Doc MacLean will be performing a solo concert, playing his original songs and adaptations of classic blues tunes, playing bottleneck and standard guitar. While his lyrics are mainly contemporary, his approach as a guitarist-songster reflects not only his exposure to southern string bands and jug bands, but also to Delta players and storytellers such as Charlie Patton, Son House, and Sam Chatmon.. Since 1973 Doc MacLean has appeared at significant North American folk and blues festivals.
Now, marking 40 years on the blues highway, Doc’s work as a songwriter reflects his family roots in the labor movement, his time spent living and performing in the rural southern United States, and his personal connections to the oral and musical history of the Delta. He views his own compositions as part of an unbroken tradition. Now, America rediscovers its roots, new audiences are discovering Doc MacLean.
Exactly one year ago Doc MacLean played at the Gallery to an enthusiastic audience, with guest performer Morgan Davis.
Hailing from the Deep South (Mississippi), MacLean has played washboard, harmonica and guitar with most of the great original delta bluesmen. He has been band leader and recording artist for 30 years. His recent annual blues tours have been playing to full houses across Canada.
Son of a civil rights lawyer and a fiddle player, Doc MacLean was exposed to country blues and folklore at an early age. By his early teens he was performing in coffeehouses and festivals, and was appearing on radio and television variety shows. Answering the call of the road, Doc traded a guitar for a 1948 Dodge and set out to explore America.
In a relentless cross country ramble, Doc MacLean sought out every living old time blues player he could find : artists such as Son House, Tampa Red, .Sippi Wallace, Yank Rachel, Robert Pete Williams, Rev Robert Wilkins and Bukka White. With Colin Linden, he became a popular opener for Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Muddy Waters, and John Hammond, and he toured with many other well known old-time blues arists. 1First known for his work as an accompanist on harmonica and washboard, Doc proceeded to make his own mark as a guitarist, singer, arranger and band leader. For 15 years he toured a 9 piece Memphis- New Orleans jump band, Dr Limbo and His Fabulous Off-Whites, and released a number of singles- some of which achieved heavy regional and college airplay.