'Live' As It Gets

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"'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

"You, listener, are in for a fine time!" Bill Wassersieher ICE

"In this day of pyrotechnic blues, it's a nice change when this music is presented raw and 'live'!" "Nothin But The Blues", KLON Long Beach, Los Angeles

You 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.

1. Doola(5:28)
2. HUSTLER (6:43)
3. Tight White Pants... (2:01)
4. CHILL ON COLD (6:18)
Doug's First Protest Song... (2:38)
10. THE CHILL (4:58)
COLD RAIN (4:29)
12. HEY BARTENDER (8:01)
13. (mysterioso bonus track:) WHAT IS DOOLA?

All songs (except 7) written by Doug MacLeod or John "Juke" Logan

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 Oasis
Photography by Casey Stoll
JOHN "JUKE" LOGAN: vocals & harmonica
DOUG MacLEOD: vocals, acoustic guitar, National (slide) guitar
JUKE & DOUG'S BOOTS: 'drums'
 Doug MacLeod appears courtesy of AudioQuest Music.
Available on AudioQuest by Doug MacLeod:
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 & now...


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.

– Bill Wasserzieher

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