While someone’s first thought might be that this is simply going to be Tyla playing guitar and harp singing the songs from last year’s brilliant album, you would be incorrect. ‘In Vino Veritas’ has been my most played album since last year when I first heard it. Those versions have really dug their claws into me and taken hold of my soul in the same way that the classics by the band and Tyla have. This is a total band effort though that is really quite magical. If we think back over time to the likes of ‘Billy Two Rivers,’ ‘Satellite Kid,’ ‘As I See the Poppies Falls,’ etc., the Dogs have never been ones to shy away from playing acoustic songs and giving them some kick when needed. This collection of Dogs are simply on a roll with this being the next perfect feather in their cap.

In terms of the songs, everything follows the same running order from last year’s full blown electric album. Many of you reading this will have heard ‘111’ acoustically in the past on the ‘Bloody Hell-Fire’ album and others spots, but this album is significantly different. This one feels a little grittier with the great piano in the background giving it a bit more color. The chorus is still huge and sets the stage for an album that really comes alive in the darkness of night. ‘Black Confetti’ begins with piano and the opening lines before the rest of the band join. The opening lines certainly paint a picture with the song feeling like it could have been lifted from ‘A Graveyard of Empty Bottles.’ The backing vocals are exquisite, and this is simply a great Dogs song. Next up, we have ‘Bloodline’ which took the longest for me to warm up to on the electric version of the album. It gets some swing here, and the added organ is an awesome touch. The chorus seems to carry more weight here for me. The piano that gets added with the organ in the second verse jumps out of the speakers. This song really shines more in this format for my tastes.

Dogs classic in waiting ‘Bottle of Red’ has already proved to be a live favorite. If you have been collecting the b-sides, you will already have an acoustic version, but that version is really not a full band version like we have here. This one still bounces like the electric version with the whole band rocking. This feels a bit like ‘She Thinks Too Much of Me’ with some similar country sounding guitar licks. With everyone singing the chorus, this is the sound of a band lost in a glorious moment. I was really curious how ‘Chicago Typewriter’ might be presented as it is another of the hardest hitting from the electric album. We have no sirens welcoming this version. Lyrically, this is the simplest the Dogs have ever been with the vocals really being more of an additional instrument. This version also kicks butt with Tyla in prime form. The haunting group vocals add to the ambiance of the song with the song gaining in intensity as it grows. The celebratory, jubilance of ‘Empire’ is slowed down here, with the electric guitar riffs sizzling on the acoustic frame. This one never fails to put a smile on my face with Tyla again laying down an awesome lead vocal while the band adds in a lot of ‘Woah’s’ in the back of the mix. It provides a great close to the first half of the album.

Kicking off Side 2, ‘Everything to Me’ feels like it has more teeth here than on the electric version, even though it remains a midtempo jewel. The ‘sha la la’s’ again providing an extra element to the song with the chorus being another one that compels a singalong. It also hits on an element the Dogs have had since I first heard them over three decades ago. The lyrics hit the heart and soul. They are real and feel tangible. The first song I got to hear from this album was ‘Fuck Off Devil,’ and it showcased how different some of these songs would ultimately feel. This is an acoustic blues assault that adds tempo and attitude to the original. This feels like walking in on a jam session where the spirits are in full effect. As much as I enjoy the electric version, this acoustic version could have just as easily fit on that album as the slow blues break it gave the electric version, it flips the switch here and gives the acoustic version a blast. Another Dogs classic in waiting ‘I Don’t Love Anyone’ follows and showcases that a happy Tyla can write one heck of a love song. This also showcases that I really cannot say which version of the album is “better” because, at the end of the day, these are 12 awesome songs that are done two different ways by a band that is swimming in a pool of perfect chemistry.

Approaching the last three songs remains bittersweet because it means the album is ending, one of my favorites from the electric version ‘In Vino Veritas’ remains a magical piece of music. This version reminds me more of something that could have been on ‘The Life and Times of a Ballad Monger.’ I love how the instruments get added into the mix as it goes with the horns coming to life. The guitar picking here pops as well. The bluesy ‘Monster’ opens feeling more like a blues standard from the likes of Wille Dixon. The harmonica and piano filling out the song and working perfectly with the groove. ‘Movie Star’ concludes the album with an upbeat acoustic rocker that serves as a great closer. The closing lines here connect in a similar way to those last lines on ‘She Put It In Here Arm’ did.

Our Dogs on this album remain the same that they have for the last several years which has only made their output more awesome in my opinion. We have:

Tyla: Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica

Gaz: Guitar, Slide, Backing Vocals

Matty: Bass, Harmonica, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Simon: Drums

Scotty: Piano, Keys,Organ

In addition, Phil Cassidy plays Mandolin, and Ian Douglas handles the Saxophone.

This album was announced around the time the electric album launched, and the wait was well worth it. ‘In Vino Veritas’ has constantly found itself as my go to album for the past 9 or 10 months, and I have a strong suspicion this one will be the exact same way. You can pair it with the new ‘A Graveyard of Empty Bottles’ for an acoustic double album blowout or mix and match it with the original album. At the end of the day, the Dogs catalog has continued to grow with this album being another awesome addition to the discography. I think it is a must own for Dogs fans and anyone else who enjoys great songs with an acoustic frame but venom in the blood.

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The Art Tavern

 

Gerald Stansbury

 

Remaking albums can often go spectacularly wrong as the artist often runs into a barrier that cannot be overcome- the nostalgia factor of fans. Following up the brilliant ‘In Vino Veritas,’ Tyla and his Dogs have unleashed a celebratory new version of ‘A Graveyard of Empty Bottles’ that will be my new go-to version of the album. I know there will be some that will think I have to be wrong as the original version was perfect back at the end of the 80’s. For you, I ask that you approach the album with an open mind and give it a listen. While Tyla also redid the album back in 2012, this version soars above it by essentially finishing what that one started. The 2012 version now sounds like a painting that wasn’t complete with Tyla saying as much in his notes about this penultimate version.

This album originally came with a note that these were ‘soft songs for hard people’ as they were all largely acoustic and the best unplugged album that ever existed. This version contains the same 13 songs that made up the 2012 version and did make me start wondering what people would think if the band had changed the running order. The vinyl version will contain the original 8 songs though which would have likely made it impractical to change the running order on the other platforms. Lead song ‘I Think It’s Love Again’ should have been a hit single back in the day and sounds as magical today as it did 30 years ago. An excellent production and mix allow every instrument to be heard with a nice bit of guitar by Gary added into the chorus here. Tyla sounds excellent and like he is having the time of his life. ‘So Once Was I’ slows the pace (as most of you already know) with the piano (by Scotty) being a nice addition to the darkness and serving as a great complement to the slow bluesy guitar licks. Some haunting backing vocals give the song some additional depth.

Picking up the pace with ‘Comfort of the Devil,’ the band hits an awesome groove with an excellent bass line by Matty given plenty of space to burrow into the brain. This was one of my favorites 30 years ago and has become even better over the years. Back on the 2012 version, I felt that ‘Saviour’ truly lost something in its incarnation there. The additional instrumentation here, especially the prevalence of the piano has created something very special as the pace is increased too. It has a very different feel from the original with it feeling more like a midtempo rock song than the ballad on the original. Simon’s drum work is outstanding, and it provides an outstanding close to the first third of the album.

Old school side 2 opener ’Errol Flynn’ has been a constant in the setlist and for good reason. This version burns nicely with the band in exquisite form. Another one that has been a fixture is ‘Bullet Proof Poet.’ This is another one where the added instrumentation is used to great effect. There is a haunting feeling to the music with the added piano and drums. This paean for Charles Bukowski contains some of my favorite lyrics by Tyla. He paints a portrait of this character with his words that makes him extremely real and relatable.

One of the biggest changes back in 2012 was on ‘When the Dream Has Gone’ which went from a short acoustic song, essentially a coda to ‘How Come It Never Rains’ into a full band song that almost doubled the length of the song. The 2012 version serves as the jumping off point here. Tyla sounds excellent, and the bass line by Matty remains as catchy and sharp as barbed wire. The spacing in the song helps it grow with the refrain from ‘How Come It Never Rains’ being an excellent reward for the listener. Original closer ‘Angel’ has been a constant on my Dogs and Tyla mix tapes and CDs over the years. While I really enjoyed the 2012 version, there is a charm with the original for me that it did not quite capture. The changes they have incorporated here bring back that charm though with aplomb. I cannot even imagine how many times I have listened to this song over the years. These first eight songs by themselves formed a classic album which has lost nothing in this awesome remake.

We received the added bonus of 5 additional songs back in 2012, and those same songs are also included as a bonus here. The piano based version of ‘Just an English Outlaw’ has been even further developed to create the penultimate studio version of the song. It branches out from the 2012 version at the first chorus when the drums and electric guitar make themselves heard. There is a depth to the mix here too that has found me hearing new things with each listen. The guitar work by Gary and Tyla compliments the song perfectly, and it maintains the momentum of ‘Angel.’ When the 2012 version was released, ‘Gone Are All the Angels’ was an immediate hit with me in this format. After hearing only an acoustic version for years, the full band version was a revelation. They have improved it even more here for my tastes. Tyla’s vocal performance sounds like it was lifted from the early ’90s or late ’80s. There is a positive energy in this band that just exudes out of the speaker. It was apparent on ‘In Vino Veritas’ and just as evident here. ‘Died Fore She Got Young’ could have easily got missed in the big shadow of the previous songs as the band slows the pace back down at the start of the song. The pace picks up nicely though as the song progresses. The electric guitar licks are well placed in the mix, and the hook in the song locks onto you like gum on your favorite shoes.

‘Stealing from the Devil’ provides an acoustic bluesy showcase and really serves as the curveball epic to the album. The band plays with a delicate touch that conjures images of dark deserted buildings with only hints of flickering candlelight. The backing vocal really helps take the song to a whole other level with how it is placed in the mix. The story in the lyrics reminds me of local Texas legend Ray Wylie Hubbard. In some ways, I am surprised they did not make this the closer of the album as it casts a very different feeling, but ‘Won’t You Let Go’ then feels like a sunrise coming over the ridge after a dark cold night. There is a tangible warmth in the music that soothes the soul and lets the listener know that things will be alright.

I am quite aware there will be a handful of people that will not take the time to listen to the album and cling to the original. The original is a classic album, but this version by the current Dogs is also a classic that does not copy the original. In some ways, this feels like the electric version of the album as it carries a bit more of an edge. The additional songs add essentially a side 3 to the record and can stand toe to toe with the original 8 songs. It is a special time in Dogs D’amour camp as these 4 gentlemen have amazing musical chemistry. I may need to find a way to change the rules I impose on myself around Album of the Year nominees….

‘A Graveyard of Empty Bottles MMXIX 30th Anniversary Edition’ is available Here   

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Author: Gerald Stansbury

 

 

As the pledge Music debacle rages on Tyla has issued a message as he and his band try to salvage some positives from this whole sorry mess. Releasing a statement about his new release – The wonderfully titled ‘The Fuck Pledge Tapes’ fans are offered details of a project he and his band are putting together   

 

Here at RPM we’ve been involved and told of many campaigns that have caused sleepless nights, fans were let down and a company who has said very little publicly if anything at all.  Hopefully, something can and will be done and the musicians union can gather names and projects and maybe band together to salvage something for the carnage left in the companies wake. Both bands and fans who are out of pocket and without their agreed items and payment should have some sort of closure. 

F**K PL**GE

Dear Friends and Pledgers,

Hope all’s well in your world.

We just wanted to give you a quick update on the shenanigans over at PledgeMusic.

As many of you may have heard they’re in dire financial straits. They owe independent artists between $1million and $3 million collectively and – unable to pay – are now in the process of declaring bankruptcy. Yes, you read that right! They owe struggling artists up to 3 million dollars and are reneging on their payment responsibilities by putting the company into liquidation!!

It would appear they’ve f**ked both fans and artists by stealing everyone’s money! And, worst of all, they lied about it for months during which they continued to collect money from fans without paying it through to the artists for whom it was pledged.

As such, many artists have been left with debts, unfinished projects and unfulfilled dreams whilst numerous pledgers have been left without Vinyl,
CDs, T-shirts and various other merch items for which they have paid.

Understandably, social media is aflame with anger and outrage. Many believe this is more than mismanagement of funds or a simple betrayal of trust. They believe the theft is a calculated and deliberate fraud for which the perpetrators
should be prosecuted. In fact, the UK government have been urged by Music Industry bodies to investigate the Company for illegal activities.

On a personal level, Pledge still owes us $20,000!! All of which was earmarked to pay-off our album recording costs and Vinyl, CD and T-shirt manufacturing costs. (In their defense we did receive an initial part-payment of some of the
monies we were owed – which went towards our recording costs).

In some ways though, we consider ourselves lucky. When we saw early signs that Pledge was in trouble we made the decision to cover all our outstanding debts ourselves. We wanted to ensure that anyone who participated in our Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour ‘In Vino Veritas’ album campaign would receive everything they pledged for. And they did! Thankfully! No-one who pledged as part of our campaign has been left without their items! It took us a while admittedly. And we were grateful for everyone’s patience, but we managed it.

And, against all the odds, the album even charted! #3 in the UK Album Breakers Chart and #23 in The Independent Album Chart. Result!

Of course, we secretly hoped that a buyer would purchase Pledge and we’d receive the money we were owed! But now we know for certain there’s no
chance of us being paid we’d like to try and recoup some of our losses by offering you the opportunity to buy an exclusive, limited-edition, 10-song F**K PL**GE CD.

With original artwork by Tyla the CD won’t be available in any shops. It’ll be strictly limited to the number of orders we receive here. It’ll contain a selection of songs from our trilogy of ‘In Vino Veritas’ albums – ‘In Vino Veritas’, ‘In Vino
Veritas Acoustica’, ‘In Musica Veritas’ and a couple from the forthcoming, newly recorded ‘Graveyard of Empty Bottles MMXIX’ anniversary edition. And a few others! Some you’ll have heard, some you’ll already own, some you’ll know and some will surprise you.

We know you’re all suffering from Pledge fatigue but shall we have one final
dance as the sun sets?

As an added bonus, everyone who orders the CD will be entered into a prize draw to win the original hand-painted cover art, plus 10 lucky runner-ups will receive A3 signed prints!

That’s gotta be worth the price of admission right? Go on. You’re worth it.

Thanks again for all your support.
See you on the other side,

Tyla, Gaz, Matty, Simon

 

F**K PL**GE – A 10-song, limited-edition CD containing a collection of
songs to treasure forever. £15 plus p&p.

Tracklist:

1. Fuck Off Devil – from ‘In Vino Veritas Acoustica’
2. When the Dream Has Gone – from ‘Graveyard… MMXIX’
3. Everything to Me – from ‘In Vino Veritas’
4. My Best Friends Girl – from ‘In Musica Veritas’
5. 111 – from ‘In Vino Veritas’
6. Movie Star – from ‘In Vino Veritas Acoustica’
7. Died & ‘Fore She Got Young – from ‘Graveyard… MMXIX’
8. Summertime Blues – from ‘In Musica Veritas’
9. Love Comes True – from ‘Black Confetti’ EP
10. Another Girl, Another Planet – ‘Homesick Angel’ EP

Pre-order now only from tylasarttavern.com

Dom Daley.
So when is it a good time to look back on a recording catalogue thas rich with quality yet seemingly something of an unknown quality to the general music buying population?  Right here right now I guess.  Dave Kusworth is something of an enigma in the music world he still writing and recording and making music but modern technology and social media tools have somewhat bypassed the guy and he will happily carry on in his own inimitable way creating music for his dedicated fanbase to feast upon and he’s teamed up with the good people at Easy Action Records to put together an amazing double album that spans his career and showcases just what a talent he has.
this record begins with the band he formed with the sadly passed Nikki Sudden who wrote this song whilst on acid and it was Kusworth that stole the music from the barracudas and changed the title which kinda makes it as good a place to start as any as the guitars jangle along to the uptempo beat.  Next its ‘Shame For The Angels’ from the EP of the same name that I love. Great lyrics an interesting story about what happened to the tapes of this allegedly.  Rock and Roll pirates and vagabonds to the end.
The Bounty Hunters are up next and with Glen, David and Alan  Kusworth rocked things up to a “Happy” pitch and songs like ‘Threads’ led the way in boozy rock and roll and could or possibly should have seen these guys become as popular as The Quireboys and The Dogs D’Amour. Over the next side and some The Bounty hunters rock and roll like their lives depended upon it ending up with ‘Riches To Rags’ which sort of seems quite fitting.
The second record in this collection sees a solo recording of ‘Next Tuesday’ that is taken from the fantastic ‘All The Heartbreak Stories’ and is a beautiful melancholic wander through the mind of Kusworth.
His tenure with the Tenderhooks are up next and the loose version of ‘All I’ve Got Left’ is fantastic and whilst I tend to lose the thread(no pun intended) as to what he was calling the band at the time and what album this one or that one is off because as long as the title contains the words Dave Kusworth – I’m in.  bounty Hunters or Dave Kusworth Band who knows or to be honest who really cares ‘Paint And Sugar’ is a pretty simple song and it mixes up perfectly the whole Keith and Johnny vibe with his more Waterboys tinged side.  To be fair to Kusworth having his output condensed down into twenty songs seems a bit of a headache for whoever contrived this and not a project I’d have liked bestowed upon me.  Sudden had a boxed set and I’m thinking this could easily have been the case because for every reason there is for including the rocking and excellent freak out of ‘Someone Else’s Shoes’ there must be another ten tracks you could have snook in but for consistency and variety this collection could always be considered a starting point eh?
The World Of Dave Kusworth can often be a magical and terrifying adventure and judging by the soundtrack on offer from Easy Action one that should be grasped at with both hands but the best thing is this being Vol 1 & 2 suggests there is more to come so watch this space.  Fantastic talent – fantastic legacy – Buy it!

 

Gerald Stansbury

Wow… I mean… just wow. This album is a wonderful and tremendous addition to a Dogs D’amour discography that began with ‘The State We’re In’ 35 years ago. There will be those that may refuse to give this a chance, and that is really unfortunate for them. I would consider this the first proper album under the Dogs D’amour name by Tyla, Gary, Matty, and Simon even though they have been recording together for several years now. This album is truly made to feel like a Dogs D’amour album as opposed to a Tyla solo album or the Tyla J Pallas Band. It is not a secret that the last two new studio albums ‘When Bastards Go to Hell’ and ‘Let Sleeping Dogs’ were not everyone’s cup of tea, a bottle of jack…. or maybe I should now say bottle of red. Those albums really reflect a different moment in time where this feels much more like the follow up to ‘Happy Ever After’ in terms of style, sound, and approach. For me, this love affair started back at ‘In the Dynamite Jet Saloon’ which remains my favorite album of all time. The band was refreshing among the wave of hair metal bands that often blended together thanks to the other influences they incorporated such as the Stones, Faces, Hanoi Rocks, etc. Tyla’s lyrics were much more relatable to people like me who would try our best only to find out that sometimes the bad guys win despite our best efforts. Albums such as ‘Errol Flynn’ and ‘More Unchartered Heights of Disgrace’ are part of my DNA at this point. Over the years, Tyla has released a tremendous number of solo albums and projects as well as a couple of albums with Spike from the Quireboys. There has always been a difference between that work and Dogs D’amour albums which is partially where the lines got blurred in my mind on ‘Let Sleeping Dogs’ and ‘When Bastards Go to Hell.’ What we have here though is an album that has its very own identity but captures a true band effort and sounds like a Dogs D’amour album…. A damn awesome one too.

Getting the album started is a stomping version of ‘111,’ which will be familiar from Tyla’s solo work. This version though packs more venom and punch. This is a great opener along the lines of ‘Drunk Like Me’ and ‘What’s Happening Here.’ The guitars burn sharply in the mix with the outside production evident at the outset. The album transitions to the gorgeous ‘Black Confetti.’ The use of the saxophones here is perfectly placed, and the way they arrive after a brief pause at the beginning of the song is sublime. This is not your typical single by any Dogs D’amour incarnation and all the better for it. This is an opportunity for these Dogs to flex some musical chops and create a magical moment. For those of us that pledged, we got to hear just a bit of the up-tempo ‘Bloodline’ that rocks in a similar manner to ‘What You Do’ and ‘Lie in This Land.’ The bass by Matty has some added pop in the mix which really stands out at the beginning of the song. Tyla sounds sensational here. He would never win on any of those reality singing shows, but his vocals have always been more about character, heart, soul, and distilled from the finest blend of rock n roll spirits. I will take that everytime. I really love the guitar solo here by Gary as well.

‘Bottle of Red’ stands out as a future standard in the live show where everyone is singing along at the top of their lungs. Lyrically, I would say that it is like the uplifting cousin of ‘Satellite Kid’ as the music creates much more of a ‘Singin’ vibe from ‘Happy Ever After.’ The band adds some awesome saxophone here which creates some additional depth in the music. A Tyla spoken word ad-lib at the end is another very nice touch. I should mention again here that the mix and production on this album is excellent and truly showcases how great these songs are. Since I am reviewing the vinyl version, the midtempo ‘Everything to Me’ represents the end of Side One. Matty’s bass lines get a chance to stand out here as well as the tasteful guitar lines by Gary and Tyla. With a strong vocal hook carried by Tyla already in the chorus, the band adds some background ‘ooh Sha la la’s’ for good measure. What really stands out is just how happy Tyla sounds as these two songs feel like celebrations. Something I have not mentioned is that this album steers clear of the traditional ballads and acoustic numbers. This is a rock album through and through.

Flipping the record over, the uniquely titled ‘Chicago Typewriter’ begins with gunshots and sirens. Musically, this is a hard blues number driven incredibly well by Simon (drums) and Matty (bass) so that Gary and Tyla can add some great bluesy riffs to the mix which are complemented by a simple and highly addictive vocal hook. In some ways, this song recalls the best of where Tyla had gone on ‘Let Sleeping Dogs’ or ‘When Bastards Go to Hell’ but with a much more listener-friendly production style and mix. It provides a great rocking start to the second half of the record. The single in waiting ‘I Don’t Love Anyone’ follows with its tasteful piano and saxophone sounding amazing in the mix. This song should come with a warning label or two as I can’t help but find myself smiling when it plays and singing along. The loving message shows that even though good guys don’t win all the time; they can win from time to time so let’s take a few minutes to celebrate finding the love of our lives while we can. Up next is the title track ‘In Vino Veritas’ where the band brings in some more tasteful saxophone as Tyla tells us a tale as only he can. This is one song where I do wonder if these gentlemen revisiting Tyla’s ‘Nocturnal Nomad’ album recently added some new ingredients that had never really been on a Dogs’ record in the past. Lyrically, this song feels more like the characters and stories from that album as opposed to the characters we met in ‘Hurricane’ or ‘Baby Glass.’

As we approach the end of the vinyl version, ‘Monster’ slithers and struts out on a biting sustained blues riff. Over the course of these songs, the band really explores multiple musical avenues and back alleys with ‘Monster’ creating an awesome groove with added harmonica and organ. I love the guitar riffs and licks throughout this one with it becoming more and more of a favorite with multiple listens with a wonderful howl added at the end for good measure. ‘Movie Star’ serves as an epic finale that brings everything together over the course of its nearly 5 minutes. There are multiple vocal hooks that can kill at a long distance, great guitar work, rocking piano, and a great beat. The extended musical outro is not to be missed as the song eventually slows down for one last vocal before we hear the arm raise and the vinyl come to a stop.

Some people may approach this album with reservations, but I would urge you to check them at the door. This album exceeds every expectation I had and makes me hope that we don’t have to wait too long before we get a follow up from these guys based on how awesome this is. Tyla’s Dogs D’amour acknowledge the long history of the Dogs in many ways but more importantly, add to the band’s magical history with an album that can stand proudly with every record from their past. With two additional songs ‘Empire’ and ‘Fuck Off Devil’ added to the CD and download versions of the album, there really is no reason to not check out this album. Quite simply, this is a magical record.

‘In Vino Veritas’ is unleashed November 16th

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