“When the song “Take Me to the River” comes to mind I think of David Byrne and the new wave ‘80s band Talking Heads. Fact is, Al Green (and his guitarist Mabon Hodges) wrote and recorded it in 1974. Talking Heads made waves when they released it as a single in 1979. Variations ensued with covers by Levon Helm, Foghat and Annie Lennox, to name a few. A new Philly rock band that caught my attention in the summer, Song Dogs, just released their take on the song. Reminiscent of the Allman Brothers, The Band and Neil Young, the group includes six members, three of whom share the lead vocals, offering lots of variety from track to track on their debut album “Wild Country.” It seems that classic rock is in their blood: their website blog entries almost read as if they were written by a boomer, paying homage to their rock heroes from the past.”
“Their album Wild Country brings to mind sweeping vistas, endless horizons, all that Route 66 stuff. Their songs - "Buffalo Crossroads" and "Law of the Land" - are the kind that would fit nicely on road-trip soundtracks. (Think the Allman Brothers.)”
"I almost expect Greg Allman to emerge from the bathroom ......and take the stage, that’s the caliber of this band. I’m excited for what this band means to the Philadelphia music scene." "....Song Dogs’ prairie rock style is about to blow up and I am grateful I am able to catch them at the start of a trek to new musical frontiers that we hope they’ll take us on."
“Is it wrong to get giddy when I come across new bands like Song Dogs? Well, if it is, I don’t want to be right. Ok, I admit that was a cheesy lede, but the sentiment it expresses is not facetious. Song Dogs’ throwback brand of true Americana blues elicits visions of The Band, The Allman Brothers, and Neil Young. The music is as pastoral America as Hardee’s and Apple Pie. By the time you are finished listening to Song Dogs’ debut LP Wild Country, you will be fully satiated and Americanized!”
“Amazingly, soothing bluesy, Americana that will immediately connect with any fans of the genre. This band can play and make you feel the emotional side that they’re putting on the track with ease. Their organ, guitar leads, steel guitar and vocals make this album!”
“Song Dogs get more powerful every time I see them. Like The Gallerist, they also don’t demand a lot of attention in the local scene, but keep playing solid shows and writing great songs. Song Dogs are a community effort, with members taking turns on lead vocals and banging on each others’ instruments when the mood strikes. And you have to give folkie credit to singer Michael Southerton—who else in Philadelphia wears a current fishing license pinned prominently to his trucker hat? Song Dogs’ joy is unmistakable and infectious, making them the perfect opener for out-of-towners-who-feel-like-locals Holy Ghost Tent Revival.”
“The LP is described as having the sound of “prairie-heavy rock and railroad tones” which is a highly accurate description. I have to admit that I am not as well-versed in Rock music as I am with Hip-Hop, Soul and other genres. However, the feeling of knowing when you are listening to a talented artist or band with strong, solid material is universal. And that’s what they have displayed here. After I got through the first few tracks, I immediately conjured up images of open roads, country landscapes and (dare I say it) Lynyrd Skynyrd. If you like the type of music that could be the soundtrack to your upcoming road trip or set the backdrop of your summer vacation, you need to download and stream this LP. Song Dogs has a “pay what you want” option on Bandcamp. I suggest that you give them well over the starting price of $1. They deserve it.”
“...Their secret weapon is percussionist Mariama O'Brien. Born on Liberia, where she wasn't allowed to play music at all, she brings swing to the tracks. Like the legendary Seventies predecessors they are blessed with a wealth of lead singers (three of them) and songwriters (four). Each voice uses another palette, adding another feel to the overall sound. This band is a hidden gem. All they need is a bunch of classic rock DJ's who are looking up for something else for their playlists. The songs are new, but old as the hills at the same time. Wild Country is an album that was already somehow. Produced by Bill Moriarty (Dr. Dog, Sheep Dogs) this prairie rock is full of life and space.”
“'Wild Country,' the title track off of Song Dog’s December 2012 LP, harkens back to an earlier day in America’s past. Song Dogs have been hunting this sound down since 2009, when the band formed and worked on material until the release of 2011′s first self-titled EP. Influenced by the likes of Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, and the Allman Brothers, Song Dogs have brought a new sound to Philadelphia with an old vibe, building support in the northeast. As word spreads on Wild Country, it’s only a matter of time before that support spreads nationwide.”
“Part Neil Young, part Jackson Browne, Wild Country is a collection of songs blending rock, folk and blues with a focus on storytelling.”
“Officially released in Jan '13 this was the first release of the year for a successful run of albums produced by Bill Moriarty at Waking Studios including Toy Soldiers, Ali Wadsworth and the Lawsuits. Pure rocking Neil Young-esque style Americana/Classic Rock at it's best. 'Wrong Side of Town', 'Law of the Land' and 'Wild Country' are just monsters! You wouldn't expect Wild Country to be an album out of the city, but these aren't songs about being in the Philly. Whether the vocals are taken by Michael Southerton, Ryan McCloskey, or Sam Conver, the important factor is the song. These Song Dogs, excel at memorializing their past adventures of growing up in rural PA, summers around the country, and singing about Wild Country. Living in the city, being a Song Dog, is what keeps these guys sane.”
“Americana folk rock taking on punk pop? Drummer Dan Cooper had told me they wanted to choose a band to cover that their fans wouldn’t expect. It was a set they took seriously and prepared for some time. And for this performance, the band invited their friend Matt Chicci from Gavilan to join in on guitar. As much as they embraced the Talking Heads, including singer Michael Southerton’s oversize suit and Matt’s wig and very colorful pants, they showcased their own sound as well. Emily Southerton took on lead vocals for “Road to Nowhere” and kept “Take Me to The River” closer to it's original soul/R&B roots. Song Dogs had everyone dancing and singing along. For their finale, the audience was treated to Lou Reed 's “Sweet Jane” in light of his recent passing which did not disappoint. Overall, Song Dog's outside of the box risk paid off big time.”
“Song Dogs music will remind you of some classic bands, but you will also notice their impecable use of modern country and americana music. ”
"The Philly newcomers started off with the new 'You Are My Rock' for the very receptive crowd. Folk with lyric, but classic rock by sound, they made it clear there was a new player in town." "A Live album might really be necessary as I was not prepared for how much these guys rocked."
“Mariama Koroma didn’t grow up listening to Led Zeppelin, Santana, and other similar artists Song Dogs name as influences. As a child living in Africa, Koroma’s interest in music was sparked by the sound of drums. She would watch male percussionists perform in her village, which then inspired her to explore this world of instruments further. 'The men played the drums and the women danced,' says Koroma of her community. 'So, I would go dance with the other women, but I was really interested in watching the male percussionists; how they moved their hands. I listened very well to the rhythms of the drum and picked it up just by watching the men play.' "It was taboo for women to be percussionists in Koroma’s village, so she had to keep her playing a secret when she began experimenting with these instruments first hand. “I had to hide to play because women weren’t allowed to play traditional African drums,” explains Koroma."”
“This band displays a range of eclectic styles that is sure to please any music fan. Blending sounds that show the diverse influences that combine to create a prairie-heavy roots rock/Americana sound this band cooks. They’re playing in the Philly area now and their debut release has been on my stereo all afternoon!”
“Song Dogs were back on the second stage as Brown Sugar, covering The Rolling Stones, simultaneously played the main stage. The crowd dwindled down by time they played but it’s a shame they missed those two performances. I wish they had played one after the other and not during the same time because they each deserved our undivided attention.”
“Song Dogs totally shredded 'Two Stars' their Neil Young-ish classic rock song, with a harder edge.”
"One of my Favorite Bands"
“With harmonica stylings and overdrive distortion hooks the songs are reminiscent of the rock and roll giants like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty.”