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Music Review

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Artist: Douglas Keith
Label: The Village Label
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 11 February 2014

Douglas Keith's new album, Pony is so named because Keith states that a pony will work, nonstop, until it physically cannot work anymore - a bit like him.

Douglas Keith's first touring gig was playing bass for San Francisco-based punk band The Gods Hate Kansas. After the band broke up Keith moved to New York City, lending his guitar and bass skills to various bands all the while pursuing his own music.

While busy touring solo, he was keen to tour and collaborate with others again. Then in 2009 he toured with Sharon Van Etten, and the two clicked and they've been playing together ever since.

For Pony, Keith enlisted Van Etten band mate Zeke Hutchins to play drums, and brothers Brad and Phil Cook from the North Carolina band Megafaun to play bass and keyboards. He also enlisted another Van Etten band mate, Heather Woods Broderick, to sing backing vocals.

Wanting a J.Mascis-esque solo for the song 'Pure Gold in the ‘70s', Van Etten dared Keith to go ahead and ask Mascis, who they'd recently met on tour. To Keith’s surprise, Mascis agreed to do it.

Obvious influences include Neil Young and The National, Dinosaur Jr., Dylan & The Band, Husker Du and Fugazi. There's also nods to the work of Elizabeth Cotten and Drivin’ N’ Cryin. The guitar solo on 'Pure Gold in the '70s' is very reminiscent of the Lou Reed/John Cale album Songs for Drella.

The album contains 9 tracks (39 min) with highlights including the mellow 'Harvest Home'; the catchy 'I Will Burn For You'; and the toe-tapping 'The Weather's F*cking Awful'.


Nick Smithson

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