On Aug. 1, Jay Ward released an album under the band name dogbrain called Blue Dog. The album uses slide guitar and an alternative sound to breathe life into Ward’s existence on Earth.
dogbrain has a unique sound and singing style. Ward’s songs are more like words spoken to rhythm than soulful singing and the whole thing has an alt-country feel. “Edge of a Dream” uses that country sound for a pleasing duet. “Stronger” is an alt-rock song with a country chaser and “Orphan” shows us his perfect live tonality and guitar-picking prowess.
The album has an autobiographical feel, working through some of Ward’s personal demons. “Boom Chains” describes him as a teen seeking refuse from life at a river driver camp. “Chain Gang” reflects on adult pain and self-punishment. “Stronger” describes finding personal strength against the ills that life throws at you. It seems the man has lived through a lot and wants to share his earned knowledge with others.
If you enjoy alternative-country with a bluesy backing, this album is probably just what you’re looking for. While not mainstream by any means, the songs have heart and wind their way into your brain.