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You’ll Thank TDMB for Pulling Your Coat to Mike Dowling

“Pulling your coat” is to point out something good or interesting to somebody else. I believe the phrase originated with jazz musicians suggesting that somebody listen to a song or musician.

So consider your coat pulled. There are millions of talented musicians out there. Millions of them. Some of them are superstars, some of them are very well known and some are lesser known. Some, I am sure, save their artistry for friends, family and their dens. These folks don’t even upload to SoundCloud YouTube (imagine!).

Mike Dowling is one of those who fits into the known but not well known category, to invent a cumbersome phrase. One of the great pleasures of running this site is finding these folks. He is superbly talented.

Mike Dowling

That group is characterized by a core group of fans and a ton of respect from other pros Dowling’s resume – as presented by the bio at his site – is full of famous names. So the folks who actually make music for a living understand the level at which he plays.

Dowling played with the violinists Vassar Clements and Joe Venuti, Big Bill Broonzy and Tony Bennett. He has written songs for Del McCoury, Emmylou Harris, Kathy Mattea and others.

Dowling also is associated with the National Reso-Phonic Guitar Company. The story centers on Dowling’s work at reissuing the El Trovador guitar. About 600 of the instruments were made in 1932 and 1933. Dowling found one of the survivors, restored it and performed with it for 20 years. He worked with the guitar company on resurrecting the guitar design. National Reso-Phonic also has released a pickup system for resonator guitars called the “Mike Dowling Hot Plate.”

Above is “Swamp Dog Blues.” It’s beautiful. The bio says that Dowling favors the Piedmont style famously used by Mississippi John Hurt. Below is “Drop Down Mama,” which seems to have been shot in a guitar shop. If so, it’s likely that of National Reso-Phonic. It likely is the best acoustic blues ever performed in front of a big lathe.


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