Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Norman Doucette -- Some Mother's Son
Some Mother’s Son
The dozen original songs – steeped as they are in both folk music and country – that Norman Doucette sings on his debut album, Some Mother’s Son, remind me of a time, about 40 years ago when there was an explosion of great singer-songwriters mining that musical vein. Among the artists I’m thinking of are Kris Kristofferson, Steve Young, Paul Siebel, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and John Prine. In particular, Norman reminds me of early John Prine in his approach to melody and song construction.
These are gritty songs populated by seemingly true-to-life characters that you might encounter on the poor side of most urban downtowns. “The poor man walking by the soup kitchen door” in the lead-off track; the perpetual wanderer in “Teepees, Tents and Trailers”; and the hooker caught up in addiction and poverty in “Angel with a Broken Heel.”
There are also echoes of Stan Rogers in the title track, “Some Mother’s Son,” in which Norman’s first-person character, an East Coast fisherman whose livelihood is played out, is faced with the choice of heading to Alberta to work the tar sands or joining the army and carrying a gun in Afghanistan.
Norman is a veteran performer. I hope this CD opens some doors for him as his songs are well-deserving of an audience.
BTW, that I know of Norman Doucette and his fine songs is certainly thanks to his brother, Adrien Doucette. Adrien, founder of the Branches & Roots and Apple Hollow Folk Festivals, as well as a prime organizer of the weekly concerts at Café Namas Thé in Ormstown, is kind of the folk music godfather of the Chateauguay Valley south of Montreal. It was at Adrien’s festivals that I’ve enjoyed opportunities to hear Norman perform live and it was Adrien that sent me the CD.