If you haven’t heard of The Sheepdogs yet, you’re going to very soon. The Sheepdogs play Toronto concert venue Lee’s Palace, where many rock musicians including Nirvana, Alanis Morissette, the Smashing Pumpkins and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have cut their teeth just before experiencing international stardom. The Saskatoon alternative rock band has been receiving mounting accolades recently, including winning three CASBY awards, as well as appearing on Rolling Stone magazine’s cover in August 2011.
The lads’ reverence for 70s classic rock is glaringly obvious in songs such as “I Don’t Know” and “Southern Rock.” Riffs in “I Don’t Know” are reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and The Allman Brothers’ “Sweet Melissa.” The rhythm guitar underscoring “Who” points to a Keith Richards influence while the band’s vocal harmonies suggest Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. While the boys’ love of 70s rock is no doubt genuine, one can’t help but recognize that The Sheepdogs are a marketer’s dream due to their wide audience appeal. Late boomers who grew up in the 70s will embrace the resurrection of the classic rock genre while The Sheepdogs have just enough of an alt-rock polish to their music to satisfy Gen-Xers.
The Lee’s Palace concert is sold out so if you want to catch The Sheepdogs before they hit the big time, you’re going to have to hunt around for tickets.