Midwest veterans explore Transatlantic Folk on acclaimed new album, Off the Leash

The Spud Puppies came together in 2001 with their newgrass credentials already established, being eight veterans of the Midwest acoustic and jam-band scenes.
But on their new, aptly titled second album, Off the Leash, the Pups take their sound in rich new directions. While maintaining the warm three-part vocal harmonies and hot round-the-horn solo breaks that established their reputation, they have traced their beloved mountain music back to its European roots, and forward to its lingering traces in country, R&B and rock.

Uniquely anchored by drums and percussion, the sound the band used to call “bluegrass with a kick” is now better described as Transatlantic Folk-Rock. And just like their recorded work, the live show is marked by blazing instrumental prowess that never outshines the stellar songwriting. No fewer than five members contribute songs to the repertoire, with lyrics that ring true to contemporary audiences while resonating with a sense of history.

Founding guitarist-vocalist Greg Ziesemer is the primary writer and the nearest thing the band has to a leader, though the Pups pride themselves on democratic decision-making and a shared spotlight. Acoustic bass guitarist Gary Wasson also writes and sings, and lead guitarist Dave Bigley contributes backing vocals when not tossing off stunning electric and acoustic solos.

 

 
   

The pillars of the band’s bluegrass element are Boyd Thaxton on mandolin and Kevin Donnelly, known to some fans as Delmar Lincoln, on the banjo. Keyboard wizard and multi-instrumentalist Garry Bole adds exotic flavorings and intriguing instrumental arrangements. And the band’s most surprising quality, perhaps, is the seamless way in which Gary Rakow’s trap set and Tim Williams’ hand percussion add solid grooves and world music accents to musical genres that generally shun both.
Voted their home city’s Best Folk/Bluegrass Band by the critics of Indianapolis Monthly magazine, the Spud Puppies promise a musical experience that transcends, yet honors, both time and tradition.

 


 

   

Dave Bigley: acoustic and electric lead guitar, vocals, banjo
Garry Bole: accordion, dobro, lap steel guitar, piano, organ
Kevin Donnelly (a.k.a. Delmar Lincoln): banjo
Gary Rakow: drums, percussion
Boyd Thaxton: mandolin, vocals
Gary Wasson: bass, vocals, acoustic guitar
Tim Williams: percussion, bohdrain
Greg Ziesemer: acoustic guitar, steel resonator guitar, 12-string guitar, bass, vocals


The Spud Puppies
(317) 257-2214
Web: www.thespudpuppies.com
E-mail: greg@gregzmusic.com

 

   

The Spud Puppies "Pick of the Litter" is now available for purchase at CDBabycom!

Click here:
Purchase Pick of the Litter at CDBaby.com

The Spud Puppies "Off the Leash" is now available for purchase at CDBabycom!

Click here:
Purchase Off the Leash at CDBaby.com