With a wild drum fill and a swirl of chorus-affected guitars, Carolina’s favorite band Blue Dogs kick off their brand new single “That’s How I Knew”—their first studio-recorded music released since 2004’s Halos and Good Buys. For fans of the long-running band, it is only the first of more to come from an entire album of new music. Big Dreamers is set for release on June 3, 2022. (Blue Dogs, 2022)
Produced by accomplished guitarist and longtime Blue Dogs fan—and at times, guitar player—Sadler Vaden (Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit), Big Dreamers marks a long-awaited comeback for the band and an inevitable full-circle moment for their producer. “I have a history with these guys,” Vaden says. “They used to hire me when I was 18 or 19 years old to play with them. I’ve always admired their sound, even on their albums before I started playing with them, but this record represents the best part of the Blue Dogs in my mind. It’s return to form that also brings out the highlights of their last record. Some things are polished and some things are a little more raw.” Vaden is not the only fan of Blue Dogs contributing to Big Dreamers; legendary Texas songwriter Radney Foster sings background vocals on “That’s How I Knew,” which he co-wrote with Bobby Houck along with the greasy, mid-tempo “If Ever,” and dobro master Jerry Douglas joined the boys on the bluegrass-inspired “The Road You Don’t.”
JamBase premiered the music video for “That’s How I Knew,” Blue Dogs’ irresistible ode to finding the right relationship, and BrooklynVegan highlighted the track, calling it, “a warm, breezy song that finds the long-running band in fine form.” Fans can watch the video at this link and pre-order Big Dreamers ahead of its June 3 release. The band will be celebrating the release of Big Dreamers with a concert at Isle of Palms, South Carolina’s famed Windjammer beach stage on June 3. Tickets are still available.
Founded in 1987 and based in Charleston, the group is still led by songwriters Hank Futch (bass) and Bobby Houck (lead singer, acoustic guitar), who grew up together in Florence, South Carolina. After nearly two decades on the road, the Blue Dogs took an extended break from touring in 2007 as Futch and Houck accepted jobs outside of music to support their new families. Yet they both filed away occasional phrases and potential titles just in case they ever had a chance to make another album together. For this project, they were joined in the studio by guitarist Dan Hood, steel guitar player Charlie Thompson, and longtime drummer Greg Walker. Keeping it all in one big Blue Dogs family, former member Phillip Lammonds co-wrote three of the new songs.
“We’re doing this to follow that dream of playing music and sharing our sound with whoever wants to listen,” Futch says. “We’ve probably been Americana before that became a term. But we didn’t feel like we had to be anything other than ourselves to write these songs.” Houck adds, “We still have something to say. We can write good songs that we like, knowing other people will like them too. We’ve got a lot more to do, more places to play, and maybe bigger places to play. Because of this album, we get to live this dream longer than we thought.”
Big Dreamers track list:
The Good Ones
All Night Long
That’s How I Knew
Love Is Love Is Love
The Good Road
The Road You Don’t
All Out Of Time
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‘Big Dreamers’ release date