Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Doug Bryan: Mad Love

Way back in the 1980s, I was a big Paul Weller fan. Starting with his hard-edged punk riffs from his early years with The Jam and later as he became the Soul-infused conscience of Brit Pop with The Style Council, I loved his music.

So did Doug Bryan. So much so that the Dallas rocker named his band Big Boss Groove after one Weller's Style Council hits.

Doug and I have that in common -- we like the pop music, whether it is Paul Weller, Lennon and McCartney, Squeeze, XTC or Crowded House. We say bring it.

The big difference between me and Doug as that where I like the music, he can actually play it. And I mean play it.

Doug did alright for himself with Big Boss Groove. But after marrying fellow bandmate Jill Johnson, life intruded a bit. Doug owns a successful post-production shop in Uptown and he and Jill have a pistol of a little girl. But business and family life don't leave too much time for rocking out. So the music went on the back burner for a while.

But now Doug is back with his new album, Mad Love, a delightful piece of musical candy that reminds me a lot of Paul McCartney, except that it is actually good. Exhibit A, B and C: The first three tracks on the album -- "Long Gone," "Brand New Heartbeat" and "Hattie's Coming Home." You know you've heard these riffs and musical textures before from years of listening to classic rock radio, but Doug manages to take it apart and re-assemble it in a way that sounds new and fresh. And he gets BIG points from me for one line alone in the song "Know It All" -- "She loves Al Green, Martin Sheen and Robert Duvall". Freaking brilliant. Pop music for grown-ups. What a concept!

To read more about Doug, check out this feature from Lakewood Now. Or, better yet, join him on Friday night at Club Dada for his record release party. They'll go on after the Beatles cover band Hard Night's Day finish their weekly happy hour set sometime after 9.

Doug's record is available for purchase in Dallas at Good Records, CD World, and CD Source. You can also order the CD at or you can download it at iTunes or at

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