This is Douglas’ first solo release since his acclaimed 2009 Christmas album Jerry Christmas! and features special guest vocals from Eric Clapton, Mumford & Sons, Paul Simon, Keb’ Mo’, Marc Cohn and Alison Krauss and Union Station.
The 11-track album also features legendary musicians Dr. John (piano), Béla Fleck (banjo), Del McCoury (harmony vocals), Sam Bush (harmony vocals and mandolin) Omar Hakim (drums) and Viktor Krauss (bass), among others.
The basic tracks for much of the album were recorded in New Orleans, but Douglas was always present in other cities (Nashville, New Orleans, New York and Banbury, U.K. )when his guests recorded their parts. It was one of the objectives when he began discussing the project with Russ Titelman, whose production credits include sessions with Clapton, Simon, George Harrison, Randy Newman, Little Feat and many others.
Traveler was produced by Russ Titelman. Songs include versions of Paul Simon’s “The Boxer” and “American Tune,” as well as several original tunes from Douglas (“So Here We Are,” “Duke and Cookie,” “Gone to Fortingall” and “King Silkie”). Of special note is Douglas’ rendition of the Leadbelly classic “On A Monday,” which marks his lead vocal debut.
“For the first time in my career,” says Douglas, “I found myself ready to step completely out of my comfort zone to begin a solo recording project with a producer. Giving someone else the controls of a personal endeavor to allow myself the freedom to focus entirely on what I would want to play in this new situation was something I had never allowed myself. This record is the culmination of a long career spent making friends and lending my sound to theirs. This time my friends have come onboard to lend their voices to me.”
Internationally recognized as the world’s most renowned Dobro player, Douglas ranks among the top contemporary artists in American music. Douglas has garnered thirteen Grammy Awards while holding the distinction of being named “Musician of the Year” by The Country Music Association (2002, 2005, 2007), The Academy of Country Music (11 times), and The Americana Music Association (2002, 2003), as well as numerous International Bluegrass Music Association awards. Douglas is the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Americana Music Association, and was honored as the 2008 Artist In Residence at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, TN. In 2004, the National Endowment for The Arts honored Douglas with a National Heritage Fellowship, acknowledging his artistic excellence and contribution to the nation's traditional arts, their highest such accolade.