Doug Spears

Florida's Native Troubadour

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With sand in his boots and orange blossom honey in his throat Doug Spears’ fourth generation native Florida roots flow through his music revealing the history, values and perspectives that define him. The finest blend of storyteller and musician, Doug’s songs reach out like long-forgotten picture postcards discovered on a rainy afternoon, subtly and artfully telling universal stories of complex characters in often difficult circumstances that go straight to the heart of audiences of all ages and don’t let up, from start to finish. A seasoned performer and touring troubadour, Spears has invested more than 30 years developing his distinctive craft and with each song bite, the rich flavors penetrate the listening palate. Often drawing comparisons to some of the best known and well established artists of the genre Doug has carved a special niche for himself in folk and Americana music.
 
Doug was born in Leesburg, Florida and his best childhood memories tie back to the farm house his grandfather built in Lake County in the 1920's. He took up the guitar at age 12, learning on an old Gibson J-45 loaned to him by a family friend, and soon began writing his own songs heavily influenced by the wealth of songwriter poets of the time. Doug's song craft matured into a skillful weaving of lyric portraits capturing the essence of the often joyous though sometimes difficult aspects of our lives. Of his Florida homeland, he sings of the unsung and often undiscovered heart of Florida, before Disney World and Margaritaville, a simpler place covered by thousands of acres of palmetto scrub, citrus groves, family farms and cattle range. The Florida that so few know and appreciate.
 
In 2005 Spears released his debut CD, Truths & Lies, widely praised for its song craft and musicianship. In 2007 he followed with Break Some Stones, a “live in the studio” solo recording. Chosen by Florida Times Union columnist Ron Johnson as his 2007 CD Release of the Year, Break Some Stones showcases Doug just as you’d hear him at a live show. Released internationally in January 2010 to folk, acoustic and Americana radio, Doug's latest recording, Welcome Home, showcases the very best of Doug’s regional Florida material produced for a national audience. Produced by long time friend Jason Thomas and promoted to folk, acoustic and Americana radio by Kari Estrin Management & Consulting in Nashville, Welcome Home, features a stellar, internationally known cast of supporting musicians including Claire Lynch, Missy Raines, Rob Ickes, Jim Hurst, Mark Schatz, Kenny Malone and Jason Thomas, as well as some of the very best of Florida’s wealth of musical talent.
 
Welcome Home has brought Doug a lot of attention in 2010.  The album immediately broke to the top of the International Folk DJ Radio Charts at #3 in January and is maintaining position to finish in the top 100 albums of the year.  It was also included on the Preliminary Grammy Ballot in three categories after passing through the committee's submission review process.  The opening track of the album, "Yellow Butter Moon," was named runner-up in 2010 as the best new country / bluegrass song by the Interantional Acoustic Music Awards and "A Mother's Tears" was included in a select sampler produced by Poetman Records for distribution worldwide to Americana Radio.


 

 

Sample Recognition and Awards

Winner of the American Songwriter Magazine Lyrics Contest July / August 2007 - "Break Some Stones" and Honorable Mention Sept / Oct - "Sinner's Song"

Will McLean Award – 1997 Banks of the Old St. Johns, 2008 Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams

Florida Times Union CD of the Year 2007 – Break Some Stones

Billboard World Song Competition 2006 – Honorable Mention Top 500 Songs for each of This Old House, Annie’s Chairs and It Must Be You.

Quotes

". . . a rich earthiness to his playing that recalls that of Gordon Lightfoot and a gruffer James Taylor", Creative Loafing Tampa

"... an impressive combination of economical wordplay and simple, evocative melodies." Jim Abbott, The Orlando Sentinel.

". . . an amazing songwriter!" Marilyn Duncan, Soona Songs, Dallas, Tx.

"Doug Spears . . . [is] an accomplished songwriter , and . . . Truths & Lies, is burnished like an old hardwood floor. . . . With a voice reminiscent of John Denver and a full acoustic backup band, Spears has put out a folk/Americana disc that's as enjoyable for the local storytelling as it is for the musicianship." Bob Whitby - Orlando Weekly.

" . . . definitely a complete artist--voice, guitar, writing, and stage presence all blend seamlessly and comfortably" says Rocco Colello, Colello Promotions, Tampa, Fl.

“His impeccable musicianship, heartfelt songwriting and warm and entertaining stage presence are welcome at Lena's Place anytime!" Steve Wells, Lena's Place Coffeehouse, Atlanta, Ga.

"Lightfoot meets Taylor w/ the smooth vocal delivery of Gene Watson, bravo!" LeAnna Mosely, Music Moonk Music, Virginia.

“Doug’s words and music go straight to the heart and he doesn’t let up, from start to finish.” Ron Johnson, Florida Times Union

". . . it just doesn't get any better than Doug Spears. He is a poet!" Greg Abate, Who’s Next?: A Music Review e-zine, Los Angeles, CA.