Doug Levitt has had a long and varied career, travelling the world with his journalism but his true calling was in music. For his latest album, Levitt has beautifully married his passion for travel by documenting the stories of the people he met whilst travelling America on a greyhound bus. ‘The Edge of Everywhere’ gives deep insight into the different stories of the people Levitt has met as they reach a crossroads in their life. Produced by Trina Shoemaker, it is both a groundbreaking step in his career as well as for the Americana genre itself.
Levitt first turned to music as a teenager, struggling with the grief of losing his father. “Music can kind of reach things in a way that’s wordless,” Levitt begins, a philosophical musing of what music really means. “It was a way of getting out of my head and into my heart. I couldn’t really express for a while, even if I tried to pretend like I could, or say the right things, when you’re talking to people, I just really wasn’t dealing on a deeper level and music was a way for me to have an outlet.”
As he has grown up, memories of himself and his father sharing in the joy of music come back to him as he hears his voice when he sings. “I was always doing music, even with my father, I used to sing duets with him, he’d pick up the candlestick holder, and I’d grab the letter opener, and we would sing. I lost him when I was 16. Your voice is still kind of coming into its own so as I grew older, in some ways, my instrument mirrored my father’s, it took on the timbre, of what I remembered of his voice. So in some ways, I could find myself in certain moments, feeling like I was singing with him, because I could hear him in my voice.”
Travel too, was something deep seated in the early stages of his life. “As a kid, I would take trips with my family, my mother took us across the states, we drove across the country, and we did duffel bag traveling in Europe. When I was about 20 or so I started to travel on my own a bit when I was studying and I really took to it,” he recalls. But it was when he became a foreign correspondent that his adventure began to take off. “In terms of journalism; journalism in a way was, for me at least, a license to see the world, it was an avenue for experiences.” But he knew Journalism wasn’t what he wanted to do forever, music was his calling and the two began to overlap. “I knew that if I didn’t do music at this point, I wasn’t going to do it. So I was living in London, and I was just playing out at the borderline or the 12 bar. Just getting my sea legs a bit. I knew I had to make the leap and so I moved to Nashville, as you do.”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE LATEST ISSUE OF MAVERICK AVAILABLE HERE!
Zoe Hodges, Editor