Artists you should know: The Houndogs
The music of the ’50s and ’60s is what gets local band The Houndogs howling.
They’re a cover band that started this year, but their history stretches back much further.
Ranging in age from 59 to 70, members of The Houndogs have worked in Bay Area recording studios and played with the likes of The Doobie Brothers, Santana and Freddy Fender.
The band includes Nick Ciaramella (vocals, bass, trumpet) Scotty Smith (lead guitar, vocals) Nate Brown (keyboard, guitar, vocals) and Manny Castorena (drums).
You can get a taste of The Houndogs sound this Sunday at Babylon Club, 1064 N. Fulton St., starting at 4 p.m.
We talked to the band about its beginnings, favorite songs and more.
How did The Houndogs get started? The Houndogs got started by Nick after playing locally for 15 years. After the break-up of his latest band, Nick put an ad on Craigslist in August 2011 looking for musicians. Four months later, The Houndogs were born.
What type of music do you play? What bands do you admire? The Houndogs specialize in ’50s and ’60s oldies, surf music, old country and British invasion. Inspired by artists such as Elvis, Rolling Stones, the genius of The Beatles and The Beach Boys.
Why does the music of the ’50s and ’60s appeal to you so much? The music of the ’50s and ’60s appeals to us because we grew up through our teens and our early adulthood immersed in it. I think today if you ask anyone of our generation what their favorite song is it’s probably from that era and they probably know the words. It’s great dance music.
What are some of the most popular songs in your repertoire? Some of the most popular songs are: “Brown Sugar” by the Stones, “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Wooly Bully,” Little Richard’s “Lucille,” “Pink Cadillac” by Springsteen and “Little Sister” by Elvis.
There are a lot of cover bands in town. What sets you guys apart? We’re set aside from other cover bands because our variety is so wide, and our sound is so original that we appeal to people from multiple genres. It’s not unlikely to see an 80-year-old woman dancing next to someone in their 20s at one of our shows. Our music is extremely danceable.
Where might have people seen you play already? People around Fresno may have seen us play at Chukchansi Park, Grizzlies opening day, Clovis Bike Fest, CRU Winery, the Crossroads, or other birthdays, weddings and private parties around the Valley.
Where can people see you coming up? Coming up people can see us play at Babylon in Tower, Sunday and Sept 30.
For music and more: Go to houndogs.fourfour.com.
Know a local musician more people should be familiar with? Send details to Mike Osegueda, email@example.com.
By Mike Osegueda