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The Sheepdogs – The Sheepdogs album review

It’s been an eventful past few years for The Sheepdogs; a journey with highs and lows to be explored via the new fourteen rock ‘n’ rolling tracks of their latest self-titled release.

Hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canadian band The Sheepdogs consists of vocalist/guitarist Ewan Currie, guitarist Leot Hansen, bassist Ryan Gullen, and drummer Sam Corbett. Theirs is a story of humble beginnings—combined with drive and dedication no doubt—as their self-funded first three albums and subsequent triple 2011 CASBY awards reveal. Their first three albums—Trying to Grow (2007), The Sheepdogs’ Big Stand (2008), and Learn & Burn (2010)—were released in Canada, amassing fans with their down-to-earth ‘70s rock ‘n’ roll sound. But clearly this signaled only the beginning, as winning Rolling Stone’s “Choose the Cover” competition in 2011 would make them the first ever unsigned band to grace the magazine’s cover. Later that year, the band also had their song “Who?” appear in CBS’s CSI show. To date, The Sheepdogs have also toured with the likes of Kings of Leon, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, and John Fogerty, as well as performed at festivals like Coachella and SXSW.

The Sheepdogs’ self-titled fourth studio album—their first released in the US—was released on September 4th 2012 on Atlantic. It was produced by the The Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney and Rolling Stone’s Austin Scaggs. The soulfully rocking “The Way It Is” is the album’s first single, packing a bittersweet reminder of the way life can be. The acoustic “Laid Back” starts off the ride on a chill note while “Feeling Good” is a good ‘ol classic ‘70s rocking track that delivers the intended mood. “Ewan’s Blues” is a beautifully moody piece while “Is Your Dream Worth Dying For?” addresses the question and difficulties of pursuing your passion. While half the album entails tracks with less than three minutes of play, the acoustics coupled with Ewan Currie’s gently commanding vocals compensate for the brevity.

And so it seems the symbolism is in full effect, what with their history and a US tour taking off on September 16th 2012 to show that these sheepdogs are steering themselves right where they want to go.

By Natacha Pavlov

Natacha Pavlov is an avid reader, writer, and traveler. Aside from eating ridiculous amounts of chocolate from her native Belgium, she can be found consuming large quantities of tea, falafel and lebneh in the lovely Bay Area.

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