Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Red Dogs: "Open Up" (Atco)

Here comes one straight from the garage. And lo and behold, it comes from my old stomping grounds in Lawrence, Kansas.

Here's a little history: The Red Dogs were originally formed as The Limits in Oklahoma. They were re-named The Red Dogs when they became the house band for what was then The Red Dog Inn in Lawrence, KS. (It's now Liberty Hall, and I distinctly remember spending many an evening there watching independent and art well as seeing Sonic Youth and The Rollins Band there (the LOUDEST show I ever saw. It was so loud the balcony where I was sitting was shaking. But I digress.) ) Their membership grew to as many as eight members and they packed the house every weekend playing energetic soul covers and their own songs as well. This 1967 single is their sole-known effort. The B-side is a cover of Arthur Alexander's "We're Gonna Hate Ourselves in the Morning," which, according to the group's website (, was number 1 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Our concern here is "Open Up," which is a straight-up garage punker with a driving soul influence. It opens with a blast of heavy guitar and machine-gun fire drumming. Then, it settles into a stompin' groove that lasts throughout the song, punctuated with blasts of organ and more of that wild heavy guitar soloin'. The vocals have that typical teen angst you all know and love with some pretty decent harmonies to go along with it. But it's that wild guitar and pumpin' organ that really pull the song through. It's a blast of energy in only 2:05 minutes and that's what makes the cut in these parts.

"Open Up" has seen some comp action on Boulders #3, Monsters of the Midwest #1 (tape), Shadows Falling and Midwest Garage Band Series - Kansas. It's well worth seeking out whatever the case. And check the website listed above for the full Red Dogs story. This one's definitely a gem and that's all that needs to be said. One of my favorite pick-ups of the year easily.

1 comment:

Brian Marshall said...


Maybe we'll have to meet up one of these days in your hometown and I can let you scan my copy.