There is a lot to be said for plying your trade on the cover band circuit. It’s a place to learn your art, both as a player and as a stage performer. It’s a way of making a living and it certainly opens up more doors than original bands might be welcome at. But there comes a point when an artist feels the need to express their own thoughts and feelings through their own writing. And that is exactly what was running through Dwight Koenning and Keith Hambrook’s minds when they formed “THE PRAIRIE DOGZ.”. Covering other people’s music can, after all, only get you so far.

So after meeting and bonding whilst playing the top end of the cover band circuit, these two seasoned musicians decided that they needed their own musical vehicle. A vehicle that they could use to talk about their own lives and experiences, the crazy times that only come with being a musician, the short but extreme highs, the longer, lingering lows, the broken relationships, the enduring friendships and everything that comes part and parcel of their chosen career.

Musically their route was a natural one, the blend of Dwight’s bluesy, powerhouse vocal delivery and Keith’s harder-edged guitar work, plus their rural formative years growing up on the prairies of Western Canada, took them down a pathway that effortlessly blended rock, blues and country from tender, intimate ballads to celebratory, foot-on-the-monitor rock and roll. Songs such as DON’T REMEMBER LAST NIGHT drives with a boogie groove straight out of West Texas, whilst 40 DOLLARS is indicative of their smoother blues direction, one built from accessible melodies and intricate guitar textures.

The Prairie Dogz new album SOULFUL builds on The Prairie Dogz identity established on their first album. The song LET ME IN has echoes of Blues/Rock from the hottest English bands from the 70’s while GRATEFULLY WAITING has echoes of iconic Rock and Pop bands from the 80s and 90s. SOMETIMES shares the pain of a troubled relationship over a strong rhythm and subtle reggae influences. TRAIL OF TEARS features strong imagery over a progressive and dramatic arrangement. The lyrics from this album range from personal experiences to fantasy, where the listener is drawn into the music as a vehicle to share the sorrow and the joy of the song.

It’s rock with a kick, blues with a sultry swagger without the cliché, textured with a sound from being raised on the prairies. To say that SOULFUL is an important album would be cliché, but the lyrics are deep and heartfelt and the music is as moving and dramatic, timeless.

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