SONGWRITER / PRODUCER
"Doug Kwartler brings to the 21st century the passion and perception of the great 20th century folk singers like Woody Guthrie and early Bob Dylan."
- Nick Noble, Host - The Folk Revival, WICN, 90.5FM Worcester, MA
See Doug's new video for "Tom Petty" here.
Download MP3 of "Tom Petty" with a $1 donation to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
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..."
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"
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.