If you’ve read Nine Bullets at all in the last year or so there’s no doubt you’ve heard the name McDougall. He’s a favorite of several of the writers, myself included, yet because he lives in the Pacific Northwest the chances to see him live are few and far between. Or nonexistent.
Last night I drove 65 miles south to Denver because McDougall was passing through on his way to SXSW. I had never heard of the bar and didn’t know the area but he was playing first and it was only six dollars and I didn’t have anything else to do so I made that drive.
There was a photo we posted on the site a while back and it also made the rounds on facebook and twitter. It showed a band playing their guts out to one guy standing in front of them. Well that’s exactly what happened last night. I heard McDougall playing when I reached the door, I payed the cover and walked in. The place was empty, and when I say empty I mean there was a bartender and four or so guys sitting in booths opposite of the stage area. I later learned they were the other band. I got a beer and straight to the stage.
Shortly after I reached the stage McDougall finished the song he was playing. I clapped and the other band clapped. I said, “I’m just going to stand here if you don’t mind.” McDougall said he didn’t mind. And that’s how things went for the next half hour or so. McDougall fucking played the shit out of his guitar, bass drum, high hat and banjo and it was awesome. Not a single song he played was on his album A Few Towns More, but it didn’t matter because everything he played was great and I was rocking as much as I rock.
After he finished I introduced myself and mentioned that I wrote for Ninebullets. We talked a bit and McDougall seemed like a good dude and didn’t really seem to mind that I was the only one listening.
Here’s the thing. I don’t think anyone in the Ninebullets office has talked about it but I think to several of us McDougall is a kind of a mythical musician. I think part of it is that his record is so ridiculously good yet next to no one outside of the Pacific Northwest knows he exists. His singing and playing is captivating and all of his songs are about travel or optimistic restlessness, almost like he might just move on to somewhere else and never be seen from again. Or that he might not even exist at all. Now I’ve seen the guy and talked to him and I’m still not convinced he does exist.
Here are the remainder of McDougall’s tour dates. If he’s hitting your neck of the woods go be his Bobby.
Thu, 07 Mar – Denver, CO – Quixote’s
Fri, 08 Mar – Colorado Springs, CO – Front Range Barbeque
Sat, 09 Mar – Amarillo, TX – The 806 coffee + lounge
Tue, 12 Mar – Austin, TX – Firehouse Hostel and Lounge
Wed, 13 Mar – Austin, TX – The Grackle
Wed, 13 Mar – Austin, TX – Firehouse Hostel and Lounge
Fri, 15 Mar – Austin, TX – Frontier Bar
Tue, 19 Mar – Tucson, AZ – The Sculpture Resource Center
Fri, 22 Mar – Long Beach, 98631 – The Pickled Fish @ Adrift Hotel
Sun, 24 Mar – Astoria, OR – Fort George Brewery