Though he has been in a wheelchair for many years due to a motorcycle accident, British guitarist Tom Doughty's love for music was just too much for him to call it a day. With determination to play again, he re-invented his playing style to lap steel guitar. Doughty's body movements are limited. The playing is transcendent enough to take listeners on the musical journeys they want.
Transcendence and introversion make Doughty's cd "Running Free" a tasteful piece of work. Blues seeps its way into Tom's playing. But so do other worldly sources. Enough to create a haunting effect.
The lap steel guitar playing is mournful and yet a portrait of tranquility in all thirteen cuts. Only Tom can get away with turning "Eleanor Rigby" into a personal requiem at a graveside service. A collector of resonator guitars and designer of his own slides, Doughty has the goods to deliver a treasuretrove of music basking in roots traditions.
Vocalizing his resonator guitars on his own "Your Picture Has Faded" and Muddy Water's "Catfish Blues," Doughty has what it takes to walk in the shadows of Roy Book Binder and Paul Geremia. His vocals are deep and convey sadness in "Your Picture Has Faded."
Doughty didn't have to grow up a poor sharecropper's son to derive musical inspiration from the blues. Just the vocals and lapsteel playing are the only strengths needed. If you need a moment of self-reflection, you can achieve that through the mournful "Darlin Cora." Old bluesman Furey Lewis has been a forgotten entity and no modern day players seem to bother with his catalog. Doughty's work on Furey's "Brownsville Blues" can get him tips if he plays on Beale Street. Doughty uses Charlie Patten's "Some These Days" as a palette for painting a rural America that no longer exists.