Lost Dog Street Band
Matt Heckler, The Tillers
217 E Houston St.
New York, NY, 10002
Doors 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Lost Dog Street Band
Lost Dog Street Band formed in the winter of 2010 after husband-and-wife duo Benjamin Tod (guitarist/vocalist) and Ashley Mae (fiddle player) parted ways with former musical project Barefoot Surrender. Originally conceived as a duet, Benjamin and Ashley quickly dedicated themselves to carrying the tradition of the American troubadour - hopping trains and hitchhiking across country while delivering their unique brand of original songwriting and tragic storytelling.
In the summer of 2011, while performing on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee, Benjamin and Ashley met Nicholas and Shannon Ridout, two skilled musicians traveling from the Pacific Northwest. Immediately inspired by each other’s music, the two groups began writing collaboratively and soon formed the band Spit Shine. The four musicians quickly built a friendship stronger than family, and together poured their blood and sweat into the music of Spit Shine. For the next two years Lost Dog Street Band took a hiatus, until Nicholas’s tragic death in the spring of 2013.
Pushing through the sorrow at the loss of their best friend, Lost Dog Street Band was resurrected with a fervency. Now doing very little street performing, Lost Dog Street Band tours the country each year, delivering their story through song in venues nationwide. In 2017 Lost Dog completed a national tour supporting The Devil Makes Three playing some of the oldest and largest theatres in America. Most recently, the group tours regularly appearing coast to coast in venues nationwide. Along the way they keep Nicholas’s work alive by sharing his music at the end of every show they play.
Drawing from years of lonely tramping, and more than one tragic loss, Lost Dog Street Band has crafted a distinct sound that is best described as ‘dark country’ that never wavers from its roots and honors the traditions of its forbearers. In the same vein as country-legend Guy Clark, Benjamin Tod weaves his melodies and lyrics together to offer listeners an unapologetically raw and authentic account of the human experience.
Lost Dog Street Band has since relocated from home base in Tennessee to Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. They are currently homesteading eleven acres of raw land.
The Tillers got their start in August 2007 when they started thumping around with some banjos and guitars and a big wooden bass. Their earliest gigs were for coins and burritos on the city's famous Ludlow Street in the district of Clifton. The songs they picked were mostly older than their grandparents. Some came from Woody Guthrie, some were southern blues laments, and many were anonymous relics of Appalachian woods, churches, riverboats, railroads, prairies, and coal mines.
Their look didn't fit the stereotype. They were clearly recovering punk rockers with roots in city's west side punk rock and hardcore scene. The punk influence gave their sound a distinctive bite, setting them apart from most other folk acts- a hard-driving percussive strum and stomp that brought new pulse and vinegar to some very old songs. But their musical range soon proved itself as they floated from hard-tackle thumping to tender graceful melody, all the while topped by Oberst and Geil's clear tenor harmonies.
They began picking up weekly gigs around the city's bar scene. It didn't take long before their signature treatment of classic folk songs became the preferred versions of Cincinnati locals. Their audiences swelled, growing into an assortment of grey-haired mechanics, neo-hippies, farmers, punkers, professors, and random strays all stomping, clapping, singing, and belting outbursts of “John Henry!” “Darlin' Corey!” Ever since, the band has come to each show with the same energy. They are magnetic showmen, mature musicians, and colorful storytellers.
The Tillers have since won over Cincinnati's bar and festival scene, and launching tours with tireless momentum. They were awarded CityBeat Magazine's Cincinnati Entertainment Award for best Folk and Americana act in 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 & 2015. Their relentless gigging has taken them throughout the East coast, the Midwest and West, the Appalachian south and to the UK and Ireland opening for the St.Louis crooner, Pokey LaFarge. In the summer of 2009, veteran NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw featured the Tillers on a documentary about US Route 50. Brokaw showcased the group's song “There is Road (Route 50)” as a testimony to the highway's role as a connective tissue of the nation.
Musically, the band wears many hats. Their sound has proven to be an appropriate fit with a wide range of musical styles- traditional folk, bluegrass, jazz, punk rock and anything else they might run into. They have shared the stage with a broad swath of national touring acts, ranging from renowned folk legends such as Doc Watson, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Guy Clark, Country Joe McDonald, Jerry Douglas, Iris Dement, Pokey LaFarge and The Carolina Chocolate Drops to rambunctious rock daredevils like the Legendary Shack Shakers.
Always moving, the Tillers continue to enter new territory. Their musical growth can be heard through the scape of their many releases, 2008's debut record Ludlow Street Rag, 2010's By The Signs, 2011's Wild Hog in the Woods, 2012's Live from the Historic Southgate House, 2013's Hand On The Plow and many more bootleg releases. The band's lineup has also taken new shape. In February 2010, long-time bassist Jason Soudrette fondly parted ways with the group, being replaced by Aaron Geil, brother of guitarist Sean.
In 2015 the band added fiddler Joe Macheret (Joe's Truck Stop/Urban Pioneers) to the ranks.
Recalibrating has not slowed their pace.
They continue to plot their travels around the map, electrifying new places and making new friends wherever they go. From place to place, they carry with them more instruments, new songs, and funnier stories. They are Cincinnati's traveling minstrels. Expect to hear from them soon.
Tickets on sale Fri, 2/22 at 12pm EST
Citi® Cardmember Presale: Tues, 2/19 at 10am - Thurs, 2/21 at 10pm EST
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