Wilkes-Barre blues trio to release new music in local stores and online
One of Wilkes-Barre’s own original bands is poised to release a new recording that salutes legends in its genre while hinting at what’s to come for the outfit.
Blues power-trio Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen will release “Blues I,” a collection of four traditional blues covers and one original song, for the first time on Saturday. It will be available in hard copy exclusively at the Briggs Farm Blues Festival in Nescopeck, where the band will be performing a 2:45 p.m. set on the Back Porch.
Following the festival debut, “Blues I” will be available Tuesday on digital platforms iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and other online distributors. Physical copies will be in stock at Gallery of Sound and Music Go Round in Wilkes-Barre Township.
Douglas & The Gentlemen selected songs by John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Albert King and Freddie King to be featured on the album.
“We chose songs that felt right, and we wanted to pay homage to the greats,” guitarist and vocalist Dustin Douglas said. “(The covers) are true to form, but when The Electric Gentlemen play a tune, it’s going to sound like The Electric Gentlemen playing a tune. We have our stamp now, a sound that’s recognizable.”
Douglas said “Blues I” is the first release in a series of EPs that will reinterpret traditional blues tunes.
“Being in the blues scene, it’s a cover-heavy scene,” Douglas said referring to the tradition of blues artists revisiting genre standards.
Douglas said the first track, an arrangement of Hooker’s “Boom Boom” challenged him to use his voice differently.
“It’s a different vocal register for me; it’s lower and it was refreshing,” he said. “In that way, I think the songs brought a different part of us out too.”
The original song that ends the EP, “No More Tears To Cry,” was originally recorded as a studio exclusive during an acoustic session with fellow Wilkes-Barre musician Jordan Ramirez at his Kingston studio Going UP? Records.
The Genlemen began rotating the song into their live sets, but the “Blues I” version of the tune is the first full-band rendition recorded.
“It’s a classic, heartbreak blues song, but it has a Southerny Black Crowes vibe to it,” Douglas said. “It’s one of the better things we’ve done. It closes the EP with a to-be-continued kind of deal.”
For more information, dustindouglasmusic.com.
Reach Matt Mattei at 570-991-6651 or on Twitter @TimesLeaderMatt.