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Doug Hoekstra

WAITING (Paste) • Doug Hoekstra

Nashville's quiet, mighty troubadour rocks again! Hoekstra is one of the most original and self-assured writers in Music City, he's not taking his cues from anybody.

This self-produced disc is his most intimate and accessible, and our favorite so far. The tunes were piling up while he and his wife Molly awaited the birth of their first child, so the artist whipped out his Boss 532 (an economical sketch pad of an 8 track recorder), borrowed the instruments he didn't have, and tracked the lot himself. Hoekstra lays down acoustic, electric, and sitar guitars, bass, keyboards, loops, various percussion, harmonica, and slide whistle (hadn't heard one of those in a while). He shows himself to be a very tasty instrumentalist and producer, the disc is made of good arrangements and textures. Characteristically clever of him to bring in tone painter George Marinelli at the end to dump it all down to a ProTools mix, add some bass and a little organ, fatten up the vocals of he and the very talented Amelia White. (If you know anybody with a little 8 track recorder, tell them to check out this record. Some of my favorite records are being made in kitchens and studies these days…)

Hoekstra is almost as quiet a vocalist as one can find, pensive and penetrating, as his literary approach requires. Much is made in the press of his lyrics, and with good cause. Here is a word clip from a song about the Sao Paolo streets:

Theresa, she is 5 years old
Brown hair, green eyes, does what she is told
She acts as lookout for the danger boys
A Cadillac stops at the traffic light
She gets real close to the passenger side
And fixes her chewing gum to the window glass
Two blocks away the car stops again
The boys stroke their guns and descend
On a woman with a 7 carat diamond ring

In fact, the artist has a book deal in the works (his wife has had two published already), an academic non-fiction piece about how pop culture becomes assimilated by mainstream or academic culture. The working title is Hard Boiled Heroes and Renegade Romantics, but updates will appear on the artist's website.

Waiting is on the Paste label, affiliated with the respected Atlanta area music magazine (www.pastemagazine.com), and this is the new label's second release. Check it out here and buy it there.

It was a boy, by the way, Jude Aaron. • FG

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