After years of doing all that it takes to develop a large fan base, including grass-roots promotion, touring, and releasing two albums, the Charleston SC-based Blue Dogs are in full stride with their third album, Letters From Round O. Produced by Cracker frontman David Lowery, who has also produced records for Counting Crows and Sparklehorse, the album is a natural progression for Blue Dogs' Americana-tinged contemporary rock which debuted on their self-titled album (1997) and inspired Charleston's Post and Courier to dub 1997 "The Year of the Dogs."

Primary songwriter Bobby Houck has found that the key to successful writing is writing what he knows. Throughout college and beyond, Houck's music has been an alloy of sounds from the southern landscape resulting in music that is at once folk, roots, blues and bluegrass that appeals to adventurous rock fans. The influence of artists such as Little Feat, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty is immediately apparent yet serve as suggestions rather than blueprints for the Blue Dogs' style. It is the timelessness of their songs that is the constant.

For more than a decade, Houck and Futch performed throughout the Southeast out of various home bases in Virginia and the Carolinas, but lastly and finally in Charleston. When Greg Walker joined the band on drums, a rock outfit was born. After amassing numerous fans in Charleston, neighboring cities and as far as they could reach on weekend road trips, Blue Dogs got serious about their music and opted for a recording and touring career.

In 1997, bowing with an eponymous release produced by Dave Matthews Band’s first producer, John Alagia, Blue Dogs rapidly evolved into a cult band. A local retail megastore, Millennium Music, proclaimed Blue Dogs the highest selling recording of the year, including all major albums released nationally. Moving 8,000 copies in just ten months, Blue Dogs hit the road, touring extensively throughout the deep south as well as the north and further west.

Racking up more than 400 live shows throughout 1997 and 1998, their momentum in popularity propelled them further along the backroads and interstates of America. They had seen the addition of David Stewart on guitar and Evans Nicholson temporarily replacing Walker, and on occasion calling for a fifth member to handle a keyboard. Hailed as "a piece of rawhide for Dogs fans to chew on," they released a live album, For the Record, to immortalize just one night in the life of this road-frenzied band. For the Record is a collection of three new songs, updated versions of a few songs from the self-titled CD, and two covers exemplifying their range of style, from Dylan's folksy ballad "She Belongs To Me" to a country-rock raveup of the Commodores' "Brick House."

Bobby Houck (lead vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica)
Hank Futch (acoustic and electric upright bass, vocals)
David Stewart (electric guitar, vocals)
Greg Walker (drums and percussion)

Touring as far west as the Four Corners states by Fall of 1999, they were on their second set of wheels, having cruised by now over 200,000 miles of road in three years. In fact, on September 9 of this year (9/9/99) the tour van rolled 99,999 miles. John Lennon and numerologists may have their own theories, but to the Blue Dogs, it meant their sound was catching on.

With one of the most accomplished independent careers to their credit, the Blue Dogs begin to look to the future with their latest release Letters From Round O. Having sold over 4,000 copies in just four months, peaked the list of several retail sales charts, and remained near the top of Charleston’s modern rock station WAVF’s playlist with their single “Isabelle”, the Blue Dogs are poised for widespread commercial success.  

Letters From Round O establishes the Blue Dogs as masters of contemporary roots rock. Showcasing the band at the peak of its craft, Letters From Round O accomplishes a seamless cohesion between contemporary rock and the band’s Americana roots. These are 11 tracks, ranging from the bluesy "Pay The Man" to more modern pop-rock songs such as "Sister" and the first single "Isabelle" to the down-tempo, rather stark but poignant "Bitter End." The tunes are "honest songs," says Houck. "They are very much us."

"Every now and again a CD by an unknown artist grabs me and reminds me why I’m in the music business…such an album is Letters From Round O…"
--John Schoenberger, ALBUM NETWORK

“A hurricane couldn’t douse the fire of “Isabelle” nor could it blow away the steadfast groove of “What I Want”. With David Lowery’s handy knob-twirling [the Blue Dogs] are dog-trotting towards success. Now will someone get them a major label deal?!?”
-Julia Trainor HITS MAGAZINE

““Isabelle” is very radio friendly and it is getting a very good reaction. These guys are a great bunch of musician and keep on getting more and more fans each year. We love playing them.”
-Danny V. WAVF96.1               





Allman Brothers: Blue Sky/Southbound/Ramblin' Man
The Band: The Shape I’m In/Up on Cripple Creek/The Weight/Ophelia
The Beatles: Get Back/Saw Her Standing There/Twist & Shout/I Wanna Hold Your Hand/She Said She Said
Jimmy Buffett: Pencil Thin Mustache/Margaritaville/ Tin Cup Chalice
Eric Clapton: Lay Down Sally/After Midnight/Wonderful Tonight
Mark Cohn: True Companion/Ghost Train
Elvis Costello: Big Light/Mystery Dance/Alison
Creedence Clearwater Revival: Proud Mary/ Midnight Special/Bad Moon Rising
Doobie Brothers: Listen to the Music/Long Train Runnin'/Black Water
Bob Dylan: Like a Rolling Stone/Tangled Up In Blue/I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
Georgia Satellites: Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Grateful Dead: Cumberland Blues/Brown-Eyed Women/Deal/US Blues/Truckin’
John Hiatt: Memphis in the Meantime
Billy Joel: Only the Good Die Young/Piano Man
Led Zeppelin: Hey Hey What Can I Do/Tangerine
Little Feat: Fat Man in the Bathtub/Two Trains/ Sailin’ Shoes/Dixie Chicken/Willin’
Lyle Lovett: I’ve Been to Memphis/If I Had
a Boat/Give Back My Heart
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Down South Jukin’/I Know a Little/Ballad of Curtis Leow/Call Me the Breeze/Sweet Home Alabama
John Mellencamp: Jack and Diane/Pink Houses
Steve Miller: The Joker/Take the Money and Run
Van Morrison: Domino/Brown-Eyed Girl/Crazy Love/Tupelo Honey/Into the Mystic/Caravan
Tom Petty: American Girl/You Don't Know How It Feels/Here Comes My Girl/Breakdown/ Mary Jane's Last Dance
Rolling Stones: Dead Flowers/Used to Love Her/Honky Tonk Women/Satisfaction/You Can't Always Get What You Want
Bruce Springsteen: Fire/Thunder Road
James Taylor: Country Road/Carolina In My Mind
The Who: My Generation/Baba O Riley

Osborne Brothers: Rocky Top
Flatt & Scruggs: Rollin in My Sweet Baby’s Arms
Virginia Squires: Cold Sheets of Rain
Jimmie Rodgers/Tony Rice: Muleskinner Blues
Seldom Scene: Old Train
Traditional: I Know You Rider/Dark Hollow/Nine Pound Hammer
Bill Monroe: Mighty Dark to Travel/Little
Georgia Rose/Blue Moon of Kentucky

Johnny Cash: Get Rhythm/Folsom Prison Blues
Guy Clark: Homegrown Tomatoes
David Allen Coe: Perfect Country & Western Song
John Denver: Take Me Home, Country Roads
Merle Haggard: Mama Tried/Sing Me Back Home
Alan Jackson: It's Five O Clock Somewhere
Waylon Jennings: Good Hearted Woman/Luckenbach Texas
George Jones: The Race Is On/Walk Through This World With Me
Roger Miller: King of the Road
Willie Nelson: Whiskey River/Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain/Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys
John Prine: Grandpa Was A Carpenter/Angel From Mongomery/Picture Show
Hank Williams, Sr.: Lonesome Whistle/Hey Good Lookin/Jambalaya
Hank Jr.: Family Tradition/Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound
Dwight Yoakam: Little Ways

Arrested Development: Mr. Wendal
James Brown: I Feel Good
Sam Cooke: Bring It On Home to Me
Commodores: Brick House
The Dominoes: Sixty Minute Man
The Drifters: Under the Boardwalk
Marvin Gaye: How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)/Baby Don’t You Do It
General Johnson: YouAre So Beautiful (39-21-40)
Bob Marley: No Woman No Cry/Three Little Birds/Redemption Song
Wilson Pickett: Midnight Hour/Mustang Sally
Billy Preston: Will It Go ‘Round in Circles
Otis Redding: Dock of the Bay
Sugar Hill Gang: Rapper’s D-Lite
The Temptations: Ain’t Too Proud to Beg/My Girl/Just My Imagination

Chuck Berry: Living in the USA/Johnny B. Goode
Jim Croce: Bad, Bad Leroy Brown
Everly Brothers: Wake Up Little Susie/Bye Bye Love
Buddy Holly: Not Fade Away/Peggy Sue
Don McLean: American Pie
Ricky Nelson: Hello Mary Lou
Carl Perkins: Blue Suede Shoes
Elvis Presley: Teddy Bear/Hound Dog/Little Sister/Suspicious Minds
Three Dog Night: Never Been to Spain
Ritchie Valens: La Bamba