NEPA Scene Staff

Wilkes-Barre rockers Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen slide into ‘Black Leather Blues’ on new label

Wilkes-Barre rockers Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen slide into ‘Black Leather Blues’ on new label
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From a press release:

The dynamic, swagger-injected, sexy, dirty, blues-influenced rock ‘n’ roll of Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen brings a vintage sound and vibe to modern ears. The band’s much-anticipated third album “Black Leather Blues” underlines this and much more.

“All I’m trying to do is continue the tradition of The Stones, Zeppelin and The Faces,” Douglas emphasized. “Take the traditional blues spirit, mix it with some heavy rock ‘n’ roll, and play it for a new generation.

“But it ain’t your poppa’s blues,” he added. “I listen to Rage Against the Machine as much as I listen to Muddy Waters. That blend of influences is what makes it unique.”

Fronted by the transcendent lead guitarist/singer/songwriter, The Electric Gentlemen – rounded out by drummer Tommy Smallcomb and bassist Matt “The Dane” Gabriel – command the stage with virtuosic musicianship and classic rock spirit mixed with a punk rock attitude that leaves even the most discerning music fans falling in love with their style at the end of any live show.

On “Black Leather Blues,” consisting of 10 songs all written by Douglas, the Wilkes-Barre-based powerhouse trio put the pedal to the floor, asking for no mercy with heavy riffs, huge hooks, and memorable, blues-inspired rock ‘n’ roll rhythms that take listeners on a familiar yet fresh musical journey.

Released today via Lancaster indie label MoMojo Records, the album was recorded at Eight Days a Week Studios in Northumberland by Paul Smith (The Badlees, The Cellarbirds), who engineered and co-produced with Douglas. It was mixed by Brian Moncarz (Alice Cooper, Our Lady Peace, Phillip Sayce) and mastered by Brian Lucey (The Black Keys, Royal Blood, Arctic Monkeys, Buddy Guy, Doyle Bramhall II, Green Day, Liam Gallagher, Elvis Costello).

“Black Leather Blues” contains the group’s 2021 single “Broken,” described by Rock and Blues Muse as “a soul-cleansing shot of progressive blues/rock minimalism that’s as much about the space between the notes as the notes themselves. Dustin Douglas is a first-class guitar shaman, weaving together spellbinding riffs and solos that transport listeners directly into his world.” The publication added: “His vocals are strident and strong, expressing the hard blues inherent in 21st century life.”

The album’s second single is the rhythmically dynamic and lyrically pointed “Why Would You Say Such a Thing,” which underlines DDEG’s ability to create modern blues rock with plenty of attitude and drama. It dropped on Feb. 24 along with a music video filmed by Jonathan Edwards in his new photography and videography facility Diamond City Studios in Wilkes-Barre.

“I’ve done a lot of videos with Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen [including ‘Broken’]. This latest one is special because not only was it the first music video filmed in Diamond City Studios, but it was ambitious and they let me go way over the top, especially in that last scene where Dustin spreads his wings made up of a choir of mini Dustin clones singing the backup vocals!” Edwards said.

Douglas believes “Why Would You Say Such a Thing” is destined to be one of their best-received songs.

“From the moment I wrote it, I felt it would be a signature song for us,” he noted.

“It defines what we do as a band. It has a big riff, danceable rhythm, catchy chorus, and an old school broken-hearted, blues-inspired lyric.”

“Black Leather Blues” is the follow-up to 2018’s “Break It Down,” which made it onto the blues album charts, blues singles charts, and blues rock single charts and earned two Steamtown Music Awards for “Blues Artist of the Year” and “Album of the Year” at the annual Scranton ceremony.

In 2019, they again found themselves with three Steamtown nominations – “Guitarist of the Year,” “Video of the Year” for “Broken,” and “Live Performer of the Year” – as well as an Independent Blues Music Award nomination for “Blues/Rock Song of the Year” for “Out of My Mind.” On top of that, the Central Pennsylvania Music Hall of Fame nominated the trio for “Blues Rock Band of the Year” in 2021 and 2022.

In February, they officially signed a deal with MoMojo Records, a label imprint established by Nola Blue Inc. in 2022. MoMojo is a service for independent artists wanting the flexibility of DIY distribution combined with the personal attention and connection to a label family, serving a diverse segment of the independent American roots music community connected by the quality of artistry rather than confined by genre boundaries.

“Dustin is a spirited force with a clear vision of where he is going and how he will get there,” MoMojo Records Director Sallie Bengtson commented.

“That force permeates his rock-solid new album, overflowing with raw energy, rock ‘n’ roll attitude, and an infectious sound. There is nowhere but up on his path of success.”

“I’m beyond excited for this new journey with MoMojo Records,” Douglas enthused.

“This is a huge step in the trajectory of my career, and I knew from the start the team at MoMojo were the perfect fit for Dustin Douglas & The Electric Gentlemen and this new record. The sky’s the limit.”

Learn more about the band and “Black Leather Blues” in Episode 175 of the NEPA Scene Podcast:

Photo by Brittany Boote Photography