If you wanted to seek out a band that epitomizes "stomp-grass," you couldn't find a better fit than Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs. Their music is the pure, rollicking, breakneck type that conjures visions of packed barrooms, plenty of whiskey, uninhibited dancing and lots of sweat. Based in Bozeman, the four- (sometimes five-) piece band blends country, bluegrass, rock, old-time Americana and even a hint of klezmer into a frenzy of claw-hammer banjo picking, fiddling, driving bass and that classic washboard scratch.
On their new album, Live From Basecamp Studios, they offer up nine tunes that showcase their adept musicianship, skilled harmonies and clever lyrics. "Ladies' Night" is a fun rebuttal to the notion that gals don't drink hard liquor, featuring lines like, "Cowboys think they're real damn tough/ flannels and old blue jeans/ but the only man going home with me is my dirty friend old Jim Beam."
Riotous music like this can often be rough around the edges and sloppy, but what sets Laney Lou apart is that while they're railing away and putting their instruments through the ringer, they're still tight and precise. Taken together, it's a wild, rowdy, irresistible combination.
Laney Lou and the Bird Dogs play the Top Hat Thu., Nov. 3, at 10 PM, along with Keema and the Keepsakes.