Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

New Single From Local Singer-Songwriter Doug McKean Addresses Human Rights Violations

Posted By on Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge COURTESY OF DOUG MCKEAN
  • Courtesy of Doug McKean
Local singer-songwriter Doug McKean, a member of the Ohio City Singers and the Boys From the County Hell, has just released a new Christmas single. Recorded with Don Dixon (REM, Marshall Crenshaw, Smithereens) in Canton, “Dear Santa” and its B-side, ‘The Foul Stench of Bellaire,” represent the most topical songs that McKean has ever recorded.

“With ‘Dear Santa,’ there are gratuitous and systemized human rights violations going on on the border. Charity and activism, while meaningful, still won’t change our leadership’s course of action,” says McKean in a press release about the track. “I thought a letter to Santa asking for help during the season of peace on Earth and goodwill to men would channel the mix of anger and helplessness people are feeling.”

A folk song, "The Foul Stench of Bellaire" addresses the (subsequently withdrawn) hiring of former Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann by the city of Bellaire in 2018.

“I thought the actors in these events need to be memorialized, so they can live in shame forever," says McKean. "There’s a lesson about our society here, and there’s a lesson about humanity here. That’s a lot to shoot for, but I’m really proud of these lyrics.”

“Dear Santa” features Cleveland bluesman Austin “Walkin’ Cane” Charanghat on slide guitar, and “The Foul Stench of Bellaire” finds Meredith Pangrace of Maura Rogers and the Bellows contributing accordion. Dixon handles percussion, and McKean plays the rest.

McKean currently has a set of songs written for an album he hopes to release in 2020.

“This seemed like the right time for these two songs," he says. "Plus, you want to get topical songs out in a timely fashion.”

"Dear Santa" as well as the rest of McKean’s solo catalog is available at his Bandcamp site, where you can name your price to download. McKean will donate proceeds from all downloads to RAICES Texas.

Sign up for Scene's weekly newsletters to get the latest on Cleveland news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.

Tags: , ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 17, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation