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Doug Keith

Here's to Outliving Me

(Cougar; US: 13 Jan 2009; UK: Unavailable)

Pitched somewhere between the Americana-rock swagger of the Backyard Tire Fire and a rootsier-sounding Old 97s, Syracuse’s own Doug Keith aims to make that classic mid-day back-porch kind of record that so many alt-country artists desperately want to make with Here’s to Outliving Me, his second album. Though Keith’s intentions are noble, the end result, unfortunately, is a horribly forgettable affair.  His melodies aren’t bad by any means; they’re just indistinctive, as if all the worshipping at the altar of Uncle Tupelo couldn’t save Keith from his own songwriting influences (think Wilco’s A.M., just duller). On the bright side, opener “The West Coast” adds a bit more of a professional pop sheen to things (making the melodies much clearer, incidentally), and the totally solo “Take the Hammer Down, Dear” proves to be one of the disc’s most lasting tunes (unintentionally copping, of all things, Coldplay’s “Till Kingdom Comes”), but in the end, Here to Outliving Me proves to be one of the most generic Americana records to come by in some time.

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Evan Sawdey started contributing to PopMatters in late 2005, and has also had his work featured in publications such as SLUG Magazine, The Metro (U.K.), Soundvenue Magazine (Denmark), the Daily Dot, and multiple national newspapers. Evan has been a guest on RevotTV's "Revolt Live!" as well as WNYC's Soundcheck (an NPR affiliate), was the Executive Producer for the Good With Words: A Tribute to Benjamin Durdle album (available for free at GoodWithWordsAlbum.com), and wrote the liner notes for the 2011 re-release of Andre Cymone's hit 1985 album A.C. (Big Break Records), the 2012 re-release of 'Til Tuesday's 1985 debut Voices Carry (Hot Shot Records), and many others. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois. You can follow him @SawdEye should you be so inclined.


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11 May 2010
Keith has gotten right by staying even-keeled, and the smart lyrics and steady music combine for a surprisingly good listen.
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