Being a one-man band is not easy. Touring silo and keeping your sound both original and exciting are just some of the challenges faced by the one-man band. Plenty of these acts have come along over the years only to fizzle out or eventually enlist the help of other musicians to expand into a full band (Shakey Graves anyone?), but there are also exceptions. Portland, Oregon-based musician Scott S. McDougall seems to be one of the exceptions. Going by just his last name, this one-man band has spent the last few years drifting around the country – mostly the West – singing his musical tales to anyone who will listen. During a typical performance McDougall will sit behind a cymbal and bass drum, both of which he will simultaneously play along with guitar, banjo, harmonica, and whatever other instruments he can get his hands on. Somehow he manages to use all of these tools, along with his voice, to produce a sound that carries hints of country, folk, roots, and rock, yet is all his own.
McDougall is currently getting ready to release a three-song EP for his fans, and we’re excited to premiere one of the album’s tracks, “Good Man, Bad Man”, right here on Glide. McDougall plans to make it available for free online since the EP’s purpose was for him to play all these instruments and do a sound he couldn’t re-create live. “Good Man, Bad Man” is a song that carries McDougall’s philosophy towards life, as he explains: “I find as a human being that even though I really want to be good and do good things, the desire to do things that end up being destructive is always haunting me, causing struggle within me, and I find myself failing all the time. The conflict seems constant, no matter how hard I try. Since I don’t want it there and yet cannot get away from it, I am not truly free to live the best life I can, and because of this I believe I am incapable of saving myself and desperately need God’s intervention. I believe there is a road to freedom, I just don’t believe that road was made by man.”