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Whether he’s debating scripture with a fundamentalist street preacher, observing con artists, night leeches and their unsuspecting victims at a seedy pool hall, or bemoaning his wife’s relations, acoustic bluesman Doug MacLeod always has a colourful story to tell.

On his latest album “There’s A Time” – his debut on the Reference Recordings label – the bottleneck-and-finger-style wiz guitarist brings to life thirteen original songs, singing in wails and whispers, punctuating lines with loosey-goosey slides on his National resonator guitars.

Recording live with no overdubs at Skywalker Sound in California, MacLeod performs here with Denny Croy on bass and Jimi Bott on drums. Some of his most powerful moments as a songwriter come in his wordy recitation songs, where he doesn’t back down from taking a stand. In “The Entitled Few,” he’s ticked off at self-centered jerks everywhere, and his endless questioning just won’t allow him to accept everything written in the bible in “Dubb’s Talkin’ Religion Blues”: “Now how about Jonah and the whale?/How can you go in the mouth and not come out the tail?/That right there has always puzzled me.” Not only does he speak his mind, he’s does it with a certain knack for breathing character into musical conversations with his rootsy mastery of a six-string.