To the Dogs

To the Dogs


The coolest new Old-time music west of the Mississippi! It's been called everything from Trip-Trad, Appalachian hard core, Punk Folk, New Old-Time, Alternative Americana, and Country Phunk to straight up Rock. The musical love child of Kurt Cobain and Leadbelly.


All sorts of terms have been coined to describe To the Dogs' sound: It has been alternately referred to as Trip-Trad, Appalachian hard core, Funky Folk, New Old-Time, Alternative Americana, Old-time Punk and straight up Rock. Raige's voice has garnered her comparisons to Sinead O'Connor and Kurt Cobain. The only thing that people agree upon unanimously is that the music sounds great and they have a great time at our shows! You've never heard anything quite like To the Dogs!

To the Dogs has performed in some of the city's premiere rock clubs including repeat shows at THE KNITTING FACTORY (Los Angeles), TEMPLE BAR, THE SMELL, THE VIPER ROOM, and THE HOUSE OF BLUES, Hollywood.

"You're holding in your hand the best new Old-time music ever recorded!¨
(Prof. Tony Seeger, UCLA Dept of Ethnomusicology/ Former Dir., Smithsonian Folkways Records)

"You're it!¨
(Alan Jabbour, former director, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress when Raige asked
him about the future of American folk music.)

"This APPALACHIAN HARDCORE DUO will blow your ever-loving mind. I'm talking a dulcimer, baby. I'm talking pure raw open throat power, grace, and energy. THESE ARE SOME OF THE BADDEST ASS [PEOPLE] ON THE PLANET!!! i mean EVER. YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE TO THE DOGS!!¡¨
(Rachel Kann, LA slam poet/producer, Chromosome X, Co-Lab/oration)

"Raige's presence is emotionally enormous on stage! There is so much beauty in her music.¨
(Esther M. Baker-Tarpaga, MFA Dancer/ Choreographer, UCLA)

"Amazing! Fascinating! Stunning performances...It was crazy. I mean in a good way. It like put me in the story. I loved it!" (Andrea Guerra, student Ventura College)

"I've always felt a strange and unnerving sense that the music of the people of North America, or for want of a better word to describe them, Folk, has been denied a place here. This always made me sad, because I feel without their inclusion an understanding of where and what music is must be incomplete. I'm not someone who could say; But I know people and their stories, they are universal. I found this music very moving and beautiful and difficult to explain. I hope someone understands what I'm failing to say.¨
Musician, Jay Fisher (apple rabbits) London, England (comment posted on My Space June 9, 2006)

Raige Pierson (founder, dulcimer, vocals) is on a mission to reinvent Appalachian dulcimer music. She has long held a vision of revival of the sweet and haunting sounds of old-time music, particularly the mountain ballads sung since the early 19th century in the mountains of West Virginia, where she grew up singing in a Baptist church. While staying true to the spirit of Old-time and honoring its rich traditions, Raige simultaneously recreates and reinvents this richly melodic music for the 21st century. She pushes the boundaries of folk music, blurring categories with her fiery, soulful performances. Counted among her influences are artists as diverse as Jean Ritchie, Hazel Dickens, Joni Mitchell, Siouxsie Sioux, Sinead O'Connor, Kurt Cobain, and Loretta Lynn. Her hypnotic arrangements on the mountain dulcimer, raw, high-lonesome vocals, and eclectic rock instrumentation add an element of the unexpected that makes Raige's music entirely new and entirely her own. Drawing upon ten years of collecting American roots music and vintage amplified dulcimers, her sets range from soulful old-time ballads and rocking string-band dance music to traditionally-inspired original pieces.
Raige joined Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood in 1991, and won an LA Weekly Theatre Award for her first acting role (Swap Nite, 1993). Despite early success, Raige moved away from acting to return to her musical roots, a process that began with the creation of outlandish musical personas for theatrical productions with director/collaborator Steve Morgan Haskell at NOTE. She wrote her first song (Good Friday) for the multi-award nominated Burrhead (1995), where she played a bald, singing swamp bride. The next year, in Blue Monkey Love Cuts (1996), she blended live unaccompanied vocal improvisation with the Appalachian traditional ballad Come All You Fair and Tender Ladies, and performed it all as a blue singing tree. Her musical metamorphosis overlapped and was doubtlessly brought on by serendipitous work as an assistant editor on the mini-series America's Music: The Roots of Country (aired TBS, June 1996) directed by Tom Neff. Ironically, it was on film in a dark cutting room in Los Angeles that Raige first heard the mountain dulcimer and ballads of Jean Ritchie of Viper, Kentucky. The same year, she heard Daniel Lanois play the dulcimer on Emmylou Harris' Wrecking Ball, then met them at the Troubadour...and stick a fork in her, she was done.
Fully converted, Raige heeded the call and returned back home to her musical roots in West Virginia. For two years, she re-immersed herself in the best and truest songs she'd


Early Girls (2006) - LP
To the Dogs (2001) - EP

Set List

Sets typically range from 30-60 minutes:

(always include):
Pretty Polly
Shady Grove
The Coo-Coo
All the Pretty Horses
I Give Up

(Often include):
Down by the Greenwood Side-e
Come All You Fair & Tender Ladies
The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore

(Current Covers):
I Am Stretched on Your Grave (Sinead O'Connor)
War Child (The Cranberries)
California (Joni Mitchell)