Doug Spears' deep sense of place and love of his native Florida stride to center stage of the national folk and acoustic music scene with Welcome Home. Doug has been described as having “sand in his boots and orange blossom honey in his throat” and Welcome Home, his star-studded new release on the Cypress Moss Records label, proves the point. Thirteen original songs, plus a special bonus track, deliver vivid images, colorful characters and fascinating tales in the words of a master storyteller and the music of a latter day minstrel – Florida's Native Troubadour.
“Stellar songwriting, perfect vocals, superb musicians and masterful production combine to create a rare album. This is not Margaritaville, it's a whole lot better.”
- Don Sechelski - 01/24/2010 - The Muse’s Muse
This music isn't about the Florida of Disney World, Margaritaville and spring break. These songs speak of the real Florida, the largely unknown and unsung Florida, seen through the eyes of a fourth generation native son. It is the Florida of the tenacious “cracker” that finds a way to survive and thrive no matter what in Yellow Butter Moon and Marker 26. It's a state with a fascinating history of achievement, tragedy, hardship and even shame revealed in Steam Train, Hemingway's Hurricane, Teppintine and A Mother's Tears. It is the great beauty and natural wonders celebrated in Withlacoochee Dreamer and Big Bald Cypress. It is the disappearing wild paradise lamented in On the Other Side and Okeechobee. It is a very personal view of Florida as home, not destination, in This Old House.
Welcome Home is the masterful result of the collaboration of Spears, the songwriter, storyteller and performer, and Jason Thomas, the consummate musician, arranger and producer. Conceived as an album to portray Florida as it truely is, not as it is often perceived, the album blends the finest from Florida's considerable reservoir of musical talent with some of the most celebrated acoustic musicians that Nashville has to offer. As fiddle and mandolin player for the Grammy nominated Claire Lynch Band, Jason Thomas brought his own talents as well as those of Claire Lynch, Missy Raines, Rob Ickes, Jim Hurst, Mark Schatz and Kenny Malone to the project to compliment the contributions of Florida musicians Lis & Lon Williamson, Gabe Valla, Bob Rafkin and many more. The result is a show piece of exceptional musicianship, tight arrangements and varying styles produced superbly to elevate and support the songs delivered through Doug's distinct, rich vocals and guitar.
A seasoned performer, touring throughout the South and the Mid-West, Doug Spears has invested more than 35 years honing his craft and with each song bite, the rich flavors penetrate the listening palate. Born in Leesburg, a small town in West Central Florida, Doug's best childhood memories tie back to the farm house his grandfather built in the 1920's (the cracker house depicted on the cover of Welcome Home). 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. The finest blend of musician and storyteller, Doug's native southern roots flow through his music revealing the history, values and perspectives that define him.
Kari Estrin Management & Consulting
“...likely to be one of our top 30 picks for 2010.”
Al Kniola, Host, The Back Porch,
88.1 WVPE Public Radio, South Bend, IN
“Great stories, great characters, strong vocals,
“There's nothing neon about this music, it is rooted in the real Florida. If you think that roots don't run deep in sandy soil, think again.”