Doug Briney Tears Down the Clichés

Doug Briney was the friend with the unpopular taste in music, listening to now-country legends like Kenny Rogers as a youth in Southern California. His “cool” friends back then are probably surprised to see that not only has Doug made a name for himself as musician, his genre is now as in demand as hip hop on the iTunes charts. Who ever said pastors can’t be fun?


What do you love most about Kenny Rogers that you hope to exude as an artist?

For me Kenny always had such an easy way of telling his stories through song.  Songs like “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Lucielle,” “The Gambler,”  “Lady,” “You Decorated My Life” and many more tell such great stories and do so in such a manner they stick with you.  I’d like my songs to stick like that.

Why don’t you think country has more iconic singers like him anymore? Not that people today are lacking in talent ― they simply aren’t the same types of legends like the old ones.

I think it goes back to the first question, artists today are more interested in selling a song instead of the song selling itself.  I think there are a few iconic artists out there, guys like George Strait, Vince Gill, Trace Adkins and even Toby Keith, who I think are going to stand the test of time.  Again for me, the stories they tell in their songs is what helps make them great.

As a pastor, what tips do you have for people who may not have made it big yet in country music and want to give up…and possibly feel depressed from personal life negativity thrown their way too?

You know, I think it isn’t just being a pastor that makes me say it, but I would say, the ones who really make it are the ones who stay with it.  I tell folks all the time, this is not an easy business. I mean honestly even with the Internet, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, real success takes time.  You will hear 100 times the word “no” before you ever get your first yes. But stay with it, realize that the longer you stay with it, the better the chances of hearing more and more “yes”‘s.  As to depression, I have to say, I personally don’t deal with it a lot. I know many who do, and it can be devastating, and I guess this is where the pastor in me comes out.  I don’t find my worth in my abilities at all. I find my worth in God. So for me, I have nothing to be depressed about I would encourage those who are feeling beat up or depressed to give God a chance in their life to heal the hurt and to find out that He loves them just the way they are.

How are you putting an end to the boring pastor cliche? Really, if you can tell me one scripted TV or film pastor who isn’t boring, with the exception of John Corbett in Raising Helen, I would be amazed!

LOL. I don’t know that I can put an end to that. I live my life trying to honor God first, my family second and then, my music.  I don’t know that the life of a pastor is all that exciting: a lot of study time (boring), a lot of counseling (boring), a lot of visiting sick people (not so much boring but not a lot of fun), being careful to not offend those who are looking at you as a guide (big responsibility). To many, that life may seem boring.

I never have thought of it like that. To me, each day is new. Each opportunity is just that: an opportunity. Most of the pastors I know are very rarely bored, with way too much to get done. TV and movies have always portrayed us as boring people, but I don’t think of myself that way. I enjoy a lot of activities that most have never even tried. Skydiving, scuba diving, rafting, climbing, rappelling, hunting, music, family, hiking, sailing, skiing and on and on just to name a few. But can I change your mind or anyone else’s if that is what they think? Probably not unless they just spend time with me.

Which of your songs are the most successful amongst men and women in the armed services when you sing for them?

I sing “Toby Keith’s song, “American Soldier,” and that usually gets the crowd to stop and really listen, then I sing “Unknown Soldier,” and together, those two songs go over great with those who are active as well as those who have retired from service.  It also is amazing how many spouses come and thank me for singing those two songs.

Have you yet encountered a venue crazier to play than The Iditarod?

Probably the wildest venue I’ve played was in Homer, Alaska at the Down East Saloon. The folks there are just a lot of fun, crazy and loud.

Read this article en español at my ELLE Spain blog!


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