Doug Blumer & Bohemian Highway
Sunday, June 22, 2014, 4:25pm - 5:15pm
Woody Guthrie Stage - Cafeteria
Doug Blumer & the Bohemian Highway make their long overdo SF Free Folk debut. Solid Americana rhythms, easy-swinging harmonies, and catchy, tuneful originals. Doug Blumer has miles of music behind his smooth vocals and awesome guitar. This band brings his love for acoustic music together with thick harmonies. Nancy Irish, Doug's wife, has been his songwriting partner for over 20 years. Together they have penned some of Doug's most popular songs. The Bohemian Highway gives this pair the opportunity to perform those songs, as well as many new tunes, to the delight of their audiences.
Doug E. Blumer was born and raised on the banks of the Mississippi River in Southern Missouri. His musical education included equal parts Buck Owens and The Beatles with dashes of bluegrass, gospel and folk. After a stint in the Navy, which included playing in a band on board his ship and in several different countries, he relocated to northern California.
It was in San Francisco that he became a respected and popular artist on the local music scene, performing and recording with several bands and writing award-winning original music. In the mid-90's, he formed and toured with Prime CD recording artists, The Westerleys, eventually recording three albums with them.
In 2000, he toured and recorded with Texas honky-tonk great, Dallas Wayne.
In 2010, Doug moved north from San Francisco to Sonoma County. He continues to perform in his new territory, and is excited about performing with his latest band, The Bohemian Highway.
The Bohemian Highway was formed in 2011. Doug's wife of over 20 years, Nancy, joins him on acoustic guitar and vocals. The current performing line-up includes: Kent Fossgreen - bass, Jane Fossgreen - vocals, percussion. Although, their show often includes other 'bohemians' that they've met along the way.
The Long Story:
In 1982, Blumer placed an advertisement for band members and met bassist Rob McCloskey. For the next 12 years, Blumer and McCloskey formed, joined & jammed & composed music in a succession of pop and rock bands.
In 1994, The Westerleys were formed, combining the musical talents of three singer songwriters: Doug, Nancy Terzian and Peter Axtell. This acoustic group gained popularity by blending powerful, lush vocal harmonies, intricate guitar work and original music. This original line-up recorded and released one full-length cassette, 'Live from the Pumpkin Patch, one CD-EP, the 4-song 'Git Along', recorded in Nashville with veteran producer Bil Vorndick, & one full-length CD, 'Stumbling to Gloryland'. 1998 brought personel changes to the band as they expanded to include McCloskey on electric bass, as well as adding pedal steel guitar, fiddle & drums to their live shows. This line-up recorded one full-length CD, 'A Blessing and a Curse', which gained extensive national radio airplay. It was also during this period that Doug got a taste of the national scene, when a 3-piece version of the band (Blumer, Terzian, McCloskey) toured extensively throughout the country, appearing at venues such as IOTA in Arlington, VA, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Kerrville (TX) Folk Festival, Strawberry Music Festival (CA), and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (NY).
2000 brought the break-up of The Westerleys, but also brought Doug back together with an old high school friend & bandmate, Dallas Wayne. Wayne had spent the intervening years fronting bluegrass and honky-tonk bands, culminating in a lucrative career in the U.S. and Europe. Wayne relocated to the Bay Area, and formed the honky-tonk band Dallas Wayne and the Road Cases, which included Blumer on Telecaster and harmony vocals. Signed to HighTone Records, they released one album, 'Here I Am In Dallas'. Two national tours with Wayne gave Doug the opportunity to hone his skills as a honky-tonk musician while sharing the bill with some of Alternative Country's best, including Redd Volkert and Jim Lauderdale. Dallas is currently a star DJ on XM/Sirius Radio.
The Cowlicks, an SF based band, found Doug playing lead guitar and a little banjo. Their melody driven sound is rich in harmonies and lush electric guitars. The Cowlicks were honored for their album "Cowboys With Attitude" by the California Music Awards (formerly The Bammies) in the category of best Country/Alt. Country Album for 2004! This album included the Blumer/Irish composition, 'Bessie's Song'. Doug performed on many shows with Valerie Jay and the Americanos, a local torch/country group fronted by the singer/songwriter Valerie Jay. This group also included Blumer's long-time musical collaborator, Rob McCloskey, as well as former Dallas Wayne drummer, Ken Owen.
2003 brought the release of Doug's first, true solo album, 'Doug Blumer's Ten of Hearts'. This CD includes 9 original love songs and a cover of 'Beyond the Blue Horizon', blending a variety of musical styles with resonating, intimate vocals and beautiful guitar playing. It harkens to a musical style of bygone days, smoky thick with romance and love. Doug continues to be a mainstay of the Bay Area Alt-country/twang scene.
Again, working with the able rhythm section of McCloskey/Owen, he formed The Cheatin' Hearts in 2005 to showcase the vocal interplay between he and well-known veteran, Pamela Brandon (Chazz Cats, Belle Monroe).
Blumer also fronted The Beerhunters, a good-time, rockin' honky-tonk band that included McCloskey, Owen and Jeff Hanson on lead guitar & pedal steel, whom he met through the Valerie Jay band.
For several years he was the bass player and harmony vocalist with the SF band Misisipi Rider. This is a four piece band with Misisipi Mike Wolf and Cree Rider as lead songwriters and vocalists along with the charming Katy Rexford on Fiddle. They have a self-titled album, released in 2009.
Doug continues to be a sought-after writer, musician and singer.