CD REVIEW: Doug Prescott - Hot Nights in November
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"a real barnburner"
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-
Artist: Doug Prescott
CD: Hot Night in November
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Americana, Classic Rock, R&B, Jam Band
Sounds Like: Jimmy Buffett, Grateful Dead, Eric Clapton, Little Feat
Technical Grade: 10/10
Weakness: Not really a vintage Live Recording
Doug Prescott is an Americana/Blues/Alt Country artist from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. His music is "truly American", with influences such as Little Feat, The Neville Brothers, Asleep at the Wheel and Jimmy Buffet. From love ballads to political rockers, the common thread in Prescott's song writing is honesty. Jack Goodstein of Blog Critics says "whatever the style, Prescott delivers." Less than a year after his last full-length, Doug Prescott is back with the Doug Prescott Band's new live release Hot Night in November. Produced by Tony Bowman and Doug Prescott, and featuring a similarly impressive group of musicians, this release is a moving and memorable listen.
The CD kicks things off with “Happy Enough Song” an upbeat intro piece that serves up classic Americana-Rock vibe that delivers slamming slide guitar, driving rhythm, and rich harmonies and infectious vocal melody from Prescott. Track 2 “Hideaway” shifts gears a bit with its smooth flowing rhythm, impressive guitar ambience and classic Americana groove. This follow up piece shows what kind of world class songwriter Prescott is. Track 3 keeps things moving with “Patience” an impressive driven melody with slamming psychedelic guitar served up hot against driving rhythm and passionate vocals from Prescott that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. This CD makes a solid first impression dishing out 3 solid tracks in arrow. As this CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of such classic acts like Jimmy Buffett, Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Little Feat, and Allman Brothers Band. The music itself is an amazing blend of modern acoustic folk, with Slamming R&B, Americana roots with an unmistakable Classic rock vibe. The musicianship of all the players involved is world class. Make no bones about it Prescott brings some impressive players to the table. You will notice lush layers of instrumentation layered everywhere, from impressive solo guitar licks, well placed harmonies, impressive Hammond Organ chops, Pedal Steel, Slamming Saloon style Piano, and Impressive Horns Section. But the most impressive thing about Hot Nights in November” is the amazing wit, songwriting prowess and infectious charm from Doug Prescott. At the end of the day he has and vocal persona that somehow works extremely well songs for song and track to track. From grooving “Oh Maggie” to hypnotic “Wide Open” to melodic “Whatever” to heartfelt “Savannah Wind” to comical “Beach Wedding” to sizzling” Dinosaur” this live CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Little Elvis and Fat Cat Eddie” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.
Live recordings are amazing because they capture the full tilt energy and spontaneity of a live setting. There have been some classic live records released over the years because of this reason. It doesn’t sound like Prescott took this approach. A vintage live recording captures the complete performance from start to finish – the good, bad and the ugly. Rather this CD is a collection of live recordings. One of the pieces fades out – this goes with what I’m talking about.
From start to finish Hot Night in November” by Doug Prescott is a real barn burner of a release. The music is consistent, uplifting, and extremely entertaining. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really a weak piece on this entire catalog. The writing and playing abilities of Doug Prescott and his band is rock solid. The lyrics are catchy, the melodies are well crafted and hooky and the musical charisma of Doug Prescott is of legends. It’s no wonder Doug Prescott is as popular as he is out east.