Pullin’ ‘Tubes: The Sheepdogs’ Vintage Rock

Last year Rolling Stone magazine ran their own version of an American Idol-type competition that pitted 16 unsigned bands against each other for a chance to not only land on the cover of the venerable music rag, but also receive a recording deal with Atlantic Records. The talent search, which featured a diverse swath of bands from various genres, was ultimately won by classic-rock revivalists The Sheepdogs. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based band, play a vintage stew of crunchy, harmony-laden rock that is instantly familiar, yet still entirely their own. On the heels of 2011′s five-song EP Five Easy Pieces,  last week The Sheepdogs released their self-titled major label debut, which was produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys (who like his band mate Dan Auerbach, was also behind the boards for multiple records this year).

The highly enjoyable 14-track effort plays like a modern original soundtrack to Dazed and Confused, featuring everything from Allman Brothers-inspired Southern-rock to ZZ Top-esque Texas-boogie to Stones’ blues swagger. In mid-August the band dropped the music video for the record’s lead single, The Way It Is, which easily could be mistaken for a lost track from Foghat. The clip, which features The Sheepdogs playing baseball against a team of little league-age kids, was directed by The Sklar Brothers (who host the highly recommended sports comedy podcast Sklarbro Country). Check it out…

The Sheepdogs will kick off a lengthy fall North American tour on September 15 in Toronto.

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