Doug MacLeod, the four-time W.C. Handy Nominee who has songs on two Grammy-nominated albums, was born in New York City, spent his formative years in North Carolina, moved back to New York, and was in his teens when his family moved to St. Louis, where he first heard the blues. In the mid-’60s he enlisted in the Navy, and while stationed at Norfolk, Virginia, began to play acoustic country blues in the coffeehouses in Virginia and Maryland. During this time he met the one-eyed Blues-man Ernest Banks who taught him not only the music of the blues, but the philosophy of the blues.
“Never Play a Note You Don’t Believe” and “Never Write or Sing About What You Don’t Know About”‘ came from those “countrified teachings”. Following his service in the Navy, Doug attended school, played the blues guitar part in the show “Grease”, explored jazz, and toured with Mary MacGregor supporting her number-one hit, “Torn Between Two Lovers”. After a meeting with Shakey Jake Harris in 1977, Doug returned to his roots and began playing the blues in the Los Angeles area.
Doug’s reputation as a superb guitar player spread quickly as he played with such blues giants as Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, Big Mama Thornton, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, and Big Joe Turner. Also in Los Angeles, he met the legendary George “Harmonica” Smith, who became not only one of his best friends, but also a mentor and major influence on his music and his life.