Country music has always maintained an ebb and flow between pushing the genre forward with outside influences and returning back to the roots that keep the genre grounded in its history. It's rare for one artist to balance those two directions, but Doug McCormick pulls off that hat trick masterfully on his new EP, Sweet Dixie Memory.
Doug grew up the son of a blue-collar textile worker in Patrick, South Carolina (pop. 350). He spent his childhood loving the land and the outdoors, appreciating the significance of the hard-working men and women on those neighboring farms. Doug played second base on the McBee High School Panthers baseball team, was a leader in the local FFA organization, and even received his B.S. in Agricultural Education from Clemson University.
Though he moved to Nashville and signed a publishing deal with BMG/Chrysalis in January 2013, Doug's mind wanders back to that small Carolina town when he's writing his heartfelt lyrics.
"I always try to go back to that place and say, 'What would my dad think about this,'" Doug says. "And even more than that -- my buddies back home, will they relate to this?' So, I think having that kind of raising, having that kind of background, just being from a little town in Carolina, that's where the music comes from."
The rich legacy of country music factors into Doug's music in a big way, too. Heavily influenced by his mom's music, it was the sound of a steel guitar and a fiddle on classic songs by Garth Brooks, Keith Whitley, Randy Travis and The Judds that first sparked Doug's passion for country music. That fire burns throughout Doug's songs to this day.
He says, "The legacy of country music is important to me, because if I think of that legacy fizzling out, I mean, it breaks my heart. Country music has meant so much to me over the years, and the generations coming up deserve that same kind of quality music."
While Sweet Dixie Memory is built on Doug's strong country foundation, certain nuances in the production give the music an edge perfectly in step with the sound of today's country radio. Doug credits his producer, Marshall Altman (Frankie Ballard, Eric Paslay), for helping him make music that will light up the crowds during his energetic live shows while also maintaining the timeless quality Doug shoots for in all of his songs.