Doug Paisley’s music is evidence that melancholy is sometimes not so much an aesthetic choice as a biological imperative; he is becoming the thinking person's go-to choice for great music about feeling bad. Augmented by the bare minimum of country instrumentation—spare, tasteful piano, light-touch drums and bass, and his own fluid acoustic picking—Paisley sings his plainspoken laments with understated intensity and quiet, resolute strength.
Paisley might not be a household name, but his reputation among connoisseurs is high. His three albums—released by No Quarter Records, a label more known for experimental rock than heart-on- sleeve singer-songwriter material—have been unanimously celebrated in the pages of standard-setting magazines from Rolling Stone and Mojo to The New Yorker and the Wall Street Journal. He counts among his collaborators “national treasure” Mary Margaret O'Hara, alt-rock diva Leslie Feist and The Band's liquid keyboard maestro Garth Hudson.
His delivery goes down easy, but there’s a great deal more to Paisley's minimalist rethink of ‘70s-style folk-rock than first meets the ear. As he feels his way through the emotional spectrum his honey-soft voice speaks hard truths.