Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Concert Review: MCDOUGALL (2-3-12)

One-man Power they call “McDougall”
By: Zach Nelson (MissoulaLive)

The Palace Lounge


            The one man show with multiple instruments is a tough act to pull off. Being skilled at one instrument is hard enough but think about combining three maybe even four for you to play at the same time, during multiple songs, and throughout your whole set.  

By : Kevin Kenly Photograh
A man that goes by the stage name McDougall real name Scott S. McDougall has seemed to written his own book on playing the one man show. McDougall hailing from Portland, OR was on a tour with his new duo band called Last Watch, consisting of John Johnson of the very popular Hillstomp on the drums and vocals as well as Scott doing his thing. McDougall by himself is a one man old school story telling rocking folk artist. He will play the banjo, acoustic guitar, harmonica, kick drum, and a pedal symbol in any order at anytime in any combination creating an almost Irish punk folk sound that will catch any ones attention.  Luckily for the crowd at The Palace Lounge on this Friday evening (2-3-12) Scott was performing an opening set as McDougall to start the show.

McDougall came on to the well lit stage and adjusted into a comfortable position in his chair. Now when I say well lit you have to realize that The Palace Lounge has permanent LED light set up behind the stage from the many DJ shows they throw down. These lights can get pretty wild with color variations and of course are as bright as it gets. Seeing the bearded backwoods dressed McDougall in front of these lights was something else, but it somehow all fit together along with the low to the ground Palace stage and the small intimate crowd that had shown up early to see McDougall. The whole set up almost seemed to good to be true for a McDougall first timer like myself.  He opened the show just as I had hoped playing “Battle Creek March”, an all instrumental song that consists of him shredding on the banjo with it slightly pointed to the sky as well as dropping the beat on the kick drum. It was a foot-stomping jam like no other reminding you of an Irish raging bon fire party. Being able to get as close as you wanted during this show it was almost impossible to keep up with how fast his fingers move on that banjo.  He then set the banjo down and grabbed his acoustic guitar changing the style up. He then played a couple songs where his voice was heard. McDougall’s voice reminds you of an old school punk artist from the 70’s. It is one of the most distinct voices I have ever heard and it fits to perfection with his style of story-telling and lyrics, which remind you so much of how Bob Dylan does his songs.  Next up was the song “48 Reasons” which was opened with great acoustic guitar intro. Lyrically this song is full of emotion and all sorts of random lyrics that when you break it all down all makes sense and is just one great story. Watching a song like this one really opens your thoughts wondering where this song came from and what it originated from. Once this song was over McDougall went back to his good friend the Banjo and he brought the energy back up going into another instrumental based song with some lyrics called “Strugglers Medley”.  This song is McDougall at his absolute best. The raspy country lyrics are heard throughout while the banjo and the kick drum get you moving like no other, it is a beer drinking party song to the max. One of the best lyrics from the song is “you can’t stay here if you can’t chuck corn!” which just explains everything in a nut shell if you ask me.  A few more songs were then played with the combination of the harmonica and all other instruments that were on stage with him. He finished the set just as he started it doing an instrumental based jam where once again you are reminded that he is one of the best banjo players you will ever see. The last song was by far the biggest crowd pleaser with the few people there really getting in to it as well as few yelps of excitement. The set was a perfect way to start the night as well as being the perfect intimate set for a new McDougall fan.

                Scott S. McDougall feels and seems like a man that just plays because he loves the music. He seems like a man that would be your good friend and be willing to always give you advice whether it is in words or in songs and you got this feeling as you watched him mingle with the crowd and grabbing a fresh PBR after the set. McDougall is one of the most talented musicians I have ever witnessed, and his style, vocals, and lyrics are like no other making him a must see act if you love music. Well played McDougall, well played.

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Big Thanks Go Out to - McDougall (, Dan Torti at Stonefly-Productions (, The Palace Lounge (, Pictures by Kevin Kenly Photography (

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