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Alternative Folk

Although musically they might seem more likely to have come from somewhere like Austin, insurgent country act the Hangdogs are actually based in New York City. Consisting of lead singer and principal songwriter Matthew Grimm, guitarist/keyboardist Texas Tex, guitarist/pedal steel player Automatic Slim, bass player Rob Gottstein, and drummer Kevin Baier, the band came together in the mid-'90s, gaining attention for their passionate live shows and a healthy dose of political commentary that was injected into their lyrics. They self-released Same Old Story in 1997 and its 1999 follow-up, East of Yesterday, although the latter would be re-released when they were signed by Shanachie. The group's first actual album for the label would be Beware of the Dog, their 2000 release which, like its predecessor, was produced by Bruce Henderson. The band continues to win over new converts, especially through their dedication to live performance, which was documented by a collection of live songs on Something Left to Sell, including covers of songs by Steve Earle and Robbie Fulks. Tom Demalon

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