Sunday, June 30, 2013

Song Of The Week: 6/30/13

Song: "Kevin J. O'Toole"

Artist: Street Dogs

Album: "State Of Grace"

Year: 2008

"Kevin J. O'Toole" is an ode or a tribute to Street Dog's lead singer Mike McColgan's uncle. McColgan considered his uncle a huge role model and influence in his life. The song is very much like the song "Fighter", which was a tribute to a fallen friend of McColgan's, and appeared on the band's debut album "Savin Hill". Street Dogs formed as a band back in 2002 and have since become a staple of the Boston punk scene alongside the Dropkick Murphys. In fact, McColgan was the original singer of the Dropkick Murphys before departing that band in 1998 to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a Boston Firefighter. By 2002, McColgan could not stay away from music and took a leave from firefighting to form the Street Dogs. In 2003, the band released their debut album, "Savin Hill". This album helped the band earn an opening slot for Celtic punk legends Flogging Molly. 2005 saw the band release "Back To The World". This album was a critical success for the Street Dogs who were now opening for such bands as Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Millencolin and the Bouncing Souls. 2005 also saw the band play the Vans Warped Tour for the first time. In 2006, the band dropped their third album, "Fading American Dream". While touring to support this album the band had quite the scare one night in Omaha, Nebraska when bassist Johnny Rioux collapsed on stage due to an apparent seizure. Rioux proved to be ok after this incident, however, and continued on with the tour with no more health issues. In 2008, the Street Dogs signed up with Hellcat Records, an off shoot of Epitaph Records that was founded by Rancid's Tim Armstrong. The band's first release with Hellcat was "State Of Grace". By this time the Street Dogs were now a main stage act on the Warped Tour. 2010 saw the band release the self-titled "Street Dogs". After dropping five albums and touring extensively for almost ten years, McColgan stated that the band was going to take a little break at the beginning of 2013. That break was short lived to say the least as 2013 has already been an active year for the band. The current state of the Street Dogs is as follows. Guitarist Tobe Bean annouced that he would no longer be a touring member of the band. He was replaced by Darkbuster guitarist Lenny Lashley. Johnny Rioux announced that McColgan may release a solo album. Also, Rioux, McColgan and former Dropkick Murphys member Rick Barton formed a band called FM359. The band departed Hellcat Records and have confirmed that all future releases will go through Pirate Press Records. The Street Dogs plan on releasing a few 7" singles as well as a live album and dvd. The band has officially released the single "Crooked Drunken Sons" and the single "Rust Belt Nation". The Street Dogs are a blue collar band and that's who they sing for. They are pro-union, pro-worker and pro-middle class. They also take extreme pride in their community, Boston and more specifically Dorchester. Due to their work ethic, I assume that a new album will probably be in the works soon.

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