American country singer/songwriter/musician Doug Kershaw has been a part of the music industry for almost sixty years, performing with his brothers in 1948 as The Continental Playboys. He released his first single in 1955 and his first solo album in 1969, but before his first solo album, Kershaw's recordings were scarcely covered, until now. On February 5th, Goldenlane Records in association with Cleopatra Records, released the missing link in Kershaw's career with the "Doug Kershaw Anthology: Rare Masters 1958 To 1969." It features two discs worth of Kershaw's early recordings of him with a full band and when he is by himself with only a guitar.
The sound of the recordings vary from the quiet "Big Might Man" and "Pride Verses Love" to the bright, bassless "Two Out Of Three" and "Contract For Misery," but considering their age, every word and note are crystal clear. The first disc of this two-disc set features 25 full band demos, seven of which are credited to Doug & Rusty. Songs like "Do Me Right Now" and "Hardly Anymore" seem ahead of their time, while songs like "Except" and "I'm Just A Man Called Sam" are hidden gems buried in this collection. Doug Kershaw shines on the mid-sixties output of "Baby's Gone" and "Ain't Going To Get Me Down," before closing the first disc with country/rock of "Hollywood To Memphis" and slow gallop of "I Can't See Myself."
The "guitar demos" disc showcases more of the develop of songs, beginning with the cowboy song "Love's Enemy" and "If You're Not Going To Love Me That's Alright." Some of Kershaw's pop aspects shine through on the Elvis Presley sounding "Love Bird" and with Doug & Rusty emanating The Everly Brothers on "Misery's All Gone" and "Just Hurting Me." Kershaw was ready to break through as a solo artist with demos like "Pay Not Attention" and "There's No Better Way" that showcases his great talent for songwriting. The second disc closes with the country/folk delivery of "Louisiana Sun" and "Rosie Come Take Me Home." To find out more about the newly released "Doug Kershaw Anthology," please visit cleorecs.com.