BIO:
HOME

DOUG KWARTLER - BIO

Doug Kwartler's songs have been prominently featured on three major television networks including the top CBS soap opera, "The Young and the Restless," the TNT drama "Dark Blue," the ABC soap opera "All My Children" and independent film.

Doug's upcoming cd (due out spring 2011) features guest performances by Mark Spencer (Son Volt), Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters / Wallflowers), songwriter Tim Easton and songwriter James Maddock (Wood).

Doug has toured throughout the US including frequent trips to Nashville, TN. His latest CD, All Sides was played on over 50 radios stations across the country and placed squarely on the americana radio charts. His 3 solo cd's have all been critically acclaimed with the last two picked at top 10 cd's of the year by alt.country reviewers.

In 2008, Doug signed a publishing deal with Heavy Hitters Music in Los Angels, CA.

Doug is also a prominent producer having produced many cd's for artists throughout the country.

Doug recently relocated from New York City to Boston, MA. Since moving to Boston, Doug is a frequent guest for live performances and interviews on Worcester's WICN 90.5 FM - New Englands Jazz and Folk station on Nick Noble's "Folk Revival" show.

He has already been invited and played at the Harvard Square Make Music Festival, the 2nd Annual North Shore Music Festival in Salem, MA and has had returning shows at Mocha Maya's in Shelburne Falls, MA. and the legendary Squawk Coffeehouse in Cambridge.

In New York City, Doug regularly plays top venues such as: The Living Room, The Mercury Lounge, Cornelia St. Cafe, The Trash Bar and more.

The Bruce Hornsby Story:

"Hey Doug Kwartler, Bruce Hornsby calling." Doug Kwartler had just about accepted that his shot-in-the-dark would end up unanswered when he heard that voice message late in the day on a lazy May afternoon. About a month earlier, Kwartler had sent his version of Hornsby's "On the Western Skyline" to the legendary songwriter's manager who promised to get it to him. The recording, which will land on Kwartler's upcoming release, is a much more organic version, featuring a laid-back tempo, plaintive vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle and a low-key piano. Not unlike the music Hornsby plays now. In fact, Hornsby added in his message that they hadn't played the song in years and that he was taken with Doug's version, saying, "...I like your version, I might play it like you play it Doug...thanks for the revitalization of the tune..."

All Sides:

In September of 2007 Doug Kwartler released All Sides, a sprawling double cd and his 3rd solo cd on his own Hollow Body Records. The album, Kwartler's first double record, was recorded throughout 2006 and 2007 in Kwartler's Hollow Body Studios. The record features two parts, part 1, called "Just About To Die" features traditional folk, bluegrass and jazz arrangements, while part 2, "Strong" jumps with classic rock formations and also quiet singer / songwriter acoustic ballads. About "Just About to Die" Kwartler says, "There's definitely more of a jazz influence on some this record. Some songs have a Dixieland or Vaudevillian feel, while others are like a big ole time jam." The title track, written about Kwartler's grandparents, juxtaposes a bluegrass feel and arrangement with the story of two immigrants settling down and living their lives in depression era Brooklyn, NY. As for "Strong," Kwartler adds, "Well certainly bands and artists like Wilco, Ryan Adams, Ray Lamontagne and Tim Easton, guys that I've been listening to, had some influences on these arrangements. As do staples such as Springsteen, Dylan, Bruce Hornsby... As a whole, the record has a lot to do with the idea of family. Dealing with the past and tradition, as well as the future.. My daughter was born shortly after Silver Meteor was released and my grandmother died as well, and of course those themes figure prominently in the songs."

For many songs, Kwartler brought back long-time drummer Michael Leuci. Additionally double bassists Chris Luard and Doug Drewes, both players on the NYC jazz scene, contribute to several songs as does violinist Rob Hecht, trombonist Brett Leghorn and trumpeteer Mark Morgan. Besides Kwartler, figuring most prominently on the album is new pianist John Henry Trinko (Randy Houser). Trinko, from North Carolina and now Nashville, adds both excitement and class to the arrangements offering at times the flourishes of a Jerry Lee Lewis and other times the coolness of Basie.

In the fall of 2004, Doug Kwartler released Silver Meteor and continued to break wide-open and delve into many of life's most defining moments, forging them into songs with lasting melodies and genuine lyrics. The Austin, Tx based Pop Culture Press wrote: "The songs on Silver Meteor, all written by Kwartler, are country-breathed and as honest as they are haunting. The lyrics are fantastic." Leading americana website AltCountry.nl named Silver Meteor one of the top 10 cd's of 2004. Other roots-rock authorities like Freight Train Boogie.com gave it 4 - stars while americana-uk.com wrote: "Writers like Kwartler make an instant connection, his songs are so perceptive that there's no barrier to cross to get to the point"

Early music:

Doug Kwartler's musical upbringing was filled with the enduring storytelling of Bruce Springsteen, the in-your-face folk-rock of Tom Petty and the rockabilly twang of Brian Setzer. He began playing guitar at age 15. Initially influenced by Brian Setzer, a fellow Long Islander, Kwartler soon bought his first guitar - a 1963 Gretsch Atkins Nashville Model. He quickly learned the rockabilly riffs of Perkins, Cochran, Vincent and of course, Setzer, although he admits, "not nearly in the same universe as those guys."

Soon, other guitarists like Keith Richards and Pete Townshend would influence his style. It was their influence that made Doug want to perform on stage. At that time however, his dream was only to become a great guitar player. All that changed when in 1984, Doug's older brother brought home Born In The USA. "Springsteen has been the most influential artist on me as a musician. He made me want to be a songwriter. "Additional influences Doug sites are Tom Petty, Dylan, Johnny Cash, Jay Farrar, Jackson Browne, Woody Guthrie, Bruce Hornsby and more recently artists like Harry Connick Jr. and legendary jazz guitarist Pat Martino.

In addition to being a songwriter and performer, Doug also records and produces albums for other artists out of his Boston, MA studio, called Hollow Body Studios. Artists such as: Luis Moreno, Alejandra O'Leary, Krista Baroni, Tony Tedeschi, Blakeley Quayat, Austin Kuebler, Arlene McCann, Alli Collis, Deb PIcard, Stuart Markus, The Repercussions, Dave Isaacs and have all recorded there.

For 5 years, Kwartler led the roots-rock band, Foundry. The band released two albums, World Rattles 'Round, and Give Me A Reason To Live, both receiving critical acclaim while selling internationally.

Halfway House, Kwartler's 2003 solo debut, received a host of 4 - star reviews and airplay on many triple A and Americana radio stations. The Roots Music Report called Halfway House, "…an ingeniously compiled cd…" with AltCountryTab.com calling it "…quite brilliant…" The noted Alt.Country site Freight Train Boogie.com said, "…this is a wonderful cd…" that "…hits the mark on most every song." Ctrlaltcountry.be called Halfway House, "…one hell of a roots-rock record."

Drawing from his own experiences, Doug Kwartler has created records that are both fresh and authentic, with music rooted in history and with stories and struggles that are a part of all of our lives.

DOUG KWARTLER - SILVER METEOR

Silver Meteor is an act of faith. It has to be. There is such a quiet sense of urgency to this record, the second solo release by New York songwriter Doug Kwartler, that it needs to be rooted in the music that got us through -- folk, country, rock and roll, and whatever else it has been cross-pollinated or categorized with; in other words, American roots music. The lineage of great voices we know - Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Jay Farrar - have used this music as a palette of vast expression. At times, even in these great careers, this power comes across with impatience and restlessness. In the finest instances though, these voices create documents that capture a moving moment in an artist's history. These cases -- Nebraska, Trace, Blood on the Tracks, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road -- are steeped faithfully in American roots music as if there's no time to stray while speaking breathlessly in unbelievable spaces, as if there are no words to spare.

Silver Meteor slips into this line of recordings. Whereas Halfway House, Kwartler's previous record, is a strong and broad-stroked debut, his second release is a focused, rock-solid litany of great American songs. There is the deep-rooted though updated American imagery, (trains, parkways, rivers and cars,) planted along the way to discover, enjoy and feel in your blood. Within the layers there is wariness of what lies ahead mixed with a desperate sense of hope and purpose being clung to at all costs. Here, you'll be confronted with the challenge to listen hard.

And so, in "Nothing," the record's fourth track, while there is a fearsome near-loss, ("I thought I lost you today,") a melancholy musical celebration fills speechless gasps with sweet-and-sour, focused guitar solos. Doug even discovers (and then demonstrates) his faith that a great song shows many colors. Thus, a hushed second version of "Nothing" is placed as if with careful deliberation, beyond the conclusion of the ten primary tracks.

There is faith in the power of the song itself. "Wilmington" insists on it. "Do as I command without a fight," Kwartler shouts at the city that he's turned to for inspiration in a song that parallels the very craft of songwriting with the struggles of a committed relationship. An artist's work about their craft is a line in the sand, a definition, seen on the upward arc of a career and when Kwartler sings, "Let the day live on in sin," it lays down the central tension in Silver Meteor -- fight and sometimes struggle to live and remember well, (and faithfully,) but leave what is beyond control as lessons in history.

Desperate times call for desperate measures in "I Need Your Darkness," when the singer asks his lover to, "show me your bullets and I'll show you my guns," looking for her to reveal all in exchange for him doing the same in an ultimate display of trust. "Nashville," the rollicking call to the road and "82nd Street," a nostalgic dirge on Brooklyn also populate the inherent landscape. While these places are important signposts, the acute observations on relationships and personal insights give this journey a higher power and bring Silver Meteor to a level of accomplishment too often missed in a fragmented and confused pop-music world.

"There are no subtle changes, what is is what will be," comes on as a credo in "Come Tomorrow (Caroline.)" That the writer relies on rock's favorite muse, Caroline, also shows what was is what is. Discover the title track's revision of American workingman mythology as a powerful love story that carries you all the way through to "Beautiful Commotion," the closing ballad that brings grand metaphor to intimate communication, stripped and acoustic. As if that's all that matters.

And then ending on a true bonus, what happens when this music gets worked up in front of a roomful of people? A live recording of "Mars," from Halfway House, complete with hoots and beer-bottle rattling. It goes by fast, which leaves one longing to disappear in Silver Meteor many times over.

The Roots Music Report called Halfway House, "…an ingeniously compiled CD that has potential to climb to the top of the charts…" Alt.Country Tab called it, "…quite brilliant…" and Ctrlaltcountry said it was "One hell of a roots rock records." Silver Meteor promises to top that with 10 remarkable tracks of honest and gritty songwriting.

Look for Kwartler to tour this fall, 2004 in support of Silver Meteor.