'Live' As It
"'Live' As It
Gets" ...is a night out with one of this genre's finest duos...These
guys make foot-stompin' magic!" Shana LiVigni, KPCC Los Angeles
are in for a fine time!" Bill Wassersieher ICE
day of pyrotechnic blues, it's a nice change when this music is presented
raw and 'live'!" "Nothin But The Blues", KLON Long Beach,
put these two blues legends together, and the end product is simply magical!
And anyone who says acoustic blues cant get your heart beating and your
body groovin has never caught Juke and Doug's famed live act---captured
in all its soulful glory at BB King's Blues Club in the heart of Los Angeles.
Click on the song
title to go to Amazon and hear a clip.
White Pants... (2:01)
ON COLD (6:18)
First Protest Song... (2:38)
IN MY GRAVY (5:12)
PRICED WOMAN (8:44)
13. (mysterioso bonus track:)
WHAT IS DOOLA?
All songs (except 7) written
by Doug MacLeod or John
PRODUCED BY JOHN "JUKE"
LOGAN for Juke-House Productions
Associate producer: Stephanie Riggio
WARNING: VERY EXTREMELY
'LIVE' RECORDING with NO "STUDIO-FIXES" - all
mic. feedbacks, scratchy vocals, grease, gravy-drippins', clams, revelers
& 'George-isms' left in... Like
we say: As Live As It Gets...
Recorded 'live' at B.B. King's Blues
Club, Universal City, CA
'Live' recording by John Criss
Mixed at Pacifica Studios,
Los Angeles, CA by Glenn Nishida & Juke
Mastered by Eddy Schreyer at
Photography by Casey Stoll
JOHN "JUKE" LOGAN: vocals
DOUG MacLEOD: vocals,
acoustic guitar, National (slide) guitar
JUKE & DOUG'S BOOTS:
MacLeod appears courtesy of AudioQuest Music.
Available on AudioQuest by
Unmarked Road (AQ-1046)
You Can't Take My Blues (AQ-1041)
Come To Find (AQ-1027)
Working with my friend & partner Douglas
MacLeod is one of the most effortless (& coolest) things I've ever
done musically. I almost feel guilty taking money for it. Almost... AND
it's full-circle: in the mid-70's, when my band-at-the-time held down
Monday nights at a Hermosa Beach joint, I noticed a mellow, pipe-smoking
hipster frequenting the gigs. Turns out the man, one Doug MacLeod, was
the musical director for a major lady pop star of the era, & he said
to me, "Man, y'all inspire me to get back to the kind of music I
came up playin'... straight-up blues. I don't know what the hell I'm doin'
on this other gig." I said, "you're makin' money...THAT's what
you're doin'!! But you've GOT to play your soul...". Shortly thereafter
there was BLUES APLENTY being played, sang & prolifically written
by Doug MacLeod, & the world is a better place for it. He's one of
our great songwriters...I'll go as far as to call him the Percy Mayfield
of our generation. Every time we hit the stage together, it's an immense
pleasure, a great honor, & a damn ball...
- John "Juke" Logan
SPECIAL THANKS from Juke &
Doug to: Patti & Jesse MacLeod, Stephanie Riggio, Saul Davis,
John Criss, Gary Munion & the entire staff at B.B. King's Blues Club,
Glenn Nishida, Joe Harley, Michael James, Howard Shapiro, "Cahuenga
Boulevard Slim" & the staff at BrooksHoward, The Delgado Brothers,
Amy Inouye, Casey Stoll, Karen Johnson & KJPR Publicity, Ellen Bloom
& Larry Underhill, Gary "Luigi" Chiachi, Bill Wasserzieher,
Robert Mercer, Gary Wagner, & to ALL the players, groovers, press,
radio, retailers, promoters & bookers who support music that's 'LIVE'
AS IT GETS...
The Spirit of the late
GEORGE "HARMONICA" SMITH (the great Godfather of West Coast
Blues Harmonica), is with us at every Juke & Doug show, & is with
us on this album...
We both worked with George (during two different
periods of time), & that rascal gave us both a Blues Education worth
10,000 musical degrees (as he did with many of our contemporaries, unbelievably
generous a talent & mentor as he was). We both loved him as a musician
& as a person, & we dedicate this music to his spirit, then &
Those of us native to
California spend a lot of time these days threatening to pack up
which scares hell out of the folks in Oregon and Washington but
it's mostly just talk. Even with chuckholes in the ozone layer and enough
chemicals in the ocean for the Pacific to catch fire (boiled fish, anyone?),
the scuffed-up old Golden State is still a pretty good place. After all,
road crews don't salt the freeways in winter, orange trees grow in backyards
and you can still find plenty to do that won't necessarily draw gunfire.
It's a rare night in Los Angeles, where I live, when some musician isn't
making a sound worth hearing. Whether it's at a chi-chi watering hole
in Hollywood or some backwater dive off Gaffey Street in San Pedro, good
sounds still happen in this town. And over the last 20 years, John "Juke"
Logan and Doug MacLeod have been responsible for a lot of the best music.
I've known them both since the 1980s and have known their music even longer.
Back then, Doug was playing a lot of festivals in Europe (he and Stevie
Ray Vaughan were the blues kings of Belgium), and his two German label
albums, Woman in the Street and 54th & Vermont, were big continental
sellers. But when he was home he could be found playing at a club on the
Redondo Beach pier called the Starboard Attitude. He spent so much time
there I suspect the junk mail came addressed to Occupant and/or Mr. MacLeod.
Juke had a similar thing going on weekends in Sunset Beach where I lived
at the time. I'd wander down to the Sunset Pub in the late afternoon for
an overpriced Mexican beer and listen to him and a guitarist named Bill
Lynch perform while sunshine streamed in the door and the gulls from the
beach scratched around on the roof. Those were good days and nights, until
the Sunset Pub changed owners, a bulldozer flattened my rental for a condo
development and the Starboard Attitude got smashed into driftwood by a
storm that took a chunk of the pier out to sea.
But there were other venues, and Doug or Juke always seemed to be playing
somewhere. Plus they were busy guys in the studio. Before each started
recording under their own names, they had run up extensive credits. Doug
worked with George "Harmonica" Smith, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell
Folson, Big Mama Thornton and Big Joe Turner and had his songs recorded
by Albert King, Albert Collins and Son Seals, while Juke recorded with
J.J. Cale, Etta James, Leon Russell and Dave Alvin and got his songs on
albums by the Paladins, Gary Primich and John Mayall (including the title
track for John's Fan the Flames).
One of my fondest memories of Doug dates from 1987 when I was handling
publicity for the annual Long Beach Blues Festival and he was a judge
for the fest's national talent search competition. I remember him going
out of his way to calm down a 15-year-old guitarist with the bad, bad
shakes whose blues band from East L.A. had managed to make the finals.
Doug took him aside and reminded him that music was supposed to be fun.
"If you just go out there and enjoy yourself," he said, "I
know this audience is gonna like you and you'll do fine" which
is what kid did, turning in a blistering version of Big Boy Crudup's "That's
All Right Mama" to earn runner-up, despite a rhythm section who weren't
exactly human metronomes.
That same year some folks staged a benefit at a West L.A. club called
the Music Machine for the family of George Smith who had passed away.
It was THE BIG HARP BLOWDOWN and every harp player with the price of a
Hohner was there Rod Piazza, William Clarke, Johnny Dyer, Harmonica
Fats and a bunch of others as well as our man Juke Logan. The place was
rafters-high in attitude, smoke and crowd noise until Juke came out with
a couple of chairs, plopped down alongside Bill Lynch on acoustic, and
proceeded to turn in a killer set of foot-stompin', country-come-to-the-city
blues. All the other harp guys, with their full bands and maxed amps,
spent the rest of the night trying to recover.
In subsequent years, Doug and Juke have continued to do memorable things.
Doug recorded Come to Find, You Can't Take My Blues and Unmarked Road
for Audioquest and Ain't the Blues Evil for Volt/Fantasy (plus there's
the early '80s No Road Back Home on HighTone), and Juke released The Chill
on Razor & Tie and the new solo Juke Rhythm on Mocombo. Both also
became radio personalities. Doug did a blues show that aired in Europe
on the Eurojazz network, and Juke teamed up with Ellen Bloom to launch
The Friday Night Blues Revue, which continues to run on public radio station
KPCC in Los Angeles and one of these days may go national.
But the best part is that they have continued to play around L.A. frequently
Doug with and without a band, Juke with Brenda Burns and the Chill
Aces and for the last couple of years they have made it a point
to work together as often as they can. You can catch them at the B.B.
King Club in Universal City, where the music on 'Live' as It Gets was
recorded, or a dozen or so other places where good things happen after
the California sun goes down. The 13 tracks on this CD show just how much
fun two guys can have with just a guitar and harp. They dip into their
respective back catalogs for old favorites ("Hey Bartender,"
"The Chill," "Cold Rain" and "Hustler"),
spring a couple of surprises and, in general, have a glorious time laying
on the repartee. You, good listener, are in for a fine time.
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