Stuart Douglas

 

Stuart Douglas is an Alabama based singer, songwriter, and musician. Growing up in Louisiana and the Mississippi delta, he was drawn to music at an early age, teaching himself to play guitar at the age of 8. His family moved to Alabama in his early teens and soon Stuart was playing and touring with various black gospel groups and choirs. He began writing songs and in 1997 released his first album of songs titled "Pocket Savior". Douglas performed all instruments on this record. The album soon garnered college radio airplay and became a regional hit. Douglas formed the band Late Night Breakfast to play live shows and promptly sold out the historic Dekalb Theatre on the tour’s  first night. He would release one album with the band , 1998's "Better Than This" featuring an album cover by renowned folk artist Howard Finster (Talking Heads, REM). Douglas relocated the band to Atlanta, Ga and started touring the southeast. In 1999 with the decade ending, Douglas left the band in search of a new sound moving into a house that had been converted into a studio with fellow musician James Roberts. These sessions led to the release of his third album "Walking In On America" in 2001. "WIOA" received great reviews and in Stuart's words was "a love letter to my childhood in rural Louisiana." Deeply roots based,  it yielded college radio staples "Shatter", "Aint life a drag (when you can't get high?) and the fan favorite "Beautiful Girl." Forming Stuart Douglas Band, Douglas toured for the next 4 years to support the album  while writing songs for his next project. That project would be his 4th album the critically acclaimed "Eden Slips Away" (2007) recorded in Birmingham with Eric Watters producing. After touring to promote "Eden", Douglas took some time off to deal with a pair of tragedies, the loss of his sister to breast cancer, and the sudden death of close friend and band mate Donnie Wells. "It was just too much" Douglas says. "I needed some time to heal in between the deaths of Peggy and Donnie, and then my mom became seriously ill. I had been touring for 12 years straight. I needed to slow down and examine my life. I thought I was taking a year off and the next thing I knew 8 years had passed. I still wrote and played for my friends, but other than a few showcases I didn't tour or record. I was miserable. I knew I needed to be doing what I was put on this earth to do but I didn't know how to start over." That changed in early 2018 when Alabama Music hall of fame member Russell Gulley called to ask Douglas to do a concert for Radio Vizions, an affiliate of Alabama Public Radio. The concert was held at Fort Payne's Historic Coal and Iron Building and was a huge success selling out months in advance. Douglas spent the rest of 2018 playing music festivals and prepping material for a new album. “This Fire Has Started “ was released in 2020.  The album features 15 tracks consisting of 13 brand new songs, a live acoustic version of a fan favorite, as well as a previously unreleased track. Douglas has plans to release a full acoustic version of the album at a later date. “I’m very proud of this album”, says Douglas. “Unlike previous albums where the songs took shape by playing them in front of an audience night after night, this experience was a lot different. I wrote these songs and brought them to Eric and we built them piece by piece. We had no preconception of where they would take us or how they should sound. I was working with some amazing musicians and we just let each song go in the direction that felt natural. We also took care to cut out anything that we didn’t feel was essential, so the songs get to the point and don’t wear out their welcome. I wanted this album to be fun and I think we succeeded. “ The album is a rock record with pop sensibilities and has something for everyone. There are catchy hooks, rockers, love songs , as well as some of the dark undertones that Douglas is known for.

 

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