Jimmy Wildroot Dolan Spotlight

"Gold Standard" from his LP One Hell of a Ride
TGS Spotlight Player from December 9, 2010

Mention great blues cities to most people and they likely think of Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis or New Orleans. Maybe even Clarksdale, Mississippi. But for James Dougherty, that city is Pittsburgh.

“When I began putting this project together, I wanted to dive into the blues and jazz roots in the Pittsburgh area,” says Dougherty, who enlisted renowned engineer Buddy Hall to produce Wayne & Wildroot: One Hell of a Ride (Release date: Sept. 21). “Organizing the players for the Wayne and ‘Wildroot’ project gave me an opportunity to once again familiarize myself with Pittsburgh’s deep pool of talent.

“This town has a reputation for cultivating great jazz talent for nearly a century, and I’ve taken to heart the quote from no less than Winton Marsalis that ‘if it ain’t blues, it ain’t jazz,” he continues. “Pittsburgh has contributed its fair share to the Great American Book of Jazz,” he continues. “No Dukes or Counts, but the Earls — Earl “Father” Hines and Erroll Garner was well as the Dukes’ greatest knight, Billy Strayhorn, who brought us the immortal tune, ‘Lush Life.’”

Dougherty is, first and foremost, a songwriter. But on One Hell of a Ride, it’s his alter-ego, Jimmy “Wildroot” Dolan that takes over his songs with high-octane, blues-infused slide guitar.

“I wanted to make horn album,” Dougherty says. “Having the wild, cutting guitar of the Wildroot character in the mix was a great challenge and a whole lot of fun.“

Visit Jimmy Wildroot Dolan's website at

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