It was worth the wait.

I’ve been aware for a while that Doug was working on a new album, and I’d bug him every now and then, asking how the new CD was coming.

Doug Yeomans

Well, I got it. And it’s a winner!  In a perfect world, with all the guests on this album and the great songs, “Friends and Heroes” would be a national release garnering a lot of attention.  It should be showing up, at least, on the Americana Music Association website and email network.

For now, however, what’s happening is a show on Saturday, Feb. 4, at the West Falls Center for the Arts called “Doug Yeomans: Past, Present and Future.”

Doug will be joined by some of the best musicians in Buffalo; Jim Whitford, Steve Sadoff, Cathy Carfagna and John Bacon. They will be playing songs from the new CD, two of Doug’s past albums, and there will be a couple young people sitting in to emphasize the great amount of talent blossoming in WNY.

I hope you’re reading this on Feb. 2. You should get tickets immediately, if there are any left; this will be a memorable show.

Yeomans has certainly been one of the best guitarists in Buffalo for over 50 years, maybe the best.  He’s been a guitar hero since the ‘70s for his own bands and has joined in with many others groups.

One of the songs on “Friends and Heroes” is “A Fender Telecaster Guitar,” a story about Doug getting his first Telecaster at age 14.

Doug has played everywhere in Western New York but has also done national tours, including being part of the “Ring of Fire” touring production, and he’s taught and performed at repeated workshops in Tennessee.

He was named best guitarist in 2001 at the WNED Buffalo Niagara Guitar Festival’s North American Rock Guitar Competition.  He plays it all: blues, bluegrass, rock ‘n roll, rockabilly and anything that comes his way with the Twang Gang.  He has played with Levon Helm, he played with Buffalo legend Stan Szelest for five years, he’s the Musical Director of Buffalo’s The Last Waltz and he was named the SAM Foundation’s Americana Music Pioneer of the Year in 2019.  His previous albums are “First Flight” in 2002, “Down to the Roots” in 2005 and “The Acoustic Album” in 2006.

He has a great resume, a brilliant career in music, and is still a dynamic performer every week in many different venues, but none of that prepared me for how much I like the new album, “Friends and Heroes.”

It’s a guitar lovers’ album, with a who’s who collection of guest stars to help Doug deliver these songs.  The internationally renowned Albert Lee ( who played with Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton and many more).  The incredible Bill Kirchen, who regularly includes the Sportsmen’s Tavern on his tours.  Western swing and honky-tonk guitarist Redd Volkaert … Kirchen and Redd are known as the Telecaster Twins. … Pete Anderson, from Dwight Yoakam’s band, national flatpicking champion Tyler Grant and more, including local stars Pete Holguin, Ray Hangen, Robert Parker, Ed Croft and the Sportsmen’s own Dwane Hall.

There’s more but I don’t want to ruin your experience of reading the liner notes with the CD.  The CD was recorded at Sessions Studio in Black Rock and produced by Dwane Hall and Doug Yeomans.  Dwane Hall’s contributions as producer, and recording engineer with Jason Hall, to getting this album completed were instrumental, so to speak, and Doug refers to Dwane as the driving force behind the album.

Eight of the ten songs were written by Doug, one by Buck Owens and one by Albert Lee.  Doug sings on a couple but the rest are instrumentals and what killer songs they all are; in addition to Telecaster guitars, bass and drums, there are horns, piano and organ and some acoustic and steel guitar.   This is an impressive, upbeat collection featuring exceptional musicians.  The dual guitars that fuel all the songs, with a great band backing them up, make for an infectious and compelling mix.  These songs will get you jumpin’ and should be heard loud.  Get your own copy of “Friends and Heroes” and turn it up!

Bob McLennan

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