The Gary Douglas Band’s “Deep in the Water (Redeux)” offers no hints of its singer’s “day gig”. Gary Douglas is a nationally known and respected trial attorney who has earned attention as a tireless activist litigator battling corporate behemoth DuPont on behalf of those injured by the effects of illegal dumping. He brings the same hard-driving integrity into his music as well – “Deep in the Water (Redeux)” is a modern protest song given a lush yet restrained musical arrangement. Jeremy Goldsmith’s lead guitar throws off sparks throughout the track and pairs up well with Douglas’ acoustic rhythm guitar. It has a classical singer/songwriter bent, as well thanks to vivid imagery throughout its lyrics.

Douglas, as a writer, has an obvious penchant for capturing significant detail in his work. The songwriting depicts the all-too-often woeful state of American corporate behavior and the power structure attempting to cover its own tracks. It does so with clean and punchy lines free from any excess verbiage. The same sharp instincts for zeroing in on his concerns that Douglas brings to his legal work serves him as well as a songwriter and performer. There’s a balance present in the relationship between musical arrangement and words extending to every area of this recording.

His vocals are ideal for the material. Douglas has a voice brimming with gravitas, but there’s an element of weathered warmth as well. It is an emotional slant in its slight cracks from age but those human strands in his singing resonate with seasoned polish. Producer Anthony Resta acquits himself well in every part of this song but distinguishes himself with his skills framing Douglas’ voice for listeners. He commands your attention from the first.

The song’s instrumental attack has a mid-tempo pace. It maintains a slight stride generating energy for the track over time; “Deep in the Water (Redeux)” is a slow burn, in some respects, coming to a boil with its refrain. Goldsmith highlights the instrumental breaks but the song’s rhythm section’s performance deserves praise. They provide a wide stage for the other components and never fall prey to excess. The band gives this song the feeling of casting a panoramic gaze across countless situations and locations throughout the United States where powerful corporate interests are corrupting the environment for profit and poisoning citizens.

It is an unambiguous call to storm the ramparts; it takes a pacifist approach, no mistake, but the performance and songwriting alike wear conviction like a badge of inspired honor. The video released with the song further underlines his commitment to and belief in its message. The Gary Douglas Band’s “Deep in the Water (Redeux)” will appear on the forthcoming full-length album Wild Life due to land in 2020 and this early preview of its point of view and musical quality promises great things are ahead for listeners. Gary Douglas and his band mates bring more than just a message; they bring a well-rounded musical experience that stokes a desire for more.

Nicole Killian

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.