Doug Morter, The Gathering, and Hunter MuskettI saw Doug play with his new band Hunter Muskett a couple of weeks ago. When I say new, I mean that they originated around 44 years ago, went their own ways around 40 years ago, and reformed about 4 years ago. Easy numbers, if I have them right. The sound is fairly gentle folkish rockish, the sort of thing you'd expect from Doug, though the main songwriter of this foursome is co-lead singer Terry Hiscock. Out of Jerry's shadow, Doug very capably takes on the role of lead guitarist.
To celebrate the reunion, Hunter Muskett have unsurprisingly released a new album. Called "That was then and this is now", Doug contributes two of the ten tracks: "Stage Lights", and "Once Bitten" (a good old rocker). The overall feel of the album is not disimilar to Doug & Jerry's Backroom Boys album "Start Up Again", but without the classic instrumental and note bending. I say ten tracks, because they describe the eleventh as a bonus, perhaps because it's a cover. This is "Walk Away Renee", something also recorded by The Happy Cats (though making no appearance on any of their own albums).
I also referred to four members of the band, though on the album they're supported by a number of others. These include Jerry, Jacka and Paul Burgess (he who was one of Rod's Ghosts of Electricity and who ghosted on the Promenade recordings). Jacka plays on three tracks, but it's very much a supporting accompanyment. There are no 'take it away Ray' moments. In fact, the harmonica is so low down in the mix on one track (if that's the right term) that you have to listen hard to hear it at all. But, it's all worth a listen.
I had a quick word with Doug, and he repeated pretty much what he's said on this own site (and has been reported on this forum) about the closure of The Acoustic Gathering. It's the same for the full band, presumably on the basis that if you can't get three people together, you'll never do it for six. He's still working on and off with Jerry though, and they have a few gigs coming up with a new third member, Elliot Randall, formerly of Steely Dan. As Doug said, it'll be different!