Doug Levitt

REVIEW: Doug Levitt “Edge of Everywhere”


Doug Levitt Offers ‘Cold Comfort’ on gritty, honest Edge of Everywhere

Doug Levitt’s Edge of Everywhere, encapsulating 12 years and 120,000 Greyhound miles (as featured on BBC) takes the listener all around the nation, riding the bus with Levitt and meeting the passengers with him from Los Angeles to West Virginia and beyond. 

Levitt’s sound is seasoned, experienced. He’s cultured without sounding pretentious. The style is reminiscent at times of Joe Henry, Don Henley and Pete Yorn, but always uniquely his own.

There’s a gospel element to Edge of Everywhere, a subtle one, with vocal lines and delivery at times reminiscent of the late Christian artist Rich Mullins. The spirituality of the songs are felt and understood by Levitt’s humanizing lyrics. The first track, “Cold Comfort” sets this tone immediately, a song about the vices we all carry on the bus, those vices that don’t offer solutions, just a fix.

This feel continues on the title track, which has sing-along energy, like a low-key “The Rising.” It’s an uplifting song despite capturing so much of the disparity and desperation felt both on and off the Greyhound. “Edge of Everywhere” is relatable no matter what your income or social status, and it builds brilliantly thanks largely to background vocals from Daryl Johnson, Olivia Drake, Jennifer Hartswick and Hayley Kempsell. 

“L.A. River” is perhaps my favorite song on the album. The soothing melody and David Henry’s mesmerizing viola nearly bring me to tears.

Edge of Everywhere does feel in many ways like a travelogue. It’s hard not to envision yourself riding on the bus next to Levitt, and so often you can see the passengers, those sharing their Greyhound testimonials. Levitt does an amazing job putting his own spin on the narratives through his craft. It was an ambitious task, and it pays off. 

Levitt humanizes so many dire experiences in this album, and he does so with compassion, empathy and – most importantly – hope. Perhaps the best example of this is “Disaster Can Wait,” a song that mixes a little more autobiographical material than the others. At the same time it may be the most identifiable on the whole album, especially considering all we’ve gone through since 2020: “Let’s hope disaster can wait/the ever-after is running late/the second hand is coming up on fate.”

“Turning Myself In” is reminiscent of Springsteen’s story songs from the Nebraska album, specifically “Highway Patrolman,” except from the perspective of the criminal, which Levitt does very believably, both lyrically and vocally. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as the story came directly from a fellow Greyhound passenger. Levitt makes the story his own here and illustrates the power of songwriting and what can be gained by simply listening. Levitt plays haunting lead guitar on this track, and keeps it stripped down, just his voice and the electric. The chorus effect on the guitar is a perfect compliment to the story. “Run It All Back” is another great example of this, as Levitt captures a tragic moment in the life of another passenger, whose 11-year-old son was killed by a stray bullet (the song also features heartbreaking cello work by Henry).

“Highway Signs” sums up the album nicely. If you looked at the album as a TV series, this would be the theme song: “It’s a tale of so many others/Just threaded through me/Strangers trading/On the ways to be free/And now I see.” 

Like the title track, “Highway Signs” energizes and again makes it hard to resist singing along. The build is magnificent, as is Levitts’ guitar work and light touch on piano. The track brings back the gospel feel from early in the album, elevated beautifully by Grayson Capps, Drake and Kempsell on backup vocals. 

Produced by Trina Shoemaker (Brandi Carlile, Sheryl Crow, Josh Ritter), Richard Neuberg and Levitt, Edge of Everywhere isn’t just an excellent Americana album – it’s also a testament to what America looks like today. It’s a piece of modern literature. Like Jack Kerouac or John Steinbeck, Levitt hits the road not to see the nation but to meet who we really are, and who we’ve become. It’s a magnificent exploration of today’s human condition.

Other musicians on the album include Shoemaker, Neuberg, Tim Hillsdon, Craig Wright, Josh Rigal, Corky Hughes and Joe Hicks. The album was mixed by Shoemaker and mastered by Gavin Lurssen.

Highlights: “Disaster Can Wait,” “Cold Comfort,” “L.A. River,” “Turning Myself In”

Edge of Everywhere is available on March 3 on all music streaming services. For more information, or to buy the album or merchandise, go to

Enjoy our previous coverage here: Interview: Doug Levitt Tells Stories from The “Edge of Everywhere”

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