Forever there lingers, within each of us, that elusive chance to put it all together. To draw those strings tight in one hand and pull. To say just the right thing in that brief and unexpected flash of a moment before all is lost. These are the chances that Straw Dogs
somehow cannot help but take, time and again. And never have the results been stronger, the outcome so consistently irresistible, than on the Dogs' latest record, Love and Then Hope
. Due for release in February 2009, these new songs reach within us and above, stamping the band's unique brand of Americana firmly upon us and the music world for good.
And it is good. Straw Dogs have always drawn impressive comparisons: the rock and groove of Ryan Adams and Counting Crows, and melodies and harmony that recall CSN, Son Volt on key, and even Pink Floyd. But the band's signature sound might be considered a gloss finish, perhaps made too easy for being built, as it is, on a solid base of award-winning songs. You can hear Straw Dogs and its members on radio, satellite, film, and in national advertising campaigns, and always their music demonstrates an allegiance to the craft of songwriting. The new record, Love and Then Hope, truly is a cannon shot that finds higher ground.
As a four-piece rock outfit, Straw Dogs consistently puts on dynamic live shows. The band's high energy and honed musicianship allow it to conjure, on stage, the sweetest vibes from each of the well-crafted songs on its records. And in longer shows, Straw Dogs front men Dave von Beck and Darren Smith add an acoustic set, which gives the audience a chance to hear just voice and guitar, the root tones and clean harmony that drive this band's compositions. With occasional guest musicians in the line-up, including keyboards, pedal steel, dobro, and cello, Straw Dogs never fails to deliver a high-output performance.