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A native of the Washington, DC area, Doug Jay (his real name) has been playing blues and rock & roll on the road since the mid-1970s.
He started playing the harmonica as a teenager, and his professional career began shortly thereafter, playing harmonica in several fledgling blues and rock & roll bands in New England and Florida before joining The Allstars from Charlottesville, Virginia in 1976. The Allstars soon began working the east coast/southern USA touring circuit that also included George Thoroughgood, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Roomful Of Blues, Delbert McClinton, The The Nighthawks, a young Stevie Ray Vaughan. and many other now well-established blues & rock acts - many of whom they frequently shared the stage with. During his time with The Allstars (1976-79), Doug had the opportunity to participate in jam sessions and gigs with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Bobby Bland, Sunnyland Slim, John Hammond Jr., Bruce Springsteen, Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes and a host of other blues and rock giants. In 1978 The Allstars only album, “Tip Your Waitress” was released on Adelphi Records (Adelphi AD4112), and received a rave review by Nick Tosches in Rolling Stone Magazine.
In 1980 Doug joined the original Bob Margolin Blues Band following Bob’s departure (after seven years as lead guitarist) from The Muddy Waters Band. Doug played harmonica and shared vocal duties for about 2 years with Bob, one of the great interpreters of traditional-style Chicago Blues. After his stint with Bob, for the next few years Doug explored his interest in 60s soul/pop - in addition to the blues & jump material he was becoming known for - with local Washington, DC area bands, and began performing his own songs.
In 1990 Doug relocated to San Francisco and soon began working regularly on the highly competitive Northern California blues circuit, and in 1993 he recorded his first solo outing, “Until We Meet Again” with his West Coast band. The CD featured eight of Doug’s original compositions, and received universally enthusiastic reviews in the international blues press. This led to extensive touring in Europe, which continues to this day.
In the mid-90s, Doug returned to his hometown of Washington, DC, formed a new band, and afterwards completed work on his second solo effort, “Get It While It’s Hot”, which included 10 original compositions and was recorded with an all-star cast of American roots musicians: West Coast guitar killer Alex Schultz, East Coast drum giant Big Joe Maher, Nashville keyboard wizard Kevin McKendree and 50s doo-wop kings The Legendary Orioles, among others.
Having developed close musical ties in Europe in the 90s, Doug now records and tours almost exclusively on the continent. In 2000 he joined forces with his present European touring band, The Blue Jays, with whom he's proudly recorded his latest CD, "Jackpot!" for Crosscut Records (Crosscut CCD11083). The CD is another step in Doug’s musical evolution, drawing from many sources to create something a little bit different. Occupying a musical territory somewhere between “retro” and “now”, the band's sound is inspired and informed by America’s musical past but with both feet firmly planted in the present.