Tuesday, May 21, 2013

#PhillyPresents: The Late Ancients by Dan Cooper of Song Dogs



#Philly Presents: The Late Ancients by Dan Cooper of Song Dogs

Your band name: Song Dogs
Dan Cooper of Song Dogs on the drums!

Your style: Prairie Heavy/Americana Rock

Years on the scene: 4 total; 1.5 with current line-up

Current members:
Sam Conver: Bass; Vocals
Dan Cooper: Drums
Ryan McCloskey: Guitar; Vocals
Mariama O’Brien: Percussion
Emily Southerton: Keys
Mike Southerton: Guitar; Vocals

Website: wearesongdogs.com (facebook.com/wearesongdogs)

Current Project: We are going into The HotBox Studios to film a HotBox Session that will be released in a very special, very exciting format that even we have a hard time believing is actually happening! Look for the videos as part of a major release later this summer. We are also in the process of writing new material after releasing our debut LP, Wild Country, this past January.

Recent and/or most unique/exciting show: Definitely the most exciting Song Dogs show for me was our album release show in January at Grape Room. It was our first show of 2013 and we were itching to be back on stage. The adrenalin was sick. We were also able to share the stage with our friends The Late Ancients, Levee Drivers, and The Rivals, who all killed it.

Philly music hero: Dr. Dog. I loved Shame, Shame and was absolutely blown away by Be the Void – hands down my favorite album of 2012. We recorded our album with Bill Moriarty, former producer of Dr. Dog, and it was a thrill to share that connection with one of my favorite bands.

Philadelphia music website: Facebook. I know, Facebook is certainly not a “Philadelphia music website.” However, I get most of my music news from following individual bands and getting their updates. In fact, I first encountered Dan McGurk and Root Down in the Shadow when the Levee Drivers posted about playing a secret house concert – which turned out to be at Dan’s house!

Random thoughts: I love the fact that the Philadelphia music scene is so collaborative – a fact perfectly demonstrated by #Philly Presents.



Introducing: The Late Ancients


Formed in Spring, 2011, The Late Ancients have delved deeper into the sounds of rock legends CSNY and The Band than perhaps any other group on the Philly scene. My favorite track of theirs, “Wheels of Fire", quite simply oozes with Graham Nash influence, but also showcases heavy jamming, the deft organ work of Mark Brown, and distinct guitar riffs and solos of Pete Beck. While Beck is the main songwriter, Brown has also begun to do songwriting of his own recently. The band also contains Brittany Staub on vocals and guitar, James Hill on bass, and a brand new drummer in Mike Micali. Their heavy classic rock influences are not surprising, considering Beck spent many years playing in a classic rock cover band before forming the Ancients. The band, both individually and as a group, cite not only CSNY and The Band as influences, but also The Grateful Dead, Pete Townshend, and Jeff Tweedy/Wilco among others.



I first encountered The Late Ancients during a show at the Grape Room, probably about a year ago, and was absolutely blown away. Not only did they have a sound that I quickly fell in love with, but every member of the band was clearly a top-notch individual player. It was also refreshing to see a band with a female lead vocalist, as very few Philadelphia rock bands showcase a female fronted sound. Most impressive was the organ playing of Brown, which captures most of my attention every time I see the band.

Formerly a member of the now defunct Baltimore-based band, The Bridge, Mark cut his teeth touring the country and playing stages as big as Bonnaroo. His experience with The Bridge has not only helped to make him a great player, but given him valuable management skills which he has used to help the Ancients. Since Song Dogs first shared a stage with them by chance, we have played with them in Brooklyn and were fortunate enough to have them on the bill for our album release show this past January.


The Late Ancients are currently planning on hitting the studio this July to start recording a brand new LP which they hope to release this fall.  In the meantime, be sure to check out their self-title debut album which was released last summer, as well as their new home-recorded EP, On the Old Brandywine, which should help give new listeners a taste of their current sound.

The guys & gal have a busy summer show schedule ahead of them, and are not to be missed!  They can be seen both locally and in venues from Maryland to New York.

Their next show is coming up May 31 at the Fire, along with fellow #Philly Presents featured artist, The Rivals.

Additional summer highlights include an appearance at Bethlehem’s Musikfest in August and (obviously the #1 highlight for me) a show with Song Dogs September 7 at Hebe Music in Mt. Holly, NJ.

Check them out online at http://www.thelateancients.com/

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