Tom Doughty | The Bell

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Blues: Slide Guitar Blues Folk: Fingerstyle Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Bell

by Tom Doughty

Acoustic Lap slide mania with feeling to spare and a voice full of warmth and emotion
Genre: Blues: Slide Guitar Blues
Release Date: 

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  song title
1. Banty Rooster
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4:15 album only
2. Tell Me
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2:55 album only
3. Under The Bright Moon
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2:49 album only
4. Come On In My Kitchen
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3:57 album only
5. Sleepwalk
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2:10 album only
6. Built Right On The Ground
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3:06 album only
7. Into The Bong
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3:24 album only
8. Mama In The Kitchen
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2:33 album only
9. Ben Hall
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3:06 album only
10. Been On The Road So Long
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2:37 album only
11. Come Back Baby
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3:00 album only
12. I'll Make Love To You Anytime
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1:55 album only
13. The Bell
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3:23 album only
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Album Notes
There are countless musicians on the planet, all soaking up sounds from the ether. And though many are very, very good, rather fewer have that certain something which makes them special. It’s impossible to describe on paper, instead it has to be felt. So check out Tom Doughty – and the chances are that you too will hear something that makes scalps tingle….
“I was lucky to be around at a time when music was being liberated,” say Tom, “I was only seven, going on eight, when there was this explosion of tremendous stuff from every quarter. The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and others were literally electrifying, whilst on the acoustic front the likes of Davy Graham, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Martin Carthy, Nic Jones and Wizz Jones were doing absolutely astonishing things with the guitar. Then there were the great blues artists like Howlin’ Wolf, Big Bill Broonzy and John Lee Hooker, as well as troubadours like Woody Guthrie, Dave van Ronk and of course a young Bob Dylan. What they had in common was a tremendous love of music coupled with a willingness to challenge the rules and artificial boundaries. I wanted to learn from all of them, without ever falling into the trap of simply being a mimic….”
By the time he was seventeen, Tom was an accomplished finger-style guitarist and mandolin player on his local folk club circuit, ready to take the next stride forward. But fate intervened when a motor-cycle accident resulted in a permanent spinal injury and extensive damage to his hands, which is just about every musicians worst nightmare: “It was a dark time, with the uncertainty about what I would be able to do on a guitar in the future being really difficult to deal with. What helped keep me going was the determination to find a way to play. It took a long time and a lot of false dawns – plus of course my career in Social work put things on hold, but in the last few years it’s all come together – and in a way that others seem to connect with.”
As those others include guitar maestros Woody Mann, Bob Brozman and Debashish Bhattachryra it’s fair to say that Tom has a bit more than mere technical ability to show for his efforts. Using his own style of finger-picks and a glass/metal slide of his own design, Tom draws on the blues and other forms to create a distinctive and compelling soundscape that appeals across the spectrum. “I’ve always liked to go back to the kind of things that innovators like Charley Patton and Robert Johnson did, in part because their music is timeless, though mostly it’s because there is huge scope to present it in ways that people maybe haven’t heard before. It’s the same with more contemporary writers like Randy Newman and Lennon/McCartney – my take on ‘Eleanor Rigby’ seems to have struck a chord with audiences everywhere, which I’m dead chuffed about. And of course I also do a lot of my own material, so hopefully there’s something for everybody.”
With two critically acclaimed CDs – The Bell and the recently re-launched Running Free already available, Tom is busy putting a third together. But much as he enjoys what the studio has to offer, playing live is his passion: “Every artist will tell you that an audience makes a difference. I’ve had the privilege of appearing at events like the International Guitar Festival and have also performed in North America, Europe and India. Sometimes it’s to festival crowds, sometimes in small clubs and at workshops, but it’s always special, always a privilege.”
Tom’s experiences, his take on music and his rare artistic ability could fill volumes, but maybe Michael Prince’s review best sums it all up – ‘Tom’s music is organic and free. A must see performer.’


to write a review

David Anastasia

For Whom "The Bell" Tolls
I first met Tom Doughty this past summer at I.G.S. (International Guitar Seminars) at Columbia University, in New York. I was fortunate enough to hear Tom play during the week long guitar camp. At the time he had a cd of some of his previous work, and I believe I was lucky enough to get the last copy he had with him. He told me he was working on a new cd, and would let me know when it was completed. Tom returned to England and we exchanged emails over the months. Then not long ago I received one of his emails informing me that his new cd "The Bell" was complete, and ready for distribution. Again, I was lucky enough to get an early copy, which Tom inscribed for me. From the moment of the first notes of the first song, I knew this cd was going to be a great one. "The Bell" has it all. Excellent vocal work, and a slide playing technique that is absolutely entrancing. Each song has its own special quality. Tom's material ranges from pre war delta blues, to 50's instrumental music, to original compositions. I've heard Kelly Joe Phelps, Orville Johnson, and Dan Bonis, but Tom's style is completely unique and has a place of its own. The slide work takes your mind, and emotions, through a mystical, magical journey. There is a very honest beauty to Tom's approach, and it comes through very clearly on this cd. I highly recommend "The Bell" to anyone who follows lap style guitar. No disappointment here, just top shelf creativity from an exceptional artist. Tom has a great future in this medium, I suggest we all support his efforts. This cd is definitely a first step in doing so.

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Doug Galloway

A Wonderful Recording
Tom Doughty's The Bell is a Wonderful Recording. Excellent song selection, nice treatment of Charley Patton, Catfish Keith and other standard tunes blended with several interesting originals. This is the kind of cd I wish I could make. Doughty is a performer who deserves respect and admiration. Highly recommended.

Steve Gilbert

Excellent! Just a man and his guitar. Superb guitarmanship & vocals.
Excellent piece of work! What are you waiting for.....just buy won't be sorry. I met Tom at the 2004 IGS guitar seminar in Seattle this past August. What a treat it was to listen to him play with other musicians the entire week. When he performed "Come back baby", which is included on "The Bell", at the concert, everyone was blown away. The pure and real soulfulness that is apparent in both his lap-style slide playing and his voice will bring you back to a time when music was simple, yet perfect. When all you needed was a guitar, a voice and your imagination. Tom's work on this CD proves that this is still all you need. We'll be hearing more from this fine artist, I'm sure.


Wonderful Emotive lap guitar playing
I have just received this CD.Here in Britain.
I enjoy all "genre's" of Music.This truly is a unique style of acoustic lap guitar.Fantastic "Blues"
I love every single track on this CD.Wonderful.
Recommend it highly,to all.

perry sar

Some try to sing the blues, Tom eats,breathes and lives it
How many times have I heard of the 'next big white blues star"? ...enough to give up hope and stick with the old blues cats.Except for Tom,listening to him gives you the feeling of listening to the Delta legends,full of pain yet self healing,there is no pretentious hollow blues wailing here, just a solo artist singing and playing from the heart....THANKS FOR GIVING THIS BLUES FAN SOME HOPE TOM!

Lewis Jones

This is an accomplished debut CD from an artist who puts his heart and soul into
TOM DOUGHTY - The Bell (Own Label - Corker Music CCD 001)

I consider myself to have a pretty wide taste in music that covers a range of genres. Blues - and instrumental blues at that - is not one of the favourites that immediately spring to mind. That was until I discovered Tom Doughty. I was lucky enough to be at Northwich Folk Club last year to witness a great three-track cameo performance by him. He's plays an acoustic lap blues guitar with plenty of slide and a lot of bottleneck. But his work embodies a range of jazz and folk influences. He played a remarkable instrumental version of the Cole Porter classic, 'Ev'ry time we say goodbye' and made it sound like his own.

After that performance, I wanted to hear more of Tom Doughty's repertoire. I was lucky enough to get hold of 'Rambling' a CD of demos, many of which he had written. It contains the aforementioned Cole Porter tune and Tom's version of 'Juke box as she turned', a song that is a rapidly becoming an all time favourite of mine.

'The Bell' is Tom's first official CD. It was launched in November in Northwich, when he was supporting that fine American guitar exponent, Woody Mann. Tom is due to play at the Citadel in St.Helens in March - appearing with Lindisfarne - and I've no doubt that his reputation will quickly spread.

'The Bell' represents an excellent introduction to Tom Doughty's music, incorporating homages to Robert Johnson and lesser knowns, Charlie Patton and Teddy Darby. His reinterpretation of J J Cale's, 'I'll make love to you anytime', surpasses both the original, and the Eric Clapton cover, version of the song; there's a great reworking of Alex Campbell's, 'Been on the road so long'. While Doughty's guitar work is the main tool of his trade - it does much of the talking for him - he has a fine understated voice that is ideally suited to this genre of music.

I'm not normally a great admirer of instrumentals but his version of Santo and Johnny's 'Sleepwalk' is stunning and the self-penned title track of the album seems immediately familiar, yet startlingly simple and original in its structure and delivery.

Tom has overcome a considerable amount of adversity in his life and he has musically gone from strength to strength since his first guitar lesson in 1999. This is an accomplished debut CD, of considerable stature and maturity, from an artist who puts his heart and soul into the blues.

You can get hold of "The Bell" CD via Tom Doughty's website:

Lewis Jones

warren oakes

Having listened to toms cd the bell,I found it really good especially "into the bong" and "under the bright moon".He has a unique style that gives the whole album its unique sound.