Musical styles will always be developing. Whether it be unique offshoots of one main genre or mashing together different genres to create something fresh, artists will always find new ways to make great music. Bringing classic sounds to new heights can give them new life as well. Our recent find DocFell & Co. is bringing country music out of its current common rut.
Based in a small town at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains called Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the musical collaboration has been drawing in a rush of fans looking for something classic yet new. The founder of the group, Dr. John Fell is an actual doctor by day and a manically expressive singer-songwriter and acoustic guitarist by night. Pairing with Dr. Fell is electric & acoustic guitarist and mandolin master Kyle Brown. Together as DocFell & Co. since 2011, they have recruited a revolving door of talented musicians to further their fusion of traditional country, hillbilly, bluegrass, Americana, red dirt, folk and gospel funk.
There is real life emotion poured into the music of DocFell & Co. “We embrace our Americana roots,” DocFell says. “Our songs are inspired by the joys and heartaches, the love and loss, life and death we have experienced. We embrace the heritage of legendary singer songwriters and acknowledge a time when songs were well written and told a story. Our aim is to touch the soul of the listener and for a moment ease the suffering and pain of life and encourage each other in the struggles of life.”
Released this past Valentine’s Day is the new full length record Dust Bowl Heart. The 10 track record stirs up the country genre with the DocFell & Co. red dirt style. The opener “Lonesomeville” starts the tragic love story with the picture of being all alone. The eerie spoken word start gives way to a rollicking bluesy folk song filled with lyrical images of a somewhat broken man.
It seems like the loneliness is over on “Love Sick”, although the love may just be for the alcohol. The straight ahead beat will have your head bopping along. The country guitar fills show off some true talent with the instrument. There is a slowed down ballad feel on “Oklahoma Lady”. DocFell & Co. are very proud of their home state and have a true love for it. The music bleeds out of their Oklahoma blood.
On “Dandelions” we can start to see where love can be a real struggle. The vocal harmonies through the verse add a sense of beautiful togetherness but there is strife between the dandelion and the hurricane. There is real emotion spilled on this track. The tempo and energy of “Broken Heart” seem to show positivity but the lyrics seem to signal the end of the relationship. I almost felt awkward smiling and tapping my foot to this one.
The storytelling of the americana styled title track “Dust Bowl Heart” is legendary. Having never been to Oklahoma myself, I feel like I had a real taste of the scene through this song. The closer “This Machine” shows off some Woody Guthrie influence as the vocals are sung with raw passion and the power of the guitar and driving beat push it along.
Glad that DocFell & Co. let me tag along on this journey and I am sure they would make a space on the tractor for you too. Dive in a have a listen on their WEBSITE.