Lost Dog Street Band

Lost Dog Street Band at Union Transfer, Philadelphia, PA, February 14, 2019, February 14th, 2019

Feb 23, 2019 Web Exclusive
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Lost Dog Street Band has a history of doing a lot with a little. The band is made up of husband and wife Benjamin Tod and Ashley Mae, and they traditionally perform as a duo, Benjamin on guitar and banjo and Ashley on violin. Their aesthetic is DIY-the band has built a following largely through relentless touring and countryside YouTube live videos. And their concerts strike a tone more akin to an old fashioned hootenanny than a big venue rave-up. However, despite, or perhaps because of, these factors, Lost Dog Street Band captivates like few other Americana-styled acts today.

On this night in Philadelphia, Lost Dog Street Band opened for The Devil Makes Three, for the second time in as many years and this time performing as a trio with added upright bass.  Formed in 2011, the band, which already has three albums to its name, touched on all parts of its catalog, along with new tracks previewed from their upcoming fourth album, Weight of a Trigger

Opening with "September Doves," the first song off their 2018 album Rage & Tragedy, the band proved itself old-timey in the best of ways, continuing through songs such as "Terrible & True," with its mournful violin and gentle harmonies, and the rustic "Coming Down," also off Rage & Tragedy. On record, these songs are sometimes augmented by additional instrumentation, but their true weight is evident when the band performs live, the sparser arrangements enhancing the poignant heft of the songs' lyrics.

"Oblivion," from 2013's Life's a Dog-Gone Shame, begins with the words "I am not the man I thought I'd be," and culminates with the line, "I stumble toward oblivion, but you followed me." Benjamin introduces one of the night's new songs as being about the struggle between who we were yesterday and who we want to be. The song features the line, "I like to pretend that the war inside of me will kill the man that I've become." Another, "Using Again," dedicated to those who struggle with addiction, features lyrics like, "The cost of my living was more than I planned," and "You can take me to hell with the rest of my friends," the latter which, on this night, found the crowd shouting along.

In keeping with tradition, the band ended its 45-minute set, as they do all their sets, with a tribute to their late friend and songwriter Nicholas Ridout, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 24, and who wrote their final song, "When I Went Down to Georgia." It was an emotional end to a performance that felt like it should have gone on twice as long as it did. The Devil Makes Three were waiting in the wings. But on this night, Lost Dog Street Band proved it can equal or surpass the gravity of a band twice its size, with only a fiddle, a banjo, an upright bass, and two voices. (www.lostdogstreetband.com)




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שביל ישראל
February 24th 2019
2:22pm

Thanks, wish I could have been there!