Doug Mug brings his Thugs to Cinema Bar

Doug Mug at the 2019 King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas. (Photo by Tim Stewart)

Actor and musician Doug Mug might be recognizable to many due to his recurring role in hit TV show Nashville. He’s a musician too though, and he’ll be performing at the Cinema Bar early in the New Year – one of his regular haunts. He spoke to the CCN about what we can expect.

When did you start playing and performing?

I started playing acoustic guitar at age 10 at McCabes Guitar Shop – my Dad bought me an electric guitar at age 14. Then someone put a Fender bass in my hands when I was 19 living in Sedona Arizona, and it was all over with. I was playing professional gigs in my early 20’s. This lineup came about in 2014 when I was living in Nashville. I’d come home to L.A. for the holidays. We’d do a big Christmas show at the Cinema Bar once a year, and that’s how it launched.

Doug Mug and The Thugs are a Venice area blues rock band featuring Doug Mug Swanson from Nashville fame on bass guitar, with Bubba Blues (guitar/vocals), J.R. Lozano (vintage Ludwig drums), Chef Denny (blues harmonica master).

Describe your sound/style?

Blues, soul, rock n’ roll (some loud, some quiet).

What are your career highlights so far…

Playing the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. Playing with Johnny Cash’s younger brother Tommy Cash and Johnny’s only drummer W.S. Holland. Landing a recurring role as Monty Handsome on the hit ABC TV show Nashville. Co-writing a number 1 song on Nashville Radio.

What recorded music is available?

“City by the Sea” is my No. 1 hit single.

Have you performed at Cinema Bar before?

Yes, we’ve played at the Cinema Bar before and it’s usually a full house of Venice locals, friends and family.

What can we expect from the set this time?

We’re gonna have some very special guests sitting in with us this time, and we haven’t played there in awhile so everyone’s really excited to be back. They’ve always taken great care of us at the Cinema Bar.

What else do you have coming up?

I go to Memphis at the end of January to play B.B. King’s on Beale Street. Then I’ll visit Nashville in March for about 10-15 days of work.

Doug Mug & the Thugs perform at 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 13 at the Cinema Bar. Go to for more information.

Elsewhere this week

The Culver Hotel will be hosting the likes of Sylvia & the Rhythm Boys and Scotty Bramer. Go to for more info.

The next concert at Boulevard Music is on Jan. 14, when Jim Curry will present the music of John Denver. Go to for more info.