A new album from Police Dog Hogan

It’s impossible to go to a Police Dog Hogan gig and stand still. The exuberant eight-piece band will coax even the most sedentary punters to their feet and their new album Wild by the Side of the Road does just that, mixing thoughtful ballads with full-on jigs and hoedowns. What started out as a group of old friends playing for fun was galvanised into something more formal by lead singer and chief song writer James Studholme, and although they all still have their day jobs – among them a media entrepreneur, a barrister, a travel writer, and Guardian journalist Tim Dowling – the band’s musical commitments are burgeoning. The lineup includes a panoply of instruments: banjo, accordion, drums, lead guitar, bass, fiddle, trumpet, keyboard, mandolin, and their lyrics – by turn funny, wistful and downright catchy, have an everyman quality. It’s difficult to pigeonhole their sound into a particular genre except to call it urban bluegrass, an energetic collision of folk, pop and country. With performances at the Americana Awards in Nashville and Glastonbury already chalked up, this year they’re touring the country until the end of April, or catch them on the festival circuit this summer – Cornbury, Maverick and Ashbourne are confirmed so far, as is a London date later in the year (check their website for details).


Wild by the Side of the Road from Police Dog Hogan
CD: £10, Vinyl LP: £22 or download from Apple iTunes
— Anna Cryer
8th March 2017