There are world musicians, and there are musicians of the world. In the case of Doug Cox, this extremely talented composer/multi-instrumentalist happens to be both.
As a young bluesman, this devotee of bottleneck slide guitar had a life-transforming when he first picked up the Dobro. That eerie, slightly plangent music resonated deep in his soul and changed everything.
Always a gifted guitarist, Doug immediately displayed a special affinity for this most expressive of instruments. His talent and passion proved nearly boundless, and before long he was playing and recording with masters such as Ellen McIlwaine and David Essig. Eventually his musical world expanded to include such diverse virtuosos as Indian slide guitarists Vishwa Mohan and Salil Bhatt, dearly departed bluesman Long John Baldry, guitar slinger Amos Garrett, Songwriter Chuck Brodsky and expat Rwandan The Mighty Popo.
His own bands and solo recordings display a similarly expansive arc, as the folk-blues of Bone Bottle Brass or Steel eventually led to old-timey supergroup Strung (Band of Gypsies – with Tony McManus and April Verch), New Orleans funk (Make A Better World – featuring John Boutte on Vocals), or countrified Austin Americana in company with BettySoo (Across The Borderline).
Doug has earned innumerable raves, from the BBC’s Bob Harris to magazines such as Guitar Player, he has long been an in-demand player on the Dobro, mandolin, Weissenborn, and the National Steel. His compositions and songs have been featured on many film and TV soundtracks, including Terry Gilliam’s Tideland, A&E’s Biography, Coyote Ugly, Steven Seagals: Lawman, Auction Kings, Breaking Amish, Call of the Wildman, Chasing Classic Cars, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and TV’s Duck Dynasty.
Doug was the first featured Dobro player ever booked by the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the first Canadian invited to play Dobrofest in Trnava in Slovakia, a unique festival set in the birthplace of the Dopyera brothers, the men who invented the Dobro nearly a century ago.
Either as solo performer or as guest artist, as a Producer, or when touring with longtime friends and colleagues, Doug embodies inventiveness and breathtaking musicality. Whether the performance calls for rootsy Americana, New Acoustic, or traditional blues with an African twist, Doug is an intuitive and gracious musical collaborator.
And more than just a performer, Doug is deeply embedded in the entire world of music. Aside from regularly teaching at music camps in Alaska, Texas, and England, he ran his own Malahat Mountain Music label for years and still produces records for the many musical friends he has made along his journey. He is also the producer and artistic director of Vancouver Island MusicFest, which is closing in on its 25th year and has long been one of Canada’s most popular and respected music events.
In 2017, Doug was inducted into the BC Music Hall of Fame as a Pioneer Star for his extensive body of work as a musician and producer. In 2018 he was awarded a spot in the Comox Valley Walk of Fame.
Since then, Doug has shared a Grammy Nomination for his work on San Antonio band, Los Texmaniacs recent CD and produced a CD in Nashville for his friend April Verch, bringing together a who’s who of the ‘real’ country music scene. Most recently, he produced the debut album for young Liam Docherty, which was just nominated for a Canadian Maple Blues Award.
Doug’s worked hard on his art and his craft, and you can hear it when he plays. You can also see it, in the names of the artists he’s making music with and the places he’s played and when you read between those lines, you know he’s earned the respect of his peers and a lot of very happy listeners. He is a catalyst among musicians and artists for many fascinating collaborations.
What a long, strange – and delightful – trip it continues to be!
DOUG COX DISCOGRAPHY
Doug’s Solo CD Projects
Canadian Borderline 1993
Bone Bottle Brass or Steel 1996
Life Is So Peculiar 1999 (on Cordova Bay/Ragged Pup Records)
Stay Lazy 2002
Without Words 2009 (on Black Hen Label)
Across The Borderline; Lie To Me 2011
More Lies, 2012 (on Netherland’s Continental Label)
with Slide To Freedom
Slide to Freedom (with guest VM Bhatt) 2007 (on Northern Blues Label)
Make a Better World 2009 (w guest vocalist John Boutte) -2009 JUNO NOMINEE – WORLD MUSIC ALBUM OF THE YEAR – (on Northern Blues Label)
20,000 Miles (w guests The Campbell Brothers, Calvin Cook & BettySoo) 2011 -(on Northern Blues Label)
with Strung (Doug with April Verch, Tony McManus and Cody Walters)
Band Of Gypsies 2009
with Sam Hurrie
Hungry Ghosts 2005 (on Northern Blues Label)
Blues From The Forbidden Plateau 2007
Revisited – 2013
Old Friends – 2017 (on Black Hen Label)
with Todd Butler
Live Blues 2002
Dobro and Guitar 2003 (named in top CDs 2003 Acoustic Guitar Magazine and Downbeat Magazine)
Select recordings with others
Travels With Charley – all recordings available
The Irish Rovers “The Boys Come Rollin Home” 1994
Will Millar “The Keeper” 1994
Bob Bossin “Gabriola V0R 1X0 ” 1994
Ken Hamm “Eagle Rock Road” 1995
Joel Fafard “Fierce Warmth” 1996
Diamond Joe White “Honestly” 1997
Cox-Bartley-Clifford “Highway 20” 1998
Resophonics Anonymous 2000
Six Strings North Of The Border 2001
Michael Messer “King Guitar” 2001
Caring For Our Coast 2001
Hornby Island Blues Camp 2002
Frank Hoorn “Solid Ground” 2002
Rhythm & Green – Cumberland Compilation 2002
Eric Westbury 2003
Rick Henry “Wide Open” 2004
Resophonics Anonymous – Relapse – 2004
Todd Butler – Idle Canadian – 2005
Layla Zoe – Shades of Blue – 2006
Lynne Hanson – Things I Miss – 2006
Frank Hoorn – Years In The Making – 2006
David Essig – Presbyterian Guitar – 2007
Dubblestandart – dub mix – 2007
Lynne Hanson – Eleven Months – 2008
Corinne West – The Promise – 2009
Bill Dalton – Grass Clippings – 2009
MAITRI – 2009
Leela Gilday – Calling All Warriors – 2010
Don Amero – I’m Going Home – 2010
Oh My Darling – In The Lonesome Hours – 2010
The Mighty Popo – Gakondo – 2010 (Juno Nominated)
Jamyang Yeshi – Demo Project – 2011
The Rakish Angles – Cottonwood Moon – 2011
Amy Cunningham – To The Stars We’ll Return – 2011
Shane Koyczan & Short Story Long – Remembrance Year – 2011
Linda McRae – Rough Edges & Ragged Hearts – 2012
Russ Kelley – Crazy Shades Of Blue – 2012
Barry Bruyere – Same Love – 2012
Marilyn Harper Smith – Before The Fall – 2012
Whit Hill – Count A Little Higher – 2012
Twin Peaks – Twin Peaks – 2012
Discreet Da Chosen 1 – A Midieval Romance – 2012
A Million Dollars In Pennies – 2012
Leonard Sumner – Rez Poetry – 2013
Familiar Wild – Dark Dreams – 2013
The O’Brien Family – Blue Cottage Music – 2014
Twin Peaks – Trouble – 2014
Peter Prince – Island Way – 2014
Kevin Mitchell – Home In The Sky – 2016
Quantum Tangle – Shelter as we Go – 2017
SantaFe- Sweet SantaFe – 2017
Annie Savage & Tracy Lynn – Two Coats – 2017
Dan Navarro – Shed My Skin – 2018
Los Texmaniacs – Cruzando Borders -2018 (Grammy Nominated!)
Big Little Lions – Inside Voice – 2019
David Gillis – Cooing with the Doves – 2020