Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones, played two shows this past weekend at the Cortez Kitchen, 1 on Saturday and 1 on Sunday. Both shows were extraordinarily, extraordinary! Doug and the boys toured all over the country this Summer and in the Fall will be out touring again with 2 trips to Europe!! We wrote about Doug in January, 2015. Here is the story:
I had the honor and pleasure of interviewing Doug Deming, lead singer for Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones last week at the offices of “The Sarasota Post!” I had never met Doug before in person and had lots of questions for him! I wanted to dig a bit into how Doug got here, his roots and what makes him tick.
Q: I know that you are a native of “The Motor City,” Detroit. How did you wind up in the Sarasota / Bradenton area?
A: Life in Detroit was great but as the economy started going down hill in the early part of the decade we found it harder and harder to get good gigs as people’s discretionary incomes were shrinking. Less and less folks were coming to our shows. We were going on the road more to get places to play. As the automotive industry was laying off more and more people Claudia and I started talking about moving to a nice warm place! She was in an automotive related business that was also being hurt by the recession and sold the business. The final straw that said it was “time to move on” was that the empty lot next to our house was sold to Burger King. We fought the project for awhile but knew that we could not win the battle.
In the fall of 2008 we got into the car and took the drive south. We checked out St. Pete, Sarasota, Bradenton, and fell in Love with Anna Maria Island. We knew “this is it!” I am an avid fisherman and knew that this was the place to be. The fishing here is fantastic. We sold the house, packed up and made the move.
Q: Obviously, the move was enormous but also fabulous. You and your band Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones have built quite a name for yourselves and have a huge following. I know you are on the road a lot, but first tell me about what is happening for you locally.
A: Winters are spent in “our home area” for obvious reasons….warm weather, fishing and lots of local fans. But we have many nationwide fans and snowbirds that come to our area for the winter and attend our shows. We love playing in front of our “hometown” fans. The Cortez Kitchen is kind of our winter “home base.” We also draw large crowds at The Blue Rooster, Mattison’s City Grill, Englewood’s on Dearborn and a few other venues. We also play several festivals during the winter season.
Q: I see that you did a couple of summer tours last year. Tell me about them and also do you have a manager or booking agent?
A: Yes, we did 2 tours last summer and no I don’t have a manager or booking agent. I book 95% of my own gigs, handle the travel and lodging arrangements and almost everything else related to the band. Our first tour last summer was for 6 weeks with only 3 nights off. When you’re on the road you have to play all of the time! “We play and go to sleep!” We’re heading the next morning to another gig. “You eat, play, sleep and take care of yourself!” This is how we make our living…… we are professionals.
After the first tour last summer we took a couple of weeks off and went back on the road for anther 5 weeks including a trip to France. We always try to book the bigger shows / festivals first and then fill in with the smaller shows. It’s a 7 day a week business…. And yes it is a business.
Q: We are in the heart of the “season” here in Florida. Is it an easier time for you?
A: No, not at all. Our gig schedule is certainly lighter but everyday of the week I am on the phone with promoters and venues scheduling our summer tour. The summer of 2015 already has us booked at the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Portland, Maine.
Q: Do you have any help in the business aspect of your band?
A: No, not really. My wife, Claudia has her own full time business and it works better keeping everything tight and close knit…. like our band!
Q: I know you love what you do and you have a passion for it. What keeps you going?
A: It’s the fans that keep the band going? I love to shake everyone’s hand at a show and thank them for coming. We stay to the bitter end of every show to make sure that everyone had a good time.
Q: A private question. Is there something that you are extremely proud of right now?
A: Yes, our daughter will be graduating Med School on May 15. Claudia and I are just so proud of her.
Q: You’re from Detroit, are you a sports fan?
A: Oh yeah…. Baseball is my biggest fan sport, the Tigers and of course I follow the Red Wings and the Pistons.
Q: So, we all love your band and your sound. Is there something that we might not know about you that you haven’t shared?
A: Oh yeah! I still play baseball. Yes, real hardball. I belong to the Manatee Adult Baseball League. Professional regulation fields, spikes, wooden bats, uniforms, etc. It’s the real deal. We play from January – June. I love it! I play a lot of outfield because I can still run well! It’s a hoot and a lot of fun.
Doug, thank you so much for spending time with me. There is so much more to write about and I know we will pick up on this interview down the road.
From Doug’s Website:
Traditional blues, West Coast and Texas Swing, early rock, country and roots music. Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones run the gamut and bring it all together, playing with deep respect for the genres, while consistently delivering originality.
“Here is a cat that is bedrock solid in the Blues with inventive guitar licks, clever song writing, and upbeat, dance inducing music. As a guitar player, he nails every category: taste, tone, restraint, timing, and phrasing.” -James Walker, Blues Blast Magazine
“Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones have crafted a sonic testimony to their willful embrace of authenticity.” -Bo White, White’s Bar Reviews
“Most people, upon hearing music by Doug Deming and the Jewel Tones, recognize them as a band that returns to the roots of blues as opposed to a continuation of modern adaptations of the style… completely restored my faith in the genre” -Muzik Reviews
“Already a critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter, (Deming’s) spellbinding guitar work has not gone completely unnoticed as accolades have come in various publications around the country… just one listen reveals the unique qualities and ability to be fresh while staying in the idiom.” -Blues Blast Mag.
“Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones deliver the sound and styles of Blues and Swing fresh way past the expiration date.” – Bob Margolin
“Doug Deming is comfortable in his own musical clothes… As impressive as his leads are, he always seems conscious of shining the best light on the whole picture. ” – RA, Vintage Guitar Magazine
“Doug’s key attributes are economical, fluent and swinging guitar playing, clear vocals and an ability to pen a song that sounds like a lost 1950′s classic.” -JM, Blues in Britain
“My first impression was ‘wow, this disc is a monster’ and after repeated spins I still feel just as excited about What’s It Gonna Take. My very highest recommendation, it is discoveries like this that spark my passion for the music” -Malcolm Kennedy, WBS Bluesletter, May 2013.