Blues-Rocker Doug Henthorn Returns With ‘Three’: Review
Blues-rock musician Doug Henthorn may not have tip-of-your-tongue name recognition, but his musicianship has enabled him to perform/record with some stellar company. Joe Bonamassa, John Hiatt, Jason Bonham, and Beth Hart are just a few of the artists Henthorn has teamed up with over the years. And after more than a decade as part of Healing Sixes, Henthorn concentrated on his solo career. In 2016 he released his first solo album titled Cold Medicine. While going through some possible end of life health issues, Henthorn continued writing but after recovering, didn’t feel like that material any longer reflected his mindset. Instead, in 2019 his second release The LLC, provided a different vision of barebones rock and ‘alternative blues’. Then came the pandemic.
“After releasing my first solo record ‘Cold Medicine’ (2016), I encountered some health issues and found myself contemplating end of life scenarios. I was writing a lot of material in this time period but didn’t feel right about releasing it after my recovery. I released ‘The LLC’ (my second solo release) instead. With the onset of the pandemic, lockdowns and isolation, I found myself contemplating again- adding to the material I’d compiled years earlier, and wanting to release this material. It feels right to release now. It’s a bit dark and obviously contemplative, but really a very positive and hopeful record. Sometimes dark, sometimes poking fun at myself, from mellow and somber to straight up hard rock, I feel it’s the most honest record I’ve done to date.”
His latest full-length album, Three, is due for release on May 6, 2022 and contains ten original songs as well as three interesting covers. Starting off, “Set Em Up Throw Em Back Knock Em Down,” is a laid back, singing on the front porch kind of tune. A song of memories and movin’ on, it has a less is more approach. Just enough instrumentation, just enough background vocals, just enough to make you listen and appreciate all of it.
Next up is Henthorn’s take on “Drive” by The Cars. It’s a bit more uptempo and a bit less melancholy than the original with some uplifting guitar worked in. Interesting interpretation. The first single off the album, “Forewarned And Failing” is a rocker, sweet and simple. It has a bit of a Molly Hatchet old time taste where everything is running full on. Foot tappin’ to be sure.
The second cover is “Wasted Time” by The Eagles. Of the 3 covers, it’s the closest to the original in concept and delivery. It also seems to be the song which is closest to Henthorn’s natural feel for music.
“So Long, Goodbye” is possibly the most upbeat breakup song you’re likely to hear. Maybe because it’s the right path to take, but everything about this tune is light and positive. As with every track on the album, the balance of instruments works really well.
The final cover song is The Beatles’ “Across The Universe.” It’s always interesting to me why an artist chooses a specific song to cover and while “Drive” and “Wasted Time” aren’t a stretch for Henthorn to pick, Universe might be. He does stretch out his guitar work and the production. His interpretation is not as spacey as The Beatles’ version and sends out a vibe of contentment.
The album ends with the rocker, “Devil’s Come Home.” He throws in full-out vocals and some heavy guitar, with bass and drums to match. It’s as if Doug Henthorn has put an exclamation point on the album.
Many self-produced albums are way too much about the self and too little attention to the overall production. Three has great equity between the instruments, and this Indiana native has a great feel for putting it all together. Well done.
Release May 6, 2022. Check your streaming platforms.
Post by Kath Galasso @KatsTheory
Official Website: www.doughenthorn.com
Doug Henthorn: Voice and Guitars
Tim Fuller: Bass
Travis Feaster: Guitars
Troye Kinnett: Keys
Brian Yarde, Devon Ashley, Wade Parish:Drums
1: Set Em Up, Throw Em Back, Knock Em Down
3: Fate of None
4: Forewarned and Failing
5: Wasted Time
6: Counting Down Every Minute
7: So Long, Goodbye
8: The Tourist
9: Across the Universe
10: Devil’s Come Home