Flashback: The Sheepdogs

Well, as I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve dug deep into my archives and selected some writings that I think are pretty alright. This is my first installment. It’s what I wrote about the Sheepdogs back in 2009 for an upcoming performance Loplops Gallery-Lounge. It’s kinda goofy. But I like goofy.

Incidentally, the accompanying photo above isn’t from that 2009 Loplops gig, but from a much earlier performance by the Sheepdogs at the now defunct *sniff sniff* Downbeat Lounge. It was taken in 2006. It was taken in 2006 with the shitty digital camera I owned at the time. Hence the intense blur. Sorry for that.

The Sheepdogs are one of those Canadian bands that is on its way to becoming a big deal. That 2006 Downbeat Lounge gig pictured was the band’s second appearance at the tiny club. I think 10, maybe 15 people were there. But when the Sheepdogs finally become huge (as they should), people will say they remember this gig. Even though they don’t. Because they weren’t there. Humans do that. Claim to be a part of something they weren’t.

I was there. And it was awesome. And I took shitty pictures with a shitty digital camera. There’s my shitty proof I was at this opposite-of-shitty gig. Way back in 2006.

So, anyway, below is what I wrote about the Sheepdogs in 2009. I hope it’s not shitty…


They may have been born Ewan, Leot, Ryan and Sam, but the four shaggy dudes — and they really are quite shaggy — that make up the Sheepdogs are most definitely the long-lost brethren of Duane (Allman), Robbie (Robertson), Keith (Richards), and John (Fogerty). They’re the love children of Big Mama Thorton and James Brown, born in the thick of a debaucherous hotel room brouhaha hosted by Robert Plant, Ray Davies and Neil Young.

Wilson Picket was most likely there, too. Grabbing Aretha Franklin’s boob. What a party.

And like man’s best friend, The Sheepdogs remain loyal and true to their masters of influence. Rock, soul, folk, blues and funk have all planted a stern, yet thoughtful, rolled-up-newspaper-smack on their snout. You know. Tough love and all that stuff.

But, nature being what it is, no dog is truly tame. Without biting back, The Sheepdogs respond by not laying down or playing dead. And they sure as hell would never roll over. No way. Instead, they grab on with their grimy little paws and hump the legs of rock, soul, folk, blues and funk. And rock, soul, folk, blues and funk take it, even knowing the action is a demonstration of dominance. The Sheepdogs make rock, soul, folk, blues and funk their bitch. And that’s a good thing.

They’re a band that reminds us that rock n’ roll is NOT dead, despite the labels’ continuous efforts to kill it with annoying little yip-yappers like the Jonas Brothers, Mariah Carey and The Pussycat Dolls. Nope. The Sheepdogs lift their legs on that schlock, then dig a hole and bury it.

Their music is melodic and tough, with gritty hooks and riffs a-plenty. It’ll make our Mama shake her head, but she’ll be compelled to buy the boys a round at set break. And the latent rhythms and grooves will make you feel dirty as you find yourself obliged to shake your thang. All of this is also a good thing.

So, throw yourself a bone, Google The Sheepdogs’ MySpace page and listen to “Hang Onto Yourself.”  You’ll thank me later.


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