The Sheepdogs The Sheepdogs Atlantic Records 2012
Next up- another review of a band from Canada. This week we have the Sheepdogs with their latest, self-titled record. This is a wonderful, feel-good record for the fall. Starting off with “Laid Back”, the title of this song gives you an idea of the kind of mood this album evokes. Just right for sitting around a backyard with a flannel shirt and some tasty libations, of course.
Single “The Way It Is” has an awesome video to go along with it, that features the three Bs of awesomeness: Beer, Beards, and Baseball. Check it out at the end of this. “How Late, How Long” is another one of my favorite tracks. It has a great hook with the lyric “singing your song” that keeps me singing this song in my head.
This album was produced by Patrick Carney of the Black Keys. It’s evident in the sound of this record, especially on “Feeling Good”, which has a fuzzed out guitar sound that sounds very much like some of the more recent records from the Keys. Carney’s production helps to put a modern spin on the sound of a record that takes a lot of influences from the southern rock and blues of the 70s. Lots of Allman Brothers-style guitar work and vocal harmonies galore, very present on “Is Your Dream Worth Dying For?”
The Sheepdogs self-titled album has a perfect balance of pop gems presented in a totally rockin’ manner. It’s also a 14-song record you can listen to without skipping over anything, which is a rare thing.
Harvest- Southern Tier Brewing Company- Lakewood, NY
Southern Tier is one of my favorite brewing companies, so I will probably be reviewing their beers many times in this blog. The beer I’ve chosen today is one of their current seasonal offerings, Harvest. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons for beer because it’s much more comfortable to drink darker beers as it gets cooler out. Autumn beers have a lot more going on with them too. You can find so many different varietals of hops in these brews, along with different blends of spices and other flavors. However, on the other hand, I often find that many fall beers fall into one of two catergories: pumpkin ale, or Octoberfest. I love both of these, don’t get me wrong, but there are so many that it’s hard to tell them apart sometimes.
ST Harvest is neither, which is why I like it from the getgo. It’s an English-style Extra Special Bitter (oh hey, I like making those!). It has a deep ruby-golden color, exactly the shade of fall foliage at its peak. Harvest pours with a decently thick head and has a medium body and a clean finish. It’s not overly sweet, with more of a bready taste and a very slight caramel flavor. I would love to drink this beer with a nice stew on a cool day.
This record and beer pairing has a lot to do with the seasonal connotations evoked from each source. Harvest is a laid back beer, much like the title of the first track off the Sheepdogs’ album. The beer takes all the best things about an ESB and puts a fall spin on it, making it just right for the present time of year. In a similar way, the Sheepdogs take all the best parts of 70s rock and make it modern and fitting for now.