On any given Wednesday, in a Tahlequah back alley that smells of fryer steam and hash browns, one can walk up a janky flight of stairs and find themselves neck deep in padded walls built of fiberglass and sound boards. Doctor John Eddie, or DocFell to most, is no stranger to these walls.
Fell has spent months watching his own stories bounce between the corners of this building, evolving from words into melodies and from sound bites into millions of moments tossed into veteran producer Aaron Pack‘s infamous audio cauldron, otherwise known as Monotone Studios. Tahlequah has adopted DocFell & Co. as some of its favorite sons and beloved artists over the years; their first album titled Scissor Tail rang between the walls and halls of nearly every pub and restaurant from North End Tahlequah to downtown Tulsa. It has been praised by all sides of the country, folk, red dirt, and even the gospel-funk corners of the Oklahoma music scene.
Now Fell and bandmate Kyle Brown have stepped back into Monotone Studios to record their sophomore album titled Dust Bowl Heart (self-released, Feb. 14) and they’ve brought back a slew of all-stars (and even a few wind instruments) to help bring this vision into the ears and throats of anyone looking to add some tunes to their collection.
Artists who contributed to the album include Caitlin Cary of Whiskeytown fame, renowned fiddler Kelli Doolin (Johnny Lee, steel guitarist Terry Day, upright bassist Bernice Hembree (Smokey & the Mirror), and flatpick guitar champion Thomas Trapp (Byron Berline Band, Turnpike Troubadours) among others.
DocFell’s classic country and strict Baptist influences lay a vintage-esque framework to this new body of work. Each song has a story, and as each song unfolds the stories begin to coral together to build the spine of this journey: a tale of heart break, delinquency, empathy, and hope. Fell talked about being captivated by books about the lives of legendary artists like Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash.
“I wanted to channel their spirits,” said Fell.
Dust Bowl Heart seems to have the earmarks of a composition touched by something magical; the album will be available online at your favorite digital retailers as well as Website, and wherever finer music is sold.