A Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame inducted attorney, singer-songwriter Gary Douglas is much cooler than you think. Look past his fiery fight for justice and rebellion against authority, as well as his defense of victims of corporate malice, and you’ll find the heart of a rock n’ roll kid beating strong within his person. Growing up in Brooklyn and later, on Long Island, music has been Douglas’ muse, an outlet for his feelings and a desire he can’t shake. At a time when rock n’ roll is no longer the towering cultural force it once was, The Gary Douglas Band is keeping the spirit alive and well, with the arrival of the single “River Road” – the first track taken from the new album “Deep In The Water”.
A blustering mix of soulful and melodic Americana, and gritty heartland rock, it’s exactly what you expect from one of the authentic practitioners of the genre. But amid the fist-pumping stadium anthem, you’ll find the meditative mind of Douglas taking stock of real life issues that many of us have to face on a daily basis – unemployment, rent, mortgages – and the courage, love and hope it takes to not succumb to them. The Gary Douglas Band manages to balance introspection with propulsive rock n’ roll, while intertwining a subtle political and social bent.
While on the surface it may sound like your standard up-tempo rock fare, Douglas is a singer-songwriter at heart, whose work is filled with pathos and vulnerability that’s never been clearer than on this track.
From its fiery opening verse to the stirring choruses, “River Road” encapsulates what makes Gary Douglas a heartland rocker who can deliver pounding rock and poignant ballads with equal aplomb and astute insightfulness. He is really as good in this genre as anybody else around today.
Douglas is a tasteful and impressive singer who showcases full vocal fluency and expressiveness, while his songwriting also provides no shortage of vehicles for effective pondering and rocking out when needed.
These virtues come across in lyrics as hard-hitting as Douglas’ melodies – every one of which asserts the continuing functionality of rock and roll in the highly technological modern era. There’s nothing new here, and there doesn’t have to be – just the best elements the genre can offer, restated with honest currency and sung by a great voice.
“River Road” is wrapped in bright, full, detailed, clean, and very dynamic sound. It is the perfect sound of hope. With veteran producer Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Warren Zevon) behind the boards and acclaimed artist and hit-making artist Darrell Brown (Neil Young, Keith Urban) adding his songwriting and production contributions, plus Douglas and his all-star The Gary Douglas Band, as well as other members of Nashville’s elite among them, the result couldn’t be any less than perfect.