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Blue Dogs

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Album Review

Released in 1997, this self-titled studio effort marked the first time that a Blue Dogs album contained nothing but original material — before that, all of their releases contained some covers (which wasn't a bad thing because their covers are usually pleasing). Blue Dogs didn't give up covers in 1997; covers were still an important part of their live show. But on this disc, all of the songs were written by lead singer Bobby Houck and/or guitarist Phillip Lammonds, who is listed as a guest musician. Lammonds is among the many people who is part of Blue Dogs' extended family of musicians — he has worked with them extensively even though he isn't an actual full-time member of the band. And his contributions to this John Alagia-produced CD are solid; "Hope She Falls in Love," "I'd Give Anything," and "Simple Complication" are among the twangy roots rock/Southern rock offerings that paint an attractive picture of Lammonds' songwriting abilities. Lammonds and Houck wrote five of the 11 tracks together (including the contemplative "World Turns a Revolution"), and Houck wrote two songs by himself ("Long Gone Goodbye" and "Every Day"). For Blue Dogs, using an extended family of musicians (as opposed to being totally self-contained) on a regular basis is obviously a plus. Bringing in different musicians at different times has helped the band avoid becoming predictable — Blue Dogs aren't innovative, but they aren't predictable either. By CD standards, this self-titled release is skimpy; it clocks in at about 45 minutes. But while Blue Dogs sacrifice quantity, they don't sacrifice quality on this memorable outing.

Biography

Formed: 1987 in Charleston, SC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Not to be confused with the avant-garde jazz combo Blue Dog or the alternative rock outfit Blue Dog Pict, the Blue Dogs are an earthy, down-home roots rock/country-rock/Southern rock band from South Carolina. The twangy, very Southern-sounding Blue Dogs were formed in Charleston, SC, in 1987 by lead singer/guitarist Bobby Houck and bassist Hank Futch, who had known each other since childhood and played together in college. Drummer Greg Walker came along later, joining the band in 1993. At first,...
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Blue Dogs, Blue Dogs
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