George Ducas

Fri 7/19 • 9:00pm • $15 advance/$20 day of show

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE!!!

It isn’t often when a country singer has the rock-solid guts of Dust Bowl reveries, the jacked-up locomotion of the early Bakersfield country sound and the more modern-minted energy of Los Angeles’ honky-tonk hijinks all rolled into one righteous attack. But that’s George Ducas’ soul to share. On his new album, LONG WAY FROM HOME, there is a distinct feeling of a new history being born. Maybe that’s because Ducas is able to seamlessly connect all those elements with such a natural flair that it can be a bit overwhelming when the sound is flying at full-tilt.

On his previous albums it was obvious that something serious has always been happening with the man’s music. It could be felt in the rhythms the songs featured, in the lyrics of someone who takes songwriting seriously, and maybe most of all in the voice of an all-time great country music singer. Ducas has had multipleBillboard chart hits of his own, including the breakout Top 10 “Lipstick Promises,” and has even written hit records for all-timers like George Jones, Garth Brooks, The (“Dixie”) Chicks, and Trisha Yearwood and been nominated for a Grammy Award, but he’s never made an album like LONG WAY FROM HOME.

Now, teaming with Platinum producer/guitar player Pete Anderson, it is as if everything has coalesced into an undeniable force which happens once or twice a decade in country music. George Ducas is now that person moving the sound forward while always respecting what has come before him. His life and his vision have come together to create anew achievement bound to cross new borders, and so out of Los Angeles, California, the journey begins with LONG WAY FROM HOME.

The Texan, born in Galveston, lived in Texas City until the age of five with his parents, then moved to Southern California with his mother and his sister. Even at a young age, the boy felt the pull of music. His first original song, “Women and Whiskey,” was written when the pre-teen was 11 or 12, and was inspired by what George Ducas thought might be on a Willie Nelson album. “I was not real sure what I knew about either of those subjects at the time, but I totally understood where it would fit in what I was listening to.”

Most artists, no matter how young, start with their earliest influences to flip on the light and show them the door to what might be their future. Early events are everything when a singer-songwriter begins, and in George Ducas’ case, he had the prime originators of some of the best country music of all time. It wasn’t long before the young man was standing on stages with some of those influences. “Willie Nelson’s songs taught me song structure, and one of his live shows was my first concert. One year early on, I got to go see Willie’s New Year’s Eve show in Houston. It was inspirational to this Galveston-born, California-infused, cowboy boot-wearing kid. I walked out of the building that night imagining what it would feel like to be playing on that stage. Years later, I actually did, there at the Summit in Houston, in my second show as a signed artist on Capitol Records, opening for Alan Jackson.” That’s the kind of thing that not only thrills a young musician but also shows them how the world of music works, and gives them something to strive for. That has been one of the most important things a young Ducas learned.

“I moved to Nashville when I realized there are no ‘do overs’ in this life,” Ducas says. “Somehow I found myself in Atlanta working a 9-5 job, and I’d hustle off to a club to play an acoustic show a couple of nights a week, writing songs on the weekend. I realized I was just surviving all day on the job so that I could live with some passion on those nights and weekends performing.”

That’s when things started to change, and the young musician made a living playing in the bars and occasional private parties. “Fairly quickly, I had a Top 10 hit that I co-wrote with Radney Foster, and that gained me some attention and fast-tracked things to a publishing deal,” he says. Country music legend Jimmy Bowen showed up at the pool hall where Ducas played and offered him a recording contract. It wasn’t long before he had a few of his own Billboard hits on the radio, first with “Teardrops” and then the breakout Top 10 hit “Lipstick Promises,” and one of his tunes found its way onto The (then “Dixie”) Chicks’ 15-million-selling WIDE OPEN SPACES album. George Ducas had found a recording career the old-fashioned way: working his way up.

Once the wheels really started turning for this country singer-songwriter, like in many cases, it seemed like all things were possible. Which to an extent is true, but also like so many stories there are thousands of hours of hard work and endless events that keep a new artist hoping for their next break. George Ducas worked for and managed to find some of those breaks when his songs would be recorded by George Jones, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and a number of others.

Even with that, maybe the most important break of all is now, teaming with producer Pete Anderson, who decided to record Ducas’ new album LONG WAY FROM HOME. Known for his work with Americana greats Lucinda Williams and Jim Lauderdale as well as his multi-platinum productions of Dwight Yoakam’s albums, Anderson is someone who is as much a star-spotter as any recent producer in country music. When he saw and heard George Ducas, he knew he was looking at the future. And he made sure he would be producing the new songs. “This album plants a flag for California country and the Bakersfield and Texas honky-tonks,” Anderson says. “Every track is a monument—and this album is monumental.” That is the highest praise possible from someone who absolutely knows whereof he speaks.

For George Ducas, this is the music he was born to make. And he knows it. “My opportunity to work with Pete Anderson on this album is definitely a major highlight. Beyond the work, we also have a bond that goes beyond the making of a record together. I’ve looked up to Pete’s abilities as both a producer and a guitar player since I was probably 19 or 20 years old, and not just in country music. The blues infusion he imparts on country records and on his own guitar playing is tangible, palpable. It’s what separates him from the rest. Working on this album, it reminded me that the goal is always trying to get it right. It’s what makes me feel alive. I’m just going to keep growing and learning, which hopefully is what we are all doing. I’m still that lost kid from Texas and California. I’m trying my best to appreciate the journey.

In looking at how to capture in words what his own music is striving for, George Ducas says it best himself: “I wanted the songs I wrote for this album to be what would happen if ’67 Merle Haggard met up maybe with the ’74 Eagles in L.A., and they hit it off and decide to play a show at Gilley’s in Pasadena (Texas) in 1981.” That’s saying a lot, which is exactly what this man has been able to do on his new unforgettable album LONG WAY FROM HOME.

BAND WEBSITE
©2021 Barley's Knoxville. All Rights Reserved.