The Blue Dogs

No shows found, please check back later!

The Blue Dogs

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 that anniversary, the band released a DVD of a live performance in their hometown, recorded in 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) was made 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 that have never been 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.