Visions of Gray October 1993
Some of you were taken back by Scenic Routes
. I mean, after all, Michael Roe, Derri Daugherty, Gene Eugene and Terry Taylor all play for bands that make your ears hurt, right? So when the dream team of CCM alternative comes together to play, what did you expect? A perfect, hard, tough, difficult rock record. And you did get difficult all right. Some of you got disappointed.
I personally got thrilled. My favorite artists were both unplugged (largely) and together. Two wishes in one! And the CD rocketed to the top of my 1992 top ten, where it sat down and refused to budge.
Well, the wish-go-round is here again, assuming that I had two wishes left, this would've been #2. Little Red Riding Hood
. For those of you ware from the first one, never fear, there's plenty to keep you spending money.
You will get this record; that's a given. So I'll just tease you some--
From a songwriter's standpoint, there are similar formats to the first release. The album opens with "No Ship Coming In," a pass-the-verse (from Derri to Gene to Terry to Mike) short swap session. It is easily the poppiest cut, with lines like, "No money to spend; No ship comin' in; But we're gonna see it through together." Don't be alarmed, there's the expected depth to the remainder of the record and the guys pull off this "by your side" thing without resorting to the "F-word" (see Michael W. Smith's records for reference.) It's just a happy song about decay.
Also on the bright side is the happy Gene, Kissers and Killers
gone 60's, big G-chord, "Imagine That," and the Closing Anthem, again with Derri's softness aptly used, verse-swapping, word-popping, "Pray Where You Are." The guitars ring just like last time and it feels warm again.
And in between it all is social commentary, Kalhoun
ominousness, Gene unplugged, Terry doin' Lennon/McCartney, trap sets, dobros, Zoo vocals, Mike playin the blues hard, the 70's, More Misery, "Precious Memories" (done almost true), resonances of childhood, Naked, the song that starts serious and ends with farts, do-wah's, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1990, The Rocky Mountains, and what the critics will say (you wait and see) is tongue-in-cheek humor about all the crap we eat. It will be dubbed, "THe new 'American Fast Food,'" but listen seriously to it, as it reads like a page out of David Lynch's police blotter and poses mighty good questions.
The purists may even cry sell-out and accuse our friendly Dogs of abandoning the folk stuff in search of more money. However, with 27 records to that one, there is ample proof that this is who they are.
Plus the chatter and laughs and all that brilliance in one room - it is not to be missed.
TLEM September 1993
by Beth Blinn
On Little Red Riding Hood, the second collaboration by the Lost Dogs on Brainstorm Artists International, these guys have succeeded in surpassing any expectations that might come with the territory of being considered some of Christian music's more respected members. This time out, Terry Taylor, Gene Eugene, Derri Daugherty, and Mike Roe have forged a more cohesive work, without losing any of the elements that made Scenic Routes a fresh and interesting recording.
While their music still has notes of country and bluegrass, those musical references are less prevalent on this album. The Dogs have succeeded in blending the strains of blues, country, rock, and folk even better this time, creating a sound that can truly be termed "American." Once again, each members contributed several songs, while they collaborated on several songs and performed two covers. The album leads off with "(Together) No Ship Coming In" by Taylor. The song is a good example of how the group has melded the different musical influences they have. Taylor also contributed "Rocky Mountain Mines," "Eleanor, It's Raining Now," "Red, White And Blue," "Bad Indigestion," and "No Room For Us." The two standouts are "Red, White and Blue," and "No Room For Us." The former is a rocker, with a memorable hook. The latter is a slow, dreamy piece, that is especially suited to Daugherty's voice.
Mike Roe's two songs, "You Satisfy" and "Jesus Loves You, Brian Wilson" are very different. "You Satisfy" is a bluesy rocker, similar in vein to "You Gotta Move" from the first disc, but harder. "Jesus Loves You, Brian Wilson" is a bittersweet tribute to one of the Beach Boys' founders. Both amusing and sad, the Dogs effectively recreate the sunny vocals of that famous group.
The most "country" of the cuts are "Precious Memories," an old standard, and "Jimmy," written by Gene Eugene. "Imagine That," penned by Daugherty and Taylor, is an up-tempo tune that also has a good hook. The Dogs do a cover of the Lennon-McCartney song "I'm A Loser," remaining pretty faithful to the original, while still sounding like themselves. The three tunes that the entire group collaborated on, "Free At Last," "Dunce Cap," and "Pray Where You Are," exhibited best how these four guys are becoming stronger at writing together. "Free At Last" is a grooving, bluesy tune that has a hilarious intro, and "Pray Where You Are," closing out the project, is reminiscent of "Breathe Deep," the song that closed out Scenic Routes.
The album is filled with studio outakes, which illustrate the wackiness of this group, and also explain the loose feeling of the songs. Overall, another very enjoyable trip with the Dogs, and a promise that any future get-togethers should just get better.