The Sheepdogs, Learn and Burn [Album, Concert Review]

by Woody on October 23, 2010

Apparently, theres a saying that “nothing ever comes out of Saskatchewan, Canada except hookers and hockey players.” Nonetheless, there are at least two bands that are making a strong case for the statement to be augmented to include musicians. The Deep Dark Woods, a longtime favorite of HearYas, are one. While the other band, The Sheepdogs, are new to these pages.

Although The Sheepdogs are indeed from the north, they confess to looking south for their inspiration. This influence is clear on the bands latest LP, Learn and Burn, which presents 11 songs and concludes with a four-part medley. On “I Dont Know,” the lead vocals shine in front of hard-hitting electric guitar to attain a sound that is reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival. The title track conjures thoughts of early Santana with its combination of percussion and spiraling guitar. The aptly named “Southern Dreaming” employs a beautiful guitar intro that invokes The Allman Brothers Band.

Almost every song seems to pay homage to a different legend of rock n roll. However, the band finds consistency and success in the use of soulful lead vocals, layered instrumentation, and striking harmonies that combine to achieve a brilliant sound throughout the record.

It was therefore, with considerable excitement that I attended a late afternoon unofficial CMJ showcase in Brooklyn on Wednesday to see The Sheepdogs play an acoustic set. Although limited to a handful of songs, they delivered a tremendous performance that highlighted each of the qualities that make The Sheepdogs a band to look out for. Hookers and hockey players should especially take note, as The Sheepdogs very well may steal your thunder.

The Sheepdogs – I Don’t Know

The Sheepdogs – Southern Dreaming (Live in Greenpoint, Brooklyn)

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Coop October 24, 2010 at 4:43 am

It’s a Southern revival. Coming from Atlanta, thank you posting this.

Bobby Ferris October 24, 2010 at 11:28 am

I’ve been spinning this disc on my radio show in Vancouver for the last couple months; it’s a gem of an album. Agreed, there’s some definite CCR touchstones, but the lead-off single and the vocals are really indebted to the early Guess Who. I dare you to listen to this album and not hear flourishes of Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman all OVER the place! Let’s be honest-Saskatoon ain’t that far from Winnipeg (actually it’s quite the drive but you get my drift). Keep up the good work, Eric!

Mark Graves October 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Heard of these guys about a month before they came through my town on tour. The album and live show are two separate yet equally enjoyable experiences. Checking out their past albums all have a different feel, but their most recent one is clearly the culmination of their work, you get the impression they’re starting to sound the way they’ve always wanted to. I’m already looking forward to what these guys can keep on putting out. Glad to see they’re getting some online exposure from sites I actually visit.

Buzzman3535 October 26, 2010 at 7:26 am

really liked what I heard,

why am I having such a tough time finding the record to buy?

blanked on amazon.

Paul October 26, 2010 at 11:04 am

Here’s a link to the mp3. I also can’t find the hard copy for sale anywhere. Eric?

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