Musicians typically make music that reflects what they know or how they know how to feel. The Beatles got their career to super stardom by writing little pop rock songs about catchy phrases mainly about feelings of love or about their energetic “lad” experiences. Only after they had toured and used drugs extensively did they start to change their sound. Singer-songwriter Doug Levitt chose to travel first, experience new things, see different lives and then write his folk rock albums “Greyhound Diaries”.
“The Greyhound Diaries” was the result of one hundred thousand miles traveled via Greyhound bus over a decades long time frame. “Greyhound Diaries” inspired Doug Levitt to create two albums, a show, writings, a photo series and a web series. The entire albums tells stories about what he saw, who he saw and who he heard speaking on the Greyhound buses. It tells of the dark side, the heartbreak and the hopefulness in utter hopelessness in the American countryside. Doug Levitt seems to have become fascinated by the stories of people across America and chose to write not of his own experiences, but to write about the experiences and struggle of everyday people. The stories are sometimes relatable and other times too miserable to fathom. It may not be music that will be playing on the top pop songs radio station, but “Greyhound Diaries” is a strong folk/pop/rock album that deals with the reality of the American people that is entirely lacking glamour.
Doug Levitt at first glance does not seem exactly like the type of guy who would be the voice of everyday Americans. He grew up in Washington, D.C. and was the son of Carol Schwartz who was a member of the city council and was a mayor candidate at one point. He studied at Cornell University and at London School of Economics, where he earned a Master’s degree in International Relations. After obtaining his degree, Doug Levitt became a foreign correspondent for ABC, CNN and MSNBC.
The next step of Doug Levitt’s journey though, was to become a singer-songwriter. As odd as it might seem, Doug has stated that his choice was because of his interest in music and that his father’s suicide made him become more focused on art as a healthy form of expressing emotion.
Perhaps Doug’s work as a foreign correspondent made him more observant of the plight of those people around him. Maybe he just found the right way to portray American stories into songs, writings and photographs. Whatever the reason, Doug Levitt’s “Greyhound Diaries” is an excellent arrangement of music and story telling of what the reality of being an American really means.
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