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George Ducas overcomes sophomore slump

By Jeffrey B. Remz, January 1997

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Several of Ducas' band members played on the album. Kim Richey and Vince Gill sang backup.

Plans for the album were hatched soon after Ducas came off the road in the fall of 1995 following 13 months of touring off his debut.

Ducas, a Texas native, who also grew up in San Diego with his mother after his folks divorced, got the musical bug when he was about 10. He begged for a guitar for Christmas, and his mother obliged.

"I don't really remember what gave me that urge," he says. "I was constantly pounding on my school desk. Maybe I should have been a drummer. It wound up being much more difficult to play than I had hoped. I got frustrated with it pretty quickly, but I picked it up when I was 12. I stuck with it that time. Took a couple of lessons and off I went."

Ducas was weaned on Texas country as his parents had a bunch of Willie Nelson records.

While in high school, Ducas wanted to put a band together, but, instead, found himself writing songs for girlfriends. His father was not too pleased with the racket coming out of his bedroom.

Off he later went to Vanderbilt University in Nashville where friends always encouraged Ducas to play.

Apparently he did because "I certainly knew at that time, I had a real passion for performance and music. It just took me a couple years longer to figure out, hey I could actually do this as a profession.'"

After graduating Vanderbilt, Ducas spent a year in banking in Atlanta, but that was not for him.

"It could have been any job," Ducas says, adding, "We all have this moment in our lives when we look ourselves in the mirror and say who am I?' We have to be honest with ourselves. I think when we do that, that's when we can really pursue happiness. We've got one life to live and go after what makes us happy."

He went to Nashville in 1990. He received his songwriting break by being introduced to Radney Foster by a mutual friend. Foster helped Ducas hone his songwriting skills. The two eventually wrote "Just Call Me Lonesome," Foster's first solo hit.

Ducas played live, often at a bar near Vanderbilt where he caught the ear of a record company talent scout. Ducas wound up auditioning in the living room of Jimmy Bowen, head of Capitol (then actually Liberty), who signed Ducas in early 1994.

"It sort of fell in my lap," he says. "I didn't actively pursue it. I was just trying to hone my skills and figure out who I was. During that time was when I got discovered. It was almost sort of by accident. It was a great way to do it."

Following the debut's success, Ducas hit the road, opening for the likes of Alan Jackson and Diamond Rio.

Eventually, he had to concentrate on album number two.

"I dedicated myself to becoming a songwriter without any distractions," Ducas says. "I spent about four months writing songs for the new record. Obviously, I spent a couple of months recording. I put some quality time into creating the album. I think that's one of the most important things in creating a record and hopefully creating a record that will affect people for a long period of time."

Ducas says he isn't nervous about how his new album will do. "What that boils down for me is excitement...Before I have a song out, before I have an album out, before I step out on stage...Man, I'm just pumped because I've been waiting for the album to come out for so darn long. I think we're doing it the right way."

And Ducas is glad the long wait is over. "It's been a long time coming. Hopefully, good things come to those who wait."

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