Doug Duhon, one of my best friends came to town for my CD release and stayed through the weekend. He lives in Lafayette, LA. Our time together is mainly spent smoking cigars, listening to music, talking about music and talking about things in our lives we don’t talk about with most.
Doug is a musician, mainly a drummer. We started playing music together in 2003 and played in the Dallas area until 2007. He moved back to Lafayette, LA and soon after I moved to Austin.
When I first met Doug he was doing a lot of home recording. Things I can’t really describe, but he was playing drums, bass, guitar, sax and singing. Mostly odd times, and sometimes no time at all. It was mostly improv and very unique.
He once sat down with a guitar a lyric book that I had written and free-styled 17 songs or so from it. I was at work that day and every 5 minutes or so I’d get an e-mail of one of my songs done by him.
Doug hadn’t recorded much since in Louisiana, at least that he was sharing. On completion of my record he was inspired to get back into it. I requested an approach for a record from him. I said, just sit down as often as possible play whatever comes to mind, don’t think about it much and fill up an entire CD of that, release it and move on to the next CD.
This weekend just over 30 days later he brought me a couple of hours or recording. He had already narrowed down what he mostly wanted to include and in song order. We listened to it the afternoon after my CD release in a park in central Austin and hammered out changes, what needed to be cut, re-recorded or moved in the song order.
Only one song needed to be re-recorded. The following day we sat on a dock, smoked a cigar and couldn’t get it done. We moved to a parking spot near some railroad tracks. He was finally getting a great take when a train came through. Magic, cut, print, the end.
When then decided on the song order and went to a parking lot that over-looked downtown and Austin, lit up a nice cigar and listened to it. Made a few more changes and called it done.
The CD is about an hour and eight minutes long. It’s raw, it’s gut wrenching, there are no choruses, there are no hooks, some are over four minutes long and some are under 10 seconds and seeing as a lot of it was off the top of his head sometimes there’s lines that are brilliant and some that are not, but always it’s honest.
The title of the CD is “Guilty cigars, angry bullets and assorted heartbreaks”.
When Doug was a teenager his dream was to be a professional drummer. He had goals, he had plans and he was following them full-steam ahead. He had just taken promo pictures and was recording a drumming demo to help get him hired. Him and a friend went to New Orleans one night to see some bands and they got held up by someone looking to rob them. They didn’t have much money so they ordered Doug to give up his keys and for one of them to get in the trunk. Doug was not getting in that trunk, put up a fight and got shot. The bullet is still in him, resting right on the nerves between the pelvic bone and spine of his right side. As a result, he has very little feeling in the lower half of the body.
This CD takes us through the struggles of that, then and now, failed relationship and successful ones. It’s beautiful. It’s like nothing you’ve ever heard. It will likely be released by the end of the year. To me it’s the kind of CD that changes lives and changes peoples direction. Some musicians will get a hold of this and it will change the path of their careers. I might be one of them.
P.S. Yes we know there’s a misspelling in that album cover. That was just a mock up he sent to me.