October 20, 2015
Vinyl Factory Films
Luaka Bop open up the vault to share rarely seen archive footage of Doug Hream Blunt from 1992.
The follow up their stratospheric William Onyeabor project, Luaka Bop’s latest release captures the lost legacy of San Francisco ‘outsider’ Doug Hream Blunt.
Working as a nurse’s aid at the local hopsital, Blunt started to play music at the age of 35 when he took an adult class titled ‘How To Start A Band’. The other students of the class became his band members, while his teacher joined on vibes and his wife played bass. Together they recorded the album Gentle Persuasion, and a six-song EP titled Big Top.
In the early 1990s, Doug played a few solo shows for elderly patients at the hospital, wandering from ward to ward in the Cardiology unit with his guitar. He also put his album in the hospital jukebox.
Did the patients enjoy his music? “I suppose so. They didn’t say anything bad about it!” jokes Blunt, whose demeanour is perpetually self-effacing.
For promotional purposes, he periodically put on a cream-coloured suit and signed up to appear on a public access television show called City Visions. If you ask about the taping of that program, he’ll say, “See, for the T.V. show, that was like pantomiming,” and laugh.
Though he never broke out of the Bay Area his lo-fi pop sound became a cult concern, attracting fans like Luaka Bop founder David Byrne and Dean Blunt, whose name is a homage to the songwriter.
Doug never played at a traditional venue until earlier this year, when he joined Ariel Pink onstage at Bimbo’s in San Francisco to sing ‘Gentle Persuasion’ after the band.
Luaka Bop are making a new music video in Paris and are looking for Caribbean women of all ages to be a part of it. If you’d like to get involved click here.