THE JERRY DOUGLAS BAND'S DEBUT STUDIO ALBUM 'WHAT IF' RECEIVES GRAMMY AWARD NOMINATION FOR "BEST CONTEMPORARY INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM"
RELEASED AUGUST 18 VIA ROUNDER RECORDS ON A WAVE OF PRAISE
THE JERRY DOUGLAS BAND's debut studio album, WHAT IF, today (11/28) has received a 2018 GRAMMY Award nomination for "Best Contemporary Instrumental Album."
"Every nomination for any award is special, but today was the first nomination for a band that I travel with and confide in which makes it all the more special," says DOUGLAS. "We are brothers on the road in every way, and I am so proud to be among these wonderful musicians in this endeavor."
On WHAT IF (released August 18 via Rounder Records), the 14-time GRAMMY Award-winning and three-time Country Music Association Musician of the Year, JERRY DOUGLAS and company decisively merge jazz inclinations with the bluegrass, country, blues, swing, rock, and soul that DOUGLAS spent his life absorbing and performing, forging a sound that flies beyond the boundaries of anything he, or anyone else, has done before.
PRAISE FOR WHAT IF:
"Even after 14 Grammys, Jerry Douglas is still exploring unlikely musical pairings, as evidenced by the soul-and bluegrass-melding rendition of 'Hey Joe...' Jerry Douglas Band's version opens with a furious Dobro lick before driving to the chorus with thick ascending horn lines that suggest Sixties Motown. While more traditional Country instrumentation of fiddle and trebly electric guitar both take instrumental flights of their own, saxophonist Jamel Mitchell, nephew of Al Green producer Willie Mitchell, blows a bluesy solo that offers a fresh sonic counterpoint." --RollingStone.com, August 4, 2017
"... What If is a new beginning...it's a freewheeling, musically sprawling set, perhaps more jazz and rock oriented than most would expect. Douglas writes most of the material yet works up innovative, substantially rearranged versions of 'Hey Joe,' best known by Hendrix's cover but here given a caffeinated backwoods workup, and Tom Waits' '2:19.' The album's centerpiece is its title track, a pensive progressive jazz/bluegrass fusion instrumental that allows the members to stretch out and shows both their creativity and talent. Ditto for the Douglas-Bela Fleck co-write 'Freemantle,' best described as bluegrass/jazz fusion, where Douglas' Dobro interweaves with the horns and guitar in electrifying fashion. There's enough fret-shredding in the opening five minute 'Cave Bop' (a re-recording of a Douglas original, first heard in 2002) with its high energy soloing and near free-jazz approach, and the closing 'Hot Country 84.5' that's somewhat more laid back but just as musically challenging, to satisfy those looking for Douglas' sizzling picking. But it's the interaction of the instruments throughout, in particular the horns, that makes this a true band production...whether you come for hot licks, compositional diversity or to experience a talented band firing on all cylinders with like-minded players delving into a variety of styles they love, the superb What If has you covered. Hopefully this is the start of a long term ensemble, willing to test individual musical parameters and expand their roots based standards into new, dynamic and fresh frontiers." (4 out of 5 stars) --Hal Horowitz, American Songwriter, August 16, 2017
"The new project merges jazz with bluegrass, country, blues, swing, rock, and soul on eleven tracks filled with bold arrangements and unexpected elements. One such song is Douglas' rendering of Tom Waits' '2:19.' A funky revelation, the song drips with soul courtesy of some dynamic horn-work and Douglas' bluesy vocals." --Tara Joan, No Depression, July 20, 2017
"Backed by an ace horn section and a killer band, resonator master Jerry Douglas serves up a daring fusion of jazz, rock, and bluegrass on his new album, What If." --Adam Perlmutter, Premier Guitar Magazine, December 2017 issue
"...Dobro master Jerry Douglas is pulling the strings, taking Billy Roberts' classic composition 'Hey Joe' to new and exciting places...Douglas & Co. truly soup up the tune, adding plenty of bluegrass fire and thunder along the way." --Damian Fanelli, GuitarWorld.com, August 8, 2017
"Ultimately, What If signals that after so many years and so many recordings, Douglas is still pushing the envelope and challenging himself to do new things with his music... The song '2:19' is an interesting choice...essentially it is a blues tune and with Jerry Douglas and his talented band at the helm, the song is loaded with twang, horns, and some damn fine solo work. It stands out for the heavy dose of funk and soul the band whips up." --GlideMagazine.com, July 24, 2017
"Douglas has never been afraid of pushing labels aside in his search for arresting sounds and musical adventure. Like banjo-bashing Bella Fleck and mando-wizard Dave Grisman, he can and does turn his hand to almost anything that catches his fancy. With What If, he has again pushed the boat way out, far beyond the comfort zone of many, to deliver an album that has horns where banjo or mando might be expected, and at times his own gravel-strewn voice to produce an unexpectedly confident stab at the blues; one track, Tom Waits' '2.19,' is clearly a straightforward, powerfully produced traditional, twelve-bar blues number where his picking and singing both combine to remarkable effect, and his take on the old rock-blues standard 'Hey Joe' (his second recording of the track) is an up-tempo, driving tour de force. Add a few Celtic traditional sounding instrumental tracks to the mix and you have a release that is truly surprising, inspired, unexpected but beautifully done." --Iain Patience, ElmoreMagazine.com, August 8, 2017