Benjamin Jason Douglas (from the album First World Blues available on Flour Sack Cape Records)
Disintegrating relationships, graveyards and traveling churches have never been so subtly funny. The stories, delivered by Nashville by way of Baltimore based musician Benjamin Jason Douglas, are a woven narrative of strife delivered with a wry smile though an obvious sense of sadness from a narrator teeming with optimism. First World Blues is a gothic electric-folk album, ten tracks of dark humor that move along with the simple melodic structure of insert-your-favorite-folkies-name-here or the chug of a roots-rock band.
The record opens with “Tent Pole,” a bouncer that speaks a wish, wanting to ‘be the tent-pole in the big tent revival’. When the tent is a church and you’re the tent-pole, you solidify a forever presence. ‘I’m in no hurry to get to where I’ve already been’ is the motif of “Doc Red Blues,” a slow-moving dose of acoustic blues, a lyrical admission of surrendering to the reality of having zero control of your past while looking forward to the future. “Tchoupitoulas” is the road tune of the bunch, brimming with the idea of anywhere is better than here with promises that the late-night will be perfect, the girl is waiting for you, and the possibilities of good are endless. First World Blues features a decent dose of folk-jangle and blues, nailing the idea that situations he is singing about will be funny sometime in the future. Benjamin Jason Douglas’ husky growl is the perfect vehicle for his tales, ripe with lines like ‘I woke up feeling more alone than an Elliot Smith song’ that all live comfortably right in the middle of heart-ache and hilarity.
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