Up Close and On Fire Ep 12 – Dustin Douglas – CD Review


By CJ Marsicano

Dustin Douglas is a veteran guitarist/singer/songwriter from Wilkes-Barre, PA who has already racked up quite a few musical miles, both as one-third of the power trio Lemongelli, and as a guitarist with the Badlees after a personnel shift in 2009. Neither of these facts gave me any clue as to what to expect when I sat down to listen to Dustin’s first solo album Black Skies and Starlight. Neither did his website’s boasting of the band as “capturing the vibe of late-60’s blues-based, rock and roll band”. Then I heard the opening chords of “Daydream”, I immediately thought back to Asylum-era Kiss, especially Paul Stanley’s songwriting and vocal style from that time period. That’s when I remembered something else from his website’s bio section, where Dustin describes his own music as “a mix of big guitars, with pop-laced hooks and an alternative attitude.” That pretty much nails it. The guitar tones are straight out of late-60’s classic rock, the songwriting is solid pop construction, and Dustin himself is a talented guitarist that knows when to flash (show off) and when to smash (serve the song), and since he’s the only guitarist in a power trio – a format with a lineage that basically goes from the Jimi Hendrix Experience to Hüsker Dü and back – he knows that it’s better to smash.

“Daydream”“Been There, Done That”“My Door”

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