By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
•He was also once bandleader for Mary "Torn Between Two Lovers" MacGregor, but we shall forgive him; let he without sin cast the first stone.
•He writes a column for the respected Blues Revue magazine. (Hey, that's a serious conflict of interest, fucker! What are you trying to pull off here?)
MacLeod also bears a passing but unfortunate resemblance to Elvin Bishop—which is enough to give anyone the blues—so we'll also forgive him for the fact that he's a country blues player who grew up in Noo Yawk City. Because the other fact is that MacLeod's guitar work and supersoulful singing sound as authentic as a Parchman Farm iron shackle. He kicks ass at both conventional and bottleneck guitar in any style, from deep Mississippi-mud stuff to frisky Piedmont rags. He also tells a lot of great stories between songs. Go see Doug. There's not even a cover charge, so you have no excuse to avoid your destiny.
Much to my delight, The Squirrel Nut Zippers' new album, Bedlam Ballroom, does not thoroughly suck. Wisely eschewing the dog-eared neo-swing trap for the most part, the Zippers—who have been revamped with a pianist and expanded horn section—tackle salsa, funk, New Orleans groove, Dixieland and calypso on Ballroom, with often fine results. Say what you will about the journeyman-at-best chops: brain trust Jim Mathus has written a very impressive batch of tunes, and the band plays them with undeniable, infectious joy. There remains, however, the sordid matter of Katherine Whalen's flatline "I'd sell my soul to be Billie Holiday's anus" vocals, which are grating at best and Elvis-just-shot-his-stereo dreadful at worst. And she sings most of the songs, too. But Mathus and Whalen are all matrimonied up, so you know how that shit goes—kinda like Yoko Ono with horns.
ROBERT GOULET AT THE CERRITOS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 12700 CENTER COURT DR., CERRITOS, (562) 916-8500. FRI., 8 P.M. $42-$52. all ages; HANK WILLIAMS III at linda's doll hut, 107 s. adams st., anaheim, (714) 533-1286. Tues., 9 p.m. $15. 21+; and AT THE COACH HOUSE, 33157 CAMINO CAPISTRANO, SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, (949) 496-8930. WED., 8 P.M. $8-$15. 18+; DOUG MACLEOD AT THE BLUE CAFE, 210 THE PROMENADE, LONG BEACH, (562) 983-7111. EVERY THURS., 5:30 P.M. FREE. 21+.