The Sundogs stand together, a four piece band from Atlanta, GA that demonstrates what happens when Americana wrecks into Rock and Roll. What happens is songs driven by true words and backed by boot stomping and fist pumping tunes. Welcome to No Depression Rock and Roll. Check that. Welcome back to Southern Rock and Roll.
Southern brothers Will, on bass, and Lee Haraway, on guitar and pedal steel, whittle songs from stories and blood along with lead guitar Matt Ulmer; each takes turn giving voice to the tales that break your heart and piss you off or knock you up to a better spot. Veteran studio drummer Andrew Hanmer, now known by folks all over the South as an 8 day a week on stage musician, kickstarts the band into high gear. Pull your hat down a little farther, your boots up a little tighter and watch out for your women. The Sundogs.
This is music to tearass down backroads with your best girl, grinding the gears, trying to figure out if she’s still yours. Last night still pounds in your head as you shake it off, or you try to shake her off. These songs are a drinking buddy or a soundtrack to a DUI. Imagine Chris and Rich Robinson joining Faces in 1975. Make it now.
“People are scared to be Southern Rock these days. It’s become a bad word, a caricature of rebel flags, trucker hats, and big beards. That’s Southern Rock from ’72,” sneers Will Haraway. “Having a southern drawl doesn’t mean Lynyrd Skynyrd redone. Add a little more of the rock and roll slickness and not as much rootsy cornpolk. Shit doesn’t have to be Freebird.”
Instrument of Change, the second full length from the band, was recorded with Eli Akins (Badly Drawn Boy, Outformation) at Exocet Studios (Edwin McCain, Aquarium Rescue Unit) in Chamblee, Georgia, just up the road from Atlanta. According to The Sundogs, the album is just as much his as theirs. Honest to God, the album sounds just like the band does when doing what they do on stage.
Hell, a song is just a story amplified, and The Sundogs know how to spin a good song: George, the pot dealing surfer that lives with his mom…Elvis, living in Colorado, having adventures while sporting a handlebar… Getting kinky with your lady…Fathers and Sons, selling liquor and guns…Wild Rides…Modern Day Miracles.
Ask them and they’ll tell you that the perfect Sundogs’ show is a modern day Last Waltz, complete with Atlanta musicians and one of those ugly, grandiose chandeliers on a sold out stage.
“I’d love to hear the audience yelling back lyrics,” grins Matt Ulmer. “Maybe see a naked woman or two in the crowd.”
Guests on the album came real natural. Everyone who came in contact with the album contributed. That’s the way it works around here. Many Atlanta guests and even a couple of guys from New Orleans’ Dirty Dozen (Efrem Towns and Roger Lewis) add notes rounding out a sound that sweats blood. Old friend Benji Shanks adds some slide. Some stories sound better with backup singers. Enter new friends Nikki and Nina. Welcome back to Southern Rock.
The Sundogs birthed itself in Memphis, grew up in Mississippi, then found itself in Georgia. The name is an old Mississippi term that Achilles Haraway used when describing the sunrays that come through the clouds on a smoky day. That’s when you see them best.
“Southern Rock needs to get back an attitude instead of leaving it to assholes like the fucking Strokes who get 50% credit just because they're from NYC. Well we're from Atlanta, GA goddamnit, the capital of the new South and the absolute capital of Southern Rock.”
The release date for Instrument of Change is March 1st of 2007.
BB GUN DAYS 2003
INSTRUMENT OF CHANGE 2007
“Treading the muddy middle ground between traditional and modern southern rock, Atlanta’s Sundogs have emerged with BB Gun Days, an enjoyable selection of songs that bridge sweet tea swilling, back porch ease with rocking, guitar drenched anthems.”
“Lee's vocals soar, the drums pound, and they always seem to play the song like their lives depend on it.”
“Sinewey slide and growling rhythm guitars battle it out on the rockin’ tunes on this Atlanta quartet’s upcoming album, BB Gun Days.”
“Roots rock band The Sundogs may be from Atlanta, but their sound has Mississippi written all over it.”
The Clarion Ledger