In recent years the music industry has been accused of not engaging in the struggles facing society through its mainstream artists who have often shied away from difficult political and social problems. 2017 has seen a change in the approach of many, but for singer-songwriter, author, and photographer Doug Levitt the social issues facing the people of the poorest areas of the U.S. have remained a major part of his daily life since returning to his artistic roots in 2005; exploring the middle of the U.S, via various bus journeys has allowed Levitt to create his ongoing “The Greyhound Diaries” project that takes an unflinching look at the real lives of poverty stricken U.S. citizens.
Levitt himself has stated his work harks back to the popular work created by some of the best known folk artists, writers, and photographers of the Depression era in the U.S. that was largely funded by federal grants and subsidies. Continuing this tradition of exploring aspects of the nation that remain hidden from the view of the general public has given the former international correspondent the chance to continue his bus journey’s across 12 years and more than 100,000 miles; embarking on his journey at a pivotal time in U.S. history, Levitt took his battered laptop, a guitar, and a few dollars in his pockets across the U.S. during the 2008 economic downturn he feels still affects many regions to this very day.
After completing his initial journey Doug Levitt set out to create a few songs based on his experiences and has since seen his artistic project morph into something even he could not have imagined it would become; the latest addition to “The Greyhound Diaries” is a web series featuring the writings, songs, and images captured by Levitt over the course of his journeys. Doug Levitt has seen his own level of political interaction rise as he has looked to use his own fame to perform at benefits for the homeless, on various TV news networks, and in campaigns for various Democratic candidates for political office.