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L.A. Beat

Sheepdogs on a quest for the cover of the Rolling Stone

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Being on the cover of the Rolling Stone is the dream of most bands, however, Saskatoon’s the Sheepdogs are actually well on their way to achieving that dream thanks to their participation in the Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Choose the Cover” contest.The Sheepdogs are coming to Lethbridge, June 27. Photo by Alan Cross

Thanks to this exposure,  and subsequent appearances on the Jimmy Fallon show as well as the renown Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee, the Sheepdogs are winning over fans in droves with their retro southern rock sound featuring harmonized guitar leads and vocals, playing like a stripped down, Canadian version of the Allman Brothers.
One of the many highlights of the experience was a recent appearance on the Jimmy Fallon  show, where they and other finalist Leila Broussard, had to write a song on the spot about a random audience member.

“They threw us a little bit of a curve ball, instead of having us play one of our own songs, having us write one,”   frontman Ewan Currie said from the Rolling Stone office, where the band was getting ready to do another interview.
“But we liked it so much we played it at our show last night,” he said.

 After the Rolling Stone promos, The Sheepdogs will be resuming their tour with the Sadies, which was cancelled in February after Dallas Good broke his leg in Saskatoon. They will be coming the the Geomatic Attic parking lot, June 27.
 Life has already changed as a result of the exposure from the contest.

“A guy came up to us and said ‘you guys are the Sheepdogs.’ It’s really different being recognized on the streets by a guy from New Jersey than it is being recognized at something like Bonnaroo,” he observed.
 They enjoyed their Rolling Stone set at  the Bonnaroo Festival.

“ We think it went great. We were on at two in the afternoon. We had a really great set. We’ve played to big crowds before, and we didn’t feel like we were out of place there. They seemed to like the long haired rock we were playing,” he continued noting the Sheepdogs are proud to wear their southern rock influences on their sleeves. Besides, not a lot of people are playing it.

“It isn’t a style of music that is being over-utilized today,” he said.

“ But we’re influenced a lot of rock and roll by people like the Allman Brothers and 1967-73 era Rolling Stones,” he said.

The Sheepdogs are enjoying being part of the Rolling Stones Choose the Cover competition, they will find out if they won on Aug. 2.
“We’ve got to do a lot of things we wouldn't have got to do otherwise, like play Bonnaroo. And, I guess on Saturday we’re going to be videotaped hanging out with Kid Rock. We’ve met a lot of interesting people,” he continued.
 it is tough to choose a highlight of the experience, but Currie is looking at the big picture.

“There have definitely been a lot of highlights. But the biggest is just the idea that we can make a career of making music. Because it is tough doing this and holding down a job,” he said adding he is glad people are paying attention to the band and their music in part due to the contest.

 Because they have been so occupied with the contest, they haven’t had a lot of time to write new music.
 Their latest CD,  “Learn and Burn” was released in February 2010 and re-released in January.

“We’re always writing, but once this is over we’ll have more time to sit down and record a new record,” he said adding  the new music will be  in the same vein, focusing on big riffs, harmonized guitars and vocals.

“There will be some differences, but we hope we will carry on the tradition,” he said.
 In the meantime, the band is looking forward to resuming their tour with the Sadies, which will bring them to the Geomatic Attic, June 27 with special guests, Treeline opening.

“ We’ve never been to Lethbridge before. We’re going to have a lot of fun. There will be harmonized guitars and vocals. And we’re looking forward to playing with the Sadies. They are one of the best live bands. So we’ll provide a really nice appetizer for the main course of the Sadies,” he said.

Tickets are $25 for members, $27.50 Non-members and $30 at the door. Tickets from the cancelled show in February will be honoured.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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