MP3 Cravin´ Dogs - Roots Rock Paper Scissors
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12 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Roots Rock, ROCK: Folk Rock
VERNDON VA - Cravin' Dogs began as a "gonzo-folk" trio in Washington, DC in 1986. Cravin' Dogs has since evolved into an all-original, eclectic, rootsy, rock & roll quintet that has previously released six full-length albums, four of which were produced by local studio masters Doug Derryberry and John Alagia.
"Roots Rock paper Scisssors" was the first album produced in the Dogs' project studios. The record features lots of great tunes and spirited performances. In addition to band members Caldwell Gray (guitar/vocals), Tom Helf (drums), John Penovich (guitar/vocals), Todd Baker (violin) and Barry Warsaw (bass), the Dogs enlisted Eddie From Ohio's Robbie Schaefer and The Bruce Hornsby Band's Doug Derryberry on harmony vocals. Hornsby Band organist, John "J.T." Thomas, and saxophonist, Bobby Read, also lent their considerable talents to the record. Pedal-steel guitarist and pianist, Greg Readling of North Carolina's Tift Merritt & the Carbines, along with Dogs' alumni, vocalist Lisa Gray and bassist Kurt Kratch, round-out the impressive list of guest contributors.
The album was recorded between March and November of 1999 with Dogs' frontman, Caldwell Gray, as producer. Doug Derryberry mixed the record at the band's Apartment Zero Studios. Derryberry's production credits include "Dave Matthews Band - Live at Red Rocks" and dozens of national, regional and local releases.
"Roots Rock Paper Scissors" was nominated for the Washington Area Music Association's "Best Roots Rock Album of 2000" and was named "Best Local Release of 2000" by The Journal Newspapers.
ROLLING STONE REVIEWS - ROOTS ROCK PAPER SCISSORS * * * 1/2 Here's a veteran indie band with some major league charm. Long a fixture of the Washington D.C. live scene, Cravin' Dogs haven't released a studio album since the early Nineties, but "Roots Rock Paper Scissors" was definitely well worth the wait. This is melodic roots rock - smart yet unpretentious with serious chops, as evidenced on standout tracks like "Blue" and "River Run." Fans everywhere of The Samples or Bruce Hornsby - your basic well-plated, world-class modern mellow rock - should definitely make it a point to hunt down these local Dogs. Proof positive good things do happen on our nation's capital. -David WIld
* The Washington Post - The advantage of playing roots-rock, or at least playing it as well as Cravin' Dogs do, is that no matter how long you go at it, the music somehow doesn't seem dated or irrelevant. All it takes are a few good songs to make the sound come alive again.
The latest Cravin' Dogs album has more than its share of good songs, thanks to the partnership forged by lead vocalist Caldwell Gray and his brother, Stewart. While they don't spell everything out, preferring to let listeners fill in the spaces here and there, they're not the kind of songwriters who delight in puzzling their audience with impenetrable lyrics. In that respect, they have a lot in common with some notable tunesmiths whose work seems to have influenced the pair--a list that would include names ranging from Gram Parsons to Bruce Hornsby. In fact, three of the album's highlights--"Hell on Earth," "River Run" and "Fall Over Into Love"--recall Hornsby's gift for evoking vivid images of people, places and scenarios with a minimum of fuss.
Other stand out tracks, including the bouncy country charmer "Western Girl" and the honky-tonk blues "Untitled," reveal the band's traditional bent with a mixture of playful spirit and world-weary soul.
Smartly mixed by the Hornsby band's Doug Derryberry, the album does a nice job of showcasing the instrumental talent that resides within the core quintet, which consists of Caldwell Gray on guitar and lead vocals, guitarist John Penovich, violinist Todd Baker, bassist Barry Warsaw and drummer Tom Helf. There are some fine cameos, too, though, including those by organist J.T Thomas, saxophonist Bobby Read and pedal steel guitarist Greg Readling. - Mike Joyce
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