Doc MacLean

Doc Maclean in downtown Darling at Evita se Perron. What a treat to be there. If you didn’t catch the show this time around, don’t despair he might be persuaded to visit again.

Grateful thanks to Stefan Hurter for the photographs which capture the man and the moment perfectly.

He says of his style, it is singing a story and telling a song. He has an easy rapport with his audience.

A Canadian, he has spent much of his time in the southern states absorbing the sounds and the style of acoustic blues typical of the Mississippi delta.

Doc plays a magnificent metal bodied guitar which dates back to about 1929. Still going strong, it has the crisp sound that suits his style perfectly.

He is a left handed guitarist who has an unusual technique while playing. He lifts his right hand back from the fret board while playing with the left and plays a bar, maybe two, before bringing his right arm back to the fretboard. Does this suggest an open string tuning ? Are there any experts out there who can help with this please ?

He slips a ‘bottle neck’ (glass tube) out of his bag of tricks and onto his pinky and plays slide guitar.

He has many stories. He talks of a blind guitarist busking on a street corner. Doc was young at the time and stood transfixed. The blind guy sensed that he was there and spoke to him. He asked Doc if his mother knew he was out alone in the city? The busker took him home, fed him a meal and then arranged to have him driven home to his mother.

I asked him about his hectic schedule in South Africa, 50 shows in just a couple of months. He just shrugged and said in a matter of fact tone, “it’s what I do, it’s how a make a living”. Great guy, don’t miss him next time he visits.

Peter Hall
lives in Darling, Cape West Coast. Born in Belfast (N.Ireland not Free State). Supports The Stormers and Sheffield Wednesday (who?). Part-time wine sampler, part-time blogger, enjoys short stories, reluctant gout sufferer and occasional curmudgeon.