Blue Dogs

Blue Dogs

BandAmericana

Formed in South Carolina in 1987 as an acoustic trio playing bluegrass/folk/rock. Been playing ever since. Added drums & electric guitar in 1993. 9 CD's and 2 DVD's released from 1991-2008. Played 35 states and traveled a million miles so far. Producers include John Alagia, David Lowery, Don Gehman.

Biography

SOUTH CAROLINA’S BLUE DOGS CELEBRATE 20TH IN ‘08 WITH LIVE DVD

(Charleston SC, November 26, 2008): After the 2006 release of their 9th CD, the Charleston SC-based Blue Dogs quietly entered into their 20th year as a band (est. 1987) playing and singing Americana/country-rock music. To be more specific, January 2008 marked 20 years since standup bassist Hank Futch joined forces with longtime friend, fellow cub scout, and acoustic guitarist/vocalist Bobby Houck under the band name “Blue Dogs.”

To mark the anniversary, the band has released a DVD of a live performance in their hometown, recorded in Nov 2005 at a 200-year-old theatre called the Dock Street Theatre, where they not-so-coincidentally made their first live CD 10 years earlier. On Thanksgiving Day 2008, Live at the Dock Street Theatre…again (Black River) will be available exclusively at www.bluedogs.com, or at the band’s live shows.

So the video serves as a milestone in the Dogs’ career in more ways than one. With 99 minutes of footage, it includes guest appearances by some of their good friends and well-known South Carolina musicians: Blue Dogs songwriter Phillip Lammonds, Tommy Dew and Kevin Wadley from the influential 90’s Charleston band The Archetypes, Columbia’s Danielle Howle, and the Adande African Drum ensemble featuring former Dogs percussionist (‘97-’98) Jesse Thrower.

The video might as well be considered the Blue Dogs’ definitive performance. It is packed with 20 songs, pulling from all 5 of their studio releases as well as a couple of songs never released by the band. There are fan favorites throughout. And the band runs the gamut stylistically, flexing their country/pop muscles, but then also weaving in the bluegrass sensibility that goes back to the band’s beginnings, while then managing to incorporate African djembe drums seamlessly into the show.

In fact, what is so obviously present in this show is a Blue Dogs trademark: an loose unpredictability. Various local and regional bluegrass musicians step on and off the stage with ease, most with no rehearsal that day with the band. At one point in the show, the band blows an intro to the song, and without missing a beat, stops and jokes and then starts again. Not surprisingly, the moment was not edited from the footage and made the final cut.

Rounding out the band’s lineup for the show is original Dogs’ drummer Greg Walker, whose first gig with the then-acoustic band was in 1992 at the Music Farm in Charleston, where he spontaneously set up and played and has been the band’s drummer ever since. The newest member of the band is celebrating his 10th anniversary--guitarist David Stewart, who plays flawlessly on this night. Yet the star of the evening could well be the band’s some-time mandolin player, Daren Shumaker, who is all over the stage and all over the songs with tasteful solos and licks and seems to be having the time of his life. Everyone shines in this video, which truly turns out to be just the right kind of celebration as it showcases the achievements of a band 20 years in and on top of their game.

As it turned out, 2005 was a good year for the band. In January of that year, Live at Workplay (the previously mentioned 2006 release) was recorded at the Birmingham, Alabama concert venue of the same name. Produced by Bruce Hornsby guitarist and veteran producer Doug Derryberry, the CD was a warm up of sorts for the Live at the Dock Street…again DVD, pulling from all of their previous records but featuring just the core group, the current Dogs lineup (the same since 1998): Houck and Futch with Walker and Stewart.

Recorded before a very lively and intimate audience, Workplay features versions of songs from their more recent studio albums Halos and Good Buys, Letters from Round O, and Blue Dogs (all recorded after 1996, when the band went full time), but it also reaches back to their early 90’s recordings Music For Dog People and Soul Dogfood and includes several previously unreleased songs. Many of the Blue Dogs’ most-requested songs are present, including “Walter,” “Isabelle,” “Cosmic Cowboy,” “Bill Bill,” “Half of My Mistakes” (co-written by Bobby Houck and famed Texan-turned-Nashvillian songwriter Radney Foster) and “Make Your Mama Proud,” plus Hank Futch takes a turn on the acoustic guitar with the gospel song “Children, Go Where I Send Thee” and Arthur Smith’s “Conversation with a Mule.” A rendition of Lyle Lovett’s “L.A. County” and a take on Blue Mountain’s “Blue Canoe” (seemingly custom-made for the Blue Dogs) close the CD in rocking fashion.

The CD received accolades right away, from fans and critics and radio. The Midwest Record Recap writes:

“Once again we have to wonder why this bunch of roots rockers are one of the best bands you never heard of. A hard working outfit that rubs some mighty impressive elbows along their way, here they do a live recap and more of their ten years as pros. Turning the crowd on with great ease,

Discography

1991 Music For Dog People
1993 Soul Dogfood
1995 Live at the Dock Street Theatre
1997 Blue Dogs
1998 For the Record
1999 Letters From Round O
2001 Live at the Florence Little Theatre
2004 Halos and Goodbyes
2004 DVD Live at House of Blues
2006 Live at Workplay
2008 DVD Live at the Dock Street Theatre...Again
singles released:
1997/98 "I'd Give Anything," "Long Gone Goodbye"
1999/00 "Isabelle"
2004 "Mr. Rain," (Adult Alt.) "Half of My Mistakes," (Adult Alt.) "Wrong Love at the Right Time," (Texas Radio/Alt Country) "Make Your Mama Proud" (Country)

Set List

Setlist (Taken From Songs on CD's)

Original:

Fishin’
Hope She Falls In Love
Creatures in My House
Bill Bill
Doggy on the Roof
Cornbread
Birds
River Material
Simple Complication
De Doo Da Da
Watchful Cow
Walter
I’d Give Anything
Long Gone Goodbye
Walls Come Down
Riverside
Simple Complication
Maria
World Turns a Revolution
Every Day
Hope She Falls in Love
You’re Not Alone
Hobo
All Of My Heroes
Flyin’
Isabelle
Brand New Face
Sister
Cousin Homer’s Anything Goes Dance Hall
What I Want
Rainbows Over My Blues
Carry Your Heart
Pay The Man
Skyline Dream
Bitter End
Carolina Heartache
Big Kitchen
Lazy Man
Grandma’s A Stranger
The Way Back/SUV Song
Make My Way
What’s Wrong With Love Songs
Wrong Love at the Right Time
Mr Rain
Janie and Me
Half of My Mistakes
Make Your Mama Proud
Four Winds
Cosmic Cowboy
Always As We Know It
Your Sweet Love
My Forever You
Baby’s Coming Home
Missed It By A Mile
I'm All About You

Cover Songs (and their or