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Hank Dogs


Country of origin:

England

Type of music generally:

Contemporary folk, folk/rock

Status:

Most recent release, Half Smile, 2002 (US) and 2004 (UK)

See also:

Hank Dogs' brief Wikipedia entry

Comparisons:

Vocally Sandy Denny and Beth Orton

Covers/own material:

Own

General comments:

Guitar-based contemporary folk and folk/rock music with gorgeous vocals and lovely harmonies. The lead singer, Piano, has a stunning voice, somewhat reminiscent of Sandy Denny and Beth Orton. (Neile)

Comments about live performance:

I saw them open for Joan Baez about a month ago, and I found them generally tedious. They seemed to have pretty nice harmonies, but the set was completely listless. I couldn't make out many of their lyrics, except they seemed to be generally downbeat. I thought their sound might actually play out well on disc (or maybe in a smaller club?). Half of the people around me thought they were terrible and played far too long (about a 45-minute opening set), while the other half bought their discs. (3/99, neal)

Recommended first album:

bareback

Recordings:


bareback

Release info:

1999—Hannibal Records—HNCD 1413

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for fans of contemporary folk

Group members:

Piano—vocals, guitar
Lily—vocals, drums
Andy—guitars, bass, drums, vocals

Guest artists:

Sam Harley—bass on 3 tracks, strat on 2 tracks
Marilyn Barker—drums on 2 tracks
Vince De Cicco—accordion on 2 tracks
Dom De Cicco—steel on 1 track
Frey Smith—double bass on 1 track
Mark Jordan—trumpet on 1 track
Amanda Easton—ambience on 1 track
Julia Palmer—cello on 1 track
Zeb Jameson—piano on 2 tracks

Produced by:

Hank Dogs (3 tracks); Hank Dogs with Sam Harley (3 tracks); Sam Harley with Hank Dogs (6 tracks); Executive Producer, Joe Boyd

Comments:

This is really lovely throughout, especially the harmonies, but there are two songs that totally knock me out and are the stuff of obsession: the painfully haunting "Let Go" and the Spanish-rhythm-based dark and spare title track, "Bareback". These are amazing, heart-wrenching songs. The rest of the album is tough and and lovely, but these: wow. (Neile)

I had heard one song, "18 Dogs" on the radio once, and bought the CD based on that...glad I did, it's one of the best folk CDs I've heard in ages...produced by Joe Boyd, it's almost like stepping back in time 25 years. Musically it reminds me a bit of Pentangle, but with deeper vocals. (sspan)


Half Smile

Release info:

2002—Rykodisc/Carthage (US); 2004—Spinney (UK)—Spinney 004CD

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for folk fans

Group members:

Piano—vocals, guitar, sticks, accordion
Lily—vocals, drums, accordion, autoharp, percussion
Andy—vocals, guitars, bass, drums, mandolin, banjo, steel, e-bow
Dixie—love, inspiration

Guest artists:

Adam Kirk—dobro (5)
Jake Rousham—Fender Rhodes (6)
Julia Palmer—cello (9)
Jason NcNiff—guitar (11)
Matt Tweed—strang-up bass (12)

Produced by:

Hank Dogs; Executive producer, Joe Boyd

Comments:

The 2004 UK version has two extra tracks.

I don't like this as much as their first. It's like the bulk of that album—really lovely harmonies and tunes, but still not my thing. I really like the two edgy tracks on their first one while the rest I can appreciate, especially the harmonies. (Neile)

Don't miss Half Smile. Arguably better than their first. (phclark@uswest.net)


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Entry last updated 2008-11-16 18:00:26.
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