While this is a local album, the quality is serene, a task which deserves commending considering the added difficulty when recording acoustic instruments.
By Patrick Jude
While my memories at UCF are some of the fondest I’ve made through life, just as fond are the memories of my time spent at our nation’s largest college – Valencia. Their music program, directed by Dr. Troy Gifford, truly is top notch and has very competently mentored some of the most active musicians throughout Central Florida.
The recording arts program, which recently unveiled an entirely new and eloquently modern building, is equally as successful in producing thoroughly learned audio engineers. Earlier this month, a group consisting entirely of alumni and attendees, including Preston Hardwick who phenomenally captured and produced the songs, released what has become one of the most successful local albums in a while. Dougie Flesh and The Slashers new self-titled release is a hit.
The sound of the band, though it’s difficult to restrict it with a genre, could be described as wailin’ Country with some Klezmer (Gypsy), but done by musicians operating at the height of talent – Jazz cats. The four-piece contains guitarist and singer Doug Lowell, pianist Matthew Gutkin, on fiddle Vedda Kangalova, and finally Christian Sai Arellano on the upright bass.
All of these musicians have outstandingly polished their crafts; a statement that proves its validity with thumping bass lines, colorful layers of harmony from the keys, and the authentic bowing of strings. In Lowell is something that can never truly be taught – tremendous songwriting.
I’ve known Dougie since we were no older than fourteen. He’s always been the guy with the guitar, pouring out his Folk tunes, and an open case which listeners could never help filling up with extra dollars and single cigarettes. While he’s been active in several bands over the course of ten plus years, this is truly his greatest collection of songs. With song names such as “Something In The Shadows” and “The American Werewolf”, Dougie Flesh and The Slashers couldn’t have picked a better time of year to release their new EP.
While this is a local album, the quality is serene, a task which deserves commending considering the added difficulty when recording acoustic instruments. With the skilled hands of Preston Hardwick in the sound booth, and the collective years of pure musicianship playing altogether, Dougie Flesh and The Slashers new album is certainly worth a listen through…a couple more, and into another one.
For listen and purchase:
For studio time with John Preston Hardwick:
Currently Reading – Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Born and raised in Orlando, and Socialist to the core, Patrick Jude graduated from The University Of Central Florida in 2015. He currently holds a B.A. in English Literature, as well as an A.A. in Jazz Performance from Valencia College. Jude is heavily tattooed, abstains from alcohol and is an avid Packers fan.