S01E10: Lost Dog Street Band Are The Last American Troubadours. Folk Music is Back!

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In this epsiode we’ll check out Lost Dogs and the last American troubadours. Lost Dogs Street Band form in 2010 after husban and wife, Benjamin Tod (guitarist/vocalist) and Ashley Mae (fiddle player) left the ground Barefoot Surrender. When I say this they are some of the last troubadours, they really live the life of thse hitchhiking, train hopping life-style. 

*side note took that photo in the image there

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Lost Dog Street Band

In this epsiode we’ll check out Lost Dogs and the last American troubadours.

It’s the cold winter morning that wakes me up today. I could barely sleep as it was, we didn’t eat yesterday and I fear even less today. Fortunate for us, the 8013 was just starting to warm up and we’d be taking the BNSF to Texas. Wyoming has been good to us but winter was getting to harsh and I couldn’t bare rounding up cattle much longer and we were finally booked for a gig in dallas. I’m going to try and score some whiskey before we hop this line. It’s good to be back on the road again.

Although I made up this little story here, it’s exactly the life I envision when listening to Bens voice and Ashleys fiddle in the duet called Lost Dog Street Band.

“With their packs, fiddle, guitar, banjo, and pup they set out on foot traveling coast to coast by hopping freight, and hitchhiking with the vision of sharing their music. “

It might seems like a rough lonesum world to experience yet the stories told, the emotions felt and the pure music that comes from the two makes me nostalgic for a life I’ve never lived. Something about the old cowboy, the open road and a guitar some times sound better than the media frenzy world we live in today. and that’s what draws me so close to this band.

Lost Dogs Street Band form in 2010 after husban and wife, Benjamin Tod (guitarist/vocalist) and Ashley Mae (fiddle player) left the ground Barefoot Surrender. Which Barefoot Surrender is on spotify if you want to check their old stuff out.

https://lostdognashville.bandcamp.com

When I say this they are some of the last troubadours, they really live the life of thse hitchhiking, train hopping life-style. There’s a really good video out on youtube by GemsOnVHS that gives you a great insight to their lives.

You see that, Ben has a love hate relationship with achohol. Clips hidding out behind brick walls with a bottle and time waiting to catch a train out of town. Quoting “seeing the world for free” i like that idea. It truly is the most american experience.

I was first introduced to the duet after stumbling upon crust punk, I saw Rail Yard Ghosts – A Month From Now/Whatever You Like video and at the same time I had just got into original american folk. These crusty kids were doing and living a dream live that seemed… just real life. Then I found Days N Daze and somewhere between these two bands, youtube finally recommended Lost Dog Street Band.

I knew I wasn’t cut out to be a crust punk as much as I admired the life style, the culture and ways of life. What I did know after seeing LDSB was I needed to get my hands on a Banjo.

So in 2015 I bought a banjo and took lessons for a year or so. I enjoyed the process of learning the instrument but quickly found that these crusty kids, no less Ben have put in the time and effort into truly being able to speak with their fingers.

Needless to say I feel in love with this dyi sounding, traditional newage folk music.

  • favorite songs
    Like I said I got into Lost Dog Steed Band around 2014 / 2015 so the album i spent the most time with was their 2015 album, Homeward bound. I like that album title as it’s words we don’t really use these days but totally an cowboy would.

Off that album, I really dug the songs

  • “Carry On” is a sweet ballad about the rambling life of two lovers. How he still loves yet most continue his travels in love.
  • “Graces Casket” is my favorite story told song on the album. The melody, the voice and the slide guitar really adds to the tale of two bandits and the retirement of one upon an accidental gun death. It’s easy to imagine the moments in life for “Tom” 6 part story.
  • “Fall from Grace” I think is a biography of the twos relationship. Ben seems to be following the same path of so many ramblers with a bottle in hand and a story to tell. Yet, this song I think shows that they support each other regardless of how hard things get.

I wish I could share some of the music in these episodes but that requires permissions and copyright issues. So please check this band out, it’s too good to not be tasted.

In addition to currently having put out 3 full length albums, they’ve partnered up with GemsOnVHS plenty of times for music videos. GemsOnVHS is such a treasure to capture those still out there making that old time sound. There’s too many good artists promoted by them and we should all be grateful for that. I also really enjoy the music videos done by GemsOnVHS such as:

  • “I went down to Georgia” a song written by a friend that passed away and his legacy still lasts with this in credible preformance. I actually think this might be the first song I had ever heard of theirs and ultimately the one that made me want to learn claw hammer banjo.

Then in 2017 I was lucky enough to have Lost Dog Street Band come through town and see them in concert. They came to Local 506 in Chapel Hill. One of the first times I actually went to that music hall. I didn’t get up too close during the concert as it was more… people stood around and just listened with a beer in hand. I stayed on the left side with the girl i was with at the time. It felt really surreal in the fact that, here’s someone who inspired me to pick up the banjo and try giving it a hard earnest try. Great show, i loved every moment of it. I don’t remember them having merch tho, wish i bought something off em.

https://www.ticketfly.com/event/1539385-lost-dog-street-band-chapel-hill/

Last year they did a fundraiser for about 12k to support them independently producing a new album. I like that, I think it’s cool they they haven’t signed to a label per say and they have a big enough following to have the fans support them making it. Deff look forward to listening to that.

  • my future
    • traveling with a banjo and a beat up subaru
    • moving to wyoming to work on the farms
    • i’d love to one day grab a train and hitch-hike east to west.
    • so why am I so afraid to do these things

The last I checked they had bought land, they’re living off it and just making some sweet soulful country music. They figure it out, they knew something about themselves that most people don’t. That’s why I find meaning in their music. I hope one day I too figure it out. Whatever it is.

Helpful links for this episode:

  • https://archive.org/details/aporee_37776_43232
  • https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1217843
  • http://www.lostdogstreetband.com
  • http://www.lostdogstreetband.com/bio/
  • https://www.instagram.com/lostdogstreetband/?hl=en
  • https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/181560218/lost-dog-street-bands-next-album
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