Because Songs Matter



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.

McDougall - A Few Towns More     

McDougall - 18 Days Of Rain     

McDougall - 48 Reasons     

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


  1. Chris Green Chris Green
    March 7, 2013    

    Nice to see one of our coolest PacNW musicians sharing his talent with the rest of the country!

    He’ll also be at Muddy Roots in Cookeville, TN on Labor day weekend and At the Farmageddon festival in Montana at the end of July.

  2. March 7, 2013    

    I’ve been “Bobby” at way too many shows for great performers. Wish that wasn’t the case, but sometimes that’s just the way it is. Thanks for being there. Hope this encourages a few others to go be “Bobby” when they can.

    Love McDougall and hope to see him in MN.

  3. Saxtor Saxtor
    March 7, 2013    

    A few years back, I was watching random freight-hopping videos on YouTube (what else?!), and heard a song that completely, absolutely moved me. The song was “By Way of the Barrel Tree” on this video. A while later, he opened for another PNW band, Hillstomp, in Bellingham, WA. At that show, I bought all the music he had for sale.

    So when I saw he was playing in my new home, NYC, I made a point of going. It was one of those shows you see a lot of in the city, random bands selected for no other reason than they were free that night, with only their 3 best friends in the crowd, and a ton of other people there for no other reason than a no cover bar to drink in, that happens to also have some music. I’m not sure anyone was there to see McDougall, other than me and the friends I had talked him up to. But it was a great set. I made a point of chatting after the show, told him the above story, and thanked him for playing.

  4. Doug Doug
    March 7, 2013    

    My old band played with the band from that picture! They are called The Worthmores, and they are from Cincinnati. Pretty good pop punk if you are into that sort of thing. My old band played way too many shows like that, including the one we played with them.

  5. Phineas Phineas
    March 7, 2013    

    Hopefully every 9B reader is “Bobby” regularly, I know I am….if it weren’t for Bobby they’d have to play an empty venue! Saw Grayson Capps last Sunday (was awesome btw really great guy all around) and was one of maybe 20 people there…it was written up in our local weekly newspaper & everything. Anyways in a 200-300 person venue 20 folks (5+ probably worked there) is like a herd/fleet/school version of Bobby.

    My point being….go to EVERY SHOW you possibly can! Please!

  6. Timmy Timmy
    March 8, 2013    

    I’ve seen McDougall in Santa Cruz and Los Angeles and he is amazing! I’m not surprised you made a drive for this one. His music and songwriting makes me want to travel and meet people, trade in my personal junk for a life on the road. I’ll look him up in Long Beach on March 22nd.

  7. Gabriel Gabriel
    March 8, 2013    


    Great writeup, Charles. I could hear it in your voice. I know what you mean about him being mythical, I felt much the same way about Tim Barry.

    Don’t get your hopes up, Timmy…turns out it’s Long Beach, Washington, not down here in SoCal.

  8. March 9, 2013    

    Does this dude have a website? Or a place to buy his albums. I’ve heard them digitally, but I’d love something physical. Thanks!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.