Doug Freeman's passion as a teenage musician was for blues-based rock. He recalls once trying to convince his jazz trumpet-playing father of the brilliance of Alvin Lee, guitarist for Ten Years After, whereupon the elder Freeman sagely proclaimed, "If you want to hear good guitar playing you need to listen to Charlie Christian." Out came the old Benny Goodman combo LP, which Doug recognized immediately as one of several records his dad liked to play along with at earsplitting levels, often to the dismay of the entire family. Maybe the jazz guitar of Christian wasn't his cup of tea...yet...but he sensed that his father was right. A few years later Columbia released the double LP Solo Flight, a collection of Charlie Christian's work with Goodman, and that sealed the deal. Doug worked in a Top 40 band during and after high school in Orange County, California, and later played in several Los Angeles rock bands performing original music, but all along he admired and aspired to the Charlie Christian aesthetic. He joined a western swing band in the early '90s, by then having moved on to Christian's sources of inspiration, especially tenor saxophonist Lester Young.
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Doug has tried to quit playing music several times over the years—in and out of college, attending and graduating from law school—but it never really took. Just couldn't shake the habit. Even having a family and a successful career producing documentary TV shows has never fully stopped him. When he met up with neighbor Christie Mellor a few years ago they quickly discovered a mutual interest in early jazz and pop music. Christie had never sung with a band before—she's also an actor, published author, and illustrator—but privately she'd been singing these songs all her life, an avid fan of the Boswell Sisters, Ruth Etting, Bing Crosby, and Annette Hanshaw. Doug and Christie started playing together and eventually formed their band Doozy. In July of 2011 they released their first CD of original music, Heavy Sugar. Doozy's sound is lush and loopy, dreamy and quirky. The songs bespeak another time but the themes are timeless: the pursuit of love, liquor, and happiness, which rarely seem to come in the right amounts.
Along with playing music all his life Doug has worked as a guitar, amp, and saxophone technician, always looking for and fixing up old music gear. He's especially drawn to vintage archtop acoustic guitars, and nowadays favors his Loar LH-600-VS over his instruments from the 1930s and '40s. "Compared with those guitars The Loar lacks nothing," he says, "and it exceeds them in many respects. It really gives the owner a sense of what playing a brand new Gibson archtop in 1929 must have felt like." Doug is excited to be working with The Loar company, playing and endorsing a guitar that he believes in wholeheartedly. For him The Loar instruments embody the perfect combination of craftsmanship and commerce, quality and value.
Doug plays The Loar LH-600-VS hand-carved archtop acoustic guitar.