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The Best "So-So" Band in the Hudson Valley!

They bill themselves as the "Best So-So Band in the Hudson Valley." What exactly does that mean? Good question. It seems to have something to do with the fact that all the band members are ordinary guys, working stiffs, if you will. And they have no illusions about big record deals and life on the road. No big egos about how much better they are than all the other bands hereabouts. No one in Lost Dog Woody appears to be counting the days until they can quit their day job and live off the fame and fortune that comes from being a rock star.

So, put six ordinary working stiffs (with families) together, and what do you have? You have a band that struggles to get in one good practice every week, and plays out far less often than the average Hudson Valley working band. Given that quasi-avocational approach to music, how good can they possibly be? Well, there's the funny thing. What they lack in "star quality," they more than make up for by being real. These guys might not have their sights set on playing the stadium tour circuit, but that doesn't mean they don't love performing. And neither does it mean that they don't put their collective heart and soul into each and every gig. They give it up, every time, precisely because it's not work. It's fun. Lost Dog Woody isn't doing it for the money. . . not even for the "someday," pie-in-the-sky money. They're out there playing music because it's a lot of fun for them. And, know what? Audiences pick up on that right off.

A legendary rock star came to play in the area a while back and performed his play list via tele-prompter. His bodyguards ushered him in and out, he refused to sign autographs, and he barely even acknowledged the audience's existence. Lost Dog Woody is the quintessential "party band." They spend most of their time between songs engaging in good natured banter with the crowd. And folks in the audience at a Lost Dog Woody gig don't need to be urged to get up and dance... they just do. In layperson's language, it's called "having a good time;" and let's face it, any band that consistently makes people laugh and dance just can't be all that "So-So."

There's another thing that sets Lost Dog Woody apart from the rest of the working bands in the area. . . their play list. It's just not what you'd expect from a "cover band." But, in a strange and wonderful way, it works out really well. Actually, it's quite refreshing. Have you ever bought a CD for the cut that's getting all the radio air play, only to discover that there's one, or more, cuts on the album that you like better? That's what the Lost Dog Woody play list is all about. It's the "other" good, maybe even better songs that have been recorded by your favorite artists. The ones you'd probably pick if some record company executive hadn't paid all the radio stations to play the "hit" 50 times a day. Lost Dog Woody's playlist is a Who's Who of big names like Eric Clapton, The Band, Blues Traveler, Ben Folds Five, Chris Isaak, Elvin Bishop, Taj Mahol, and Dave Matthews, but the cuts they choose often make you pause, and then say: "Oh yeah! I liked that one!"

So that's it. Or at least that's it in a nutshell. If you want to party, if you just want to go out and have a good time listening to good guys playing good music, well, check out the "Best So-So Band in the Hudson Valley." And be sure to wear your dancin' shoes.....

--Kevin Robinson
No Bull Productions

Lost Dog Woody Happy with Keeping It Simple

Lost Dog Woody band members are perfectly content to keep their ambitions uncomplicated.

Boasting in their press material that they are the best "So-So Band in the Hudson Valley," vocalist Steve Stiert says it's an attainable goal by any stretch of the imagination.

We figure that's a niche we can really fill well," Stiert laughs. "We hope to become not only the 'Best So-So Band' in the region, but also maybe even the state."

Stiert, Heller, Conklin, Persely
It's the group's attitude of not taking themselve's too seriously that has endeared them to many a Hudson Valley music lover.

"We all have full time jobs and as much as it'd be nice to be recognized as a great band, we have some limitations given the amount of time we have together," he explains. "We do the best we can and we enjoy sharing the music."

Formed three years ago (the groups moniker a result of band members seeing a flyer in which someone was requesting assistance in locating their beloved missing pet), Lost Dog Woody is still going strong. The current line-up features vocalist Stiert along with lead guitarist Mike Persely, rhythm guitarist/saxaphonist Danny Sheehan, keyboardist Don McCray, bassist Pete Conklin, and drummer Steve Heller.

Sheehan, Conklin
Although the group currently plays cover tunes exclusively, Stiert says Woody is working on some original tunes to incorporate into future gigs. But for now, Lost Dog Woody is content on playing for their loyal fans.

"I think a bond with the audience is what it's about," he offers. "I have a lot of fun with that. The crowd is who you're playing for."

--Lisa Fairbanks
Rhythm and News

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