We tried that, and still ended up spiraling out to all points of the music compass!
Let me try and explain…
I’m Carl Gitchel, the ringleader of The Dawg Bones. It was a little over a year ago when I approached Todd Thompson and Steve Oasen to form this group with the purpose of playing a mix of early rock-n-roll, classic country, and rockabilly music.
This was, we thought, a pretty basic way to start a new band, while at the same time playing a broad variety of music. Early Elvis, Merle Haggard, Fats Domino, Buddy Holly, George Jones, Chuck Berry—lots of great classic music to choose from!
We started calling this mix “Great American Music,” because it was great, it just so happened to be by American artists, and (obviously,) it’s all music!
We decided to “restrict” ourselves to American music not to follow any subversive jingoistic dogma, but rather for these reasons: there was so much in the American songbook to choose from without crossing the border. And the British Invasion signaled the end of the upright bass as a common band instrument. I suppose I took that personally.
(I have not done any research to suggest the Beatles, et al., were directly responsible for the demise of my new “favorite” instrument. I’m sure it was a pure coincidence. There were technological challenges to amplifying an upright bass. Meanwhile, the electric bass was introduced as a cheaper and more portable alternative. These were legitimate reasons for the demise of the upright in the 60s—but I don’t have to like it!)
It takes a little time and effort to put together enough music to cover a four hour performance. We scrambled a bit early on but the set lists came together nicely.
And then we started looking for more tunes to add to our library! And that’s when the “trouble” started.
One of the things we wanted to avoid as a band was the death trap of playing the same music at every show. We started out by playing a lot of gigs at Marcine’s so we had to push hard to add music for the next show we hadn’t done before.
It was a good thing for us. But it opened the flood gates as well.
You see, Steve Oasen’s knowledge of these genres of music is vast. every time we got together to rehearse he’d come up with another ten, twelve, fifteen songs he’d think we’d “kill,” as he said it. I assume he meant that in a good way…
Pretty soon—in addition to the classics I mentioned above—we were looking at George Strait, John Fogerty, Johnny Rivers, Bruce Springsteen, Kentucky Headhunters, Ozark Mountain Daredevils…you get the idea.
And the list keeps growing.
Here’s the thing: we are either building ourselves up to be a very diverse and prolific outfit, or we are in danger of losing any kind of consistency as we try to tackle too many styles and sounds.
Which is it? I honestly don’t know.
Perhaps you can help us figure it out. Take a look at our upcoming schedule and stop by for awhile. We always love feedback from the crowd!