After an extended run in the US, The Sheepdogs are heading north to their native Canada for a while. Their music fits my missing 1970’s 8-track collection, while still sounding fresh and not as derivative as some of the seventies-influenced folk rock that seems to be coming from California right now. Ewan Curry readily shares his love for Humble Pie with a dark-haired Peter Frampton and The Allman Brothers, and I hear touches of Edgar Winter Group merged with them (listen to “Javelina!” and then think if “Frankenstein” morphed with “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”). Personally, I like to hear a band that is happy to make good rock and roll and is not afraid to honor their influences.
The Sheepdogs are not musically stuck in a decade that happened before they were even born, though. Their appreciation of the Black Keys merged with a fantastic opportunity to work with Pat Carney of the band as their producer for their most recent album. That influence is most obvious in the effects on “Feeling Good.” (Tell me that you hear a bit of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” in that song, too?) For a band that did not have a massive grassroots following in Canada, their fortunes were exponentially improved when they won a Rolling Stone contest, catapulting them into relentless international touring and the chance to make a major label album with one of their heroes.
While the logistics of such an insane tour schedule have not always been ideal–like flying to Australia for two days–the Sheepdogs decided that they were going to take every opportunity presented to them and make the most of it. This intentional decision to make these chances work for them have led to a successful US tour that saw packed clubs and appreciative crowds, even in notoriously tough music towns, like Chicago. As the Sheepdogs return to Canada for the next bit of their tour, they also return to familiar territory with a renewed appreciation for the fans who knew them “back when.”
Songs in this radio show include: The Sheepdogs Humble Pie Black Keys Charles Bradley Yukon Blonde Buffalo Killers The Allman Brothers