas & Vishwa Mohan Bhatt "Bourbon And Rosewater" (Water Lily Acoustics, 1995)

Jerry Douglas & Peter Rowan "Yonder" (Sugar Hill, 1996)
A nice change of pace for both of these newgrass old-timers... Rowan and Douglas dip back into the old-fashioned blues styles of the Jimmie Rodgers/Big Bill Broonzy era, sparsely arranged, plaintive material with a stripe of old-fashioned, turn-of-the-century, Gilded Age vaudevillian "pop" running through it. This is a pretty eloquent, masterful performance, which fans of revivalist acts like Squirrel Nut Zippers and Asylum Street Spankers should definitely put on their wantlists.

Jerry Douglas "Restless On The Farm" (Sugar Hill, 1998)

Jerry Douglas "Lookout For Hope" (Sugar Hill, 2002)

Jerry Douglas "The Best Kept Secret" (Koch, 2005)

Jerry Douglas "FestivaLink Presents The Jerry Douglas Band At Grey Fox: 7/13/06" (FestivaLink, 2006)

Jerry Douglas "Americana Master Series: Best Of The Sugar Hill Years" (Sugar Hill, 2007)

Jerry Douglas "Glide" (Koch, 2008)
(Produced by Jerry Douglas)

This album runs the gamut of his musical interests -- old-timey bluegrass breakdowns, modern country-folk and the smooth, poppy stuff as well. The fusion stuff doesn't do much for me, but the traditional truegrass instrumentals were fun, and the guest appearances by folks such as steel guitar legend Lloyd Green, Top 40 star Travis Tritt and Americana idol Rodney Crowell are all pretty interesting. Crowell's performance on his own song, "A Sharecropper's Dream" -- one of two tracks featuring guitarist Tony Rice -- is definitely an album highlight.

Jerry Douglas & Aly Bain "Transatlantic Sessions 3, v.1" (Whirlie Records, 2008)

Jerry Douglas & Aly Bain "Transatlantic Sessions, v.2" (Whirlie Records, 2008)

Jerry Douglas "Jerry Christmas" (E1 Entertainment, 2009)
(Produced by Jerry Douglas)

A nice, mellow, mostly-instrumental holiday album with a few unexpected quirks (is that Tom Waits growling the chorus on "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town"? No, apparently it's Douglas himself, but he sure has that Waits-Ribot vibe down to a "T") as well as Maura O'Connell intoning on a song called "New Year's Eve." Several of the instrumental tracks have a John Fahey-esque seasonal feel to them... All in all, a fairly reserved, pleasant album!

Related Records

Billy Perry "Bluegrass Jam" (King Bluegrass, 1976) (LP)
(Produced by Cecil Jones, Jerry Douglas & Ricky Skaggs)

An all-instrumental set led by guitarist Billy Perry, backed by an all-star cast that included Jerry Douglas on dobro, along with Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs on fiddle, as well as Mike Perry on bass, and Bobby Clark pickin' mandolin. Perry cut a second instrumental set for King Bluegrass, More Bluegrass Jam, though Vince Gill wasn't on board for that one.


Hick Music Index

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