Essence – Ten Seconds

My new book of short stories, “Ten Seconds In-Between” is officially out – big thanks to the folks at Chapter 16 for running this excerpt, “Essence.” Thanks to Humanities Tennessee for the love, and Better than Starbucks for publishing the book. Hope you enjoy it – feel free to follow the link and pick up a copy. Best, Doug.

Higher Ground Video Premiere

Happy to announce the unveiling of “Higher Ground,” the latest (and sixth) video premiere from The Day Deserved – up now at We Own This Town. The fine folks at WOTT draw flattering comparisons to Low, Mazzy Star, and Slow Dive and ask:

“How many songs have you heard today about the emergency evacuation of island nation Kirabiti b/c of rising sea levels? The answer should be ONE! Higher Ground tackles the subject, beautifully…a captivating video, a wild subject and an interesting slowcore song. Checking lots of boxes there.”

Particularly pleased with this video, assembled by friend (and former student from Watkins College of Art), the very talented Trevor Denton, filming in L.A., Malibu, and Santa Monica, nicely balancing the literal and the abstract, in sync with the vibe of the track. Video and review right here:

The Day of the Day Deserved

Yes, indeed, that moment has arrived, the new Doug Hoekstra album, “The Day Deserved,” is officially released in the U.S. and Europe.   Many outlets for digital and physical but here are a couple, kick in and make your day…. (U.S.) (Europe)

Advance Praise for The Day Deserved

“peerless musical tales of quirks & misdemeanors”
(Mike Cobey, Brighton Magazine)

 “Always an interesting cat, Hoekstra’s magic has always sprung from sounding so underground yet being visible enough to nail real awards…his first record in a decade is cause for celebration
(Chris Spector, Midwest Record)

 “The Day Deserved is a welcome return to song from one of Nashville’s most lauded songwriters…a mature, emotional recording…you’ll see Doug Hoekstra’s name on various end of the year best of lists… and it’s well worth the wait.”
(James Mann, Ink 19)

“Intricate and articulate lo-fi Americana…. scintillating and tragically beautiful, sounding like Pete Shelley fronting a Velvet Underground offshoot.  Doug Hoekstra is not just a mighty fine singer, songwriter and storyteller; but the way this is sequenced and indeed; produced put it right up there with the Big League…”
(Rocking Magpie UK)

 “…bound to land on many ‘best of 2021’ lists..the arrangements on this album are impeccable….ten  beautiful underground pop songs executed to perfection…this man has a totally killer understated manner of singing that is instantly appealing….The Day Deserved is an album that will surely stand the test of time. Resilient, smart and different. This one’s a modern-day classic. Highly recommended.”
(Baby Sue Top Pick)

“…Thoroughly intriguing and compelling, an album that reaches well beyond the usual melodic and thematic constraints…an album that reflects deep thought fleshed out with full finesse, The Day Deserved ought to be considered a truly singular accomplishment.”(Lee Zimmerman, Goldmine)

“Poetic observations of people, places and times unencumbered by musical boundaries…folk, rock and even reggae….there is a great deal going on both lyrically and musically throughout this record that it can be hard keeping up. But even if the eloquent lyrics do detach themselves from the flowing layers of sound do not despair. ‘The Day Deserved’ merits repeated listening, an experience akin to returning to an art gallery several times and finding something new on each visit.”
(Lyndon Bolton Americana-UK)

“Perhaps the message in Late Night Ramble sums it all up in the lines, ‘Some people skate the surface, Others go just deep enough, To feel any kind of feeling, That isn’t mindless and numb.’ The message of live-and-let-live runs through these songs, however fractured and in need of support we all may be. The gaps between are not as great as the potential for love and understanding in these troubled times. Welcome back Doug, we missed you!”
(Paul McGee, Lonesome Highway)

“…there’s a place for well-measured and carefully crafted intelligent song craft.  Our touchstones are probably the like of Van Dyke Parks, Randy Newman, Tom Waits, and Jackson Browne (add you own favourites to this list).  So, here, filling his application to join this estimable bunch, is Doug Hoekstra…The Day Deserved is one of those albums which slowly creeps into your life.  It’s polished, all the songs are gems which have been cut to perfection but they reflect darkly the world around them.  Hoekstra leads his note perfect ensemble on a variety of styles ranging from the lounge-lizard sleaze and sophisticated syncopations to dreamlike reveries and tender introspective murmurings.”  (Paul Kerr, Blabber ‘n Smoke)

 Hoekstra’s “songwriting and storytelling acumen is as sharp as ever…on a reinvigorated creative streak, a welcome return for those who followed his career prior to the sabbatical and a terrific introduction to those coming to him new.  It’s a new day and most certainly well deserved.”
(Mike Davies, Fatea UK).  

“…**** There aren’t so many musicians who approach their work at this level, none of today’s pre-fab pop artist to be sure.  Hoekstra realizes that if a story is worth telling, he is going to use whatever is necessary at his creative disposal to get that message across.   The Day Deserved is not the kind of album I’m going to listen to every day, but there will be times I will need what it has to offer; solace, comfort, and help in changing the way I think about things… and today, as I write entering the second week of 14-day Covid self-isolation and ponder my recent 63th birthday, is one of those days.”  (John Kerieff, Rock Doctor).

 We’ve been doing lots of pre-release work, via press, radio, and video, and of course, there will be lot more to come (lots more radio, for next time).  The new book of Hoekstra short stories, “Ten Seconds In-Between”  comes out in June, as well.     Thanks to the many writers and deejays who have been supportive so far – some of the best blurbs are listed above and we appreciate the time taken to listen, and testify.  We’re all in this together.

Outside Looking In – Video and Radio News

Yes indeed, the latest single/video,,  Outside Looking In just dropped at The Big Takeover.   The closing track from the forthcoming The Day Deserved album, this one is a plaintive tune about a manual scoreboard operator at Wrigley Field, part of the action, but removed, the outsider working for inclusion without losing sense of self.  Hopefully something we can all relate to, in some context. Guitars, melodica, mailbox percussion, the video was filmed by Dave “Francis Ford” Coleman, at abandoned Nashville ballparks during the pandemic, crowd footage added later.

We amped up the videos this time out, and it’s been a fun and creative effort, lending new dimensions to the tunes, and also engaging others in the process. 

You can find them one by one on our visual page and also at the

Doug Hoekstra You Tube Channel

You know, old-timers – someone once sang that video killed the radio star, but airplay is picking up on “The Day Deserved,” as well, with a nod to: Americana Radio Netherlands, 40UP Radio (Jan Donkers/Netherlands), Groove Station, Radio Guitar One, Radio Summerhall, WMOT Murfreesboro (Ana Lee), WXNA Nashville (Annie McCue at Nashville Express) for starting the ball rolling.  

Multimedia thanks also go to Making a Scene – for the Hoekstra interview/podcast/cover and Imperfect Fifth (for having us at the SXSW Instagram takeover)

Eddie was a Gandy Dancer

“Eddie was a Gandy Dancer, but he only lasted a week” and this week, it’s a Doug Hoekstra Vents Magazine premiere served up for your enjoyment. “Gandy Dancer” is the song, about a railroad worker gone off the track, single video number four from the forthcoming album, The Day Deserved. This musical noir features a groovy 1999-Staple Singers inspired vocal trade off between myself (DH), Hannah Fairlight, and Preacher Boy, pushing the tale along.  The fabulous animated video was put together by Grant Claire at Goodnicethanks here in Nashville. It’s Saul Bass inspired, but he really ran with it. Link below followed by a bit more on the tune from yours truly.

Before my parents passed, I recorded many hours of interviews with them, family questions, about their lives and the times they lived.   Recently, I was driving along listening to my Dad from the past coming to the present to tell me about his brother Herbie, who worked for a short time as a gandy dancer, on the railway in Chicago.  Apparently, it was a terrible job, very hard, and he quit after a week.  I didn’t remember this particular family tale and I wasn’t even sure what a gandy dancer was, so I looked it up.  Herbie is not Eddie, the rest of this story is simply a noir tale I made up, but I thank my Dad for giving me the idea from then to now, as if he was just waiting to lay it on me, from the great beyond.

Gandy Dancer was also the last song we finished for the record; I felt like the bass/drums were solid, but that it didn’t have enough layers and that it was probably a song that needed to deviate more from the original path.   When the pandemic hit, however, necessity became the mother of invention as we went back to the drawing board, flying in overdubs, with Wurlitzer (me), guitars (Dave Coleman), congas (Chris Benelli), and sax (Jimmy Bowland) getting added to the mix and creating a whole new stew. Paul Slivka’s original bass and Chris’ original drums remained. Then came the round-robin vocals, adding Hannah and Preach to what I had going already. So this track really has a nice evolution, from my Uncle Herbie to my folk’s recordings to the studio to the “community” created during the pandemic.