UK Americana artists Police Dog Hogan release their fifth studio album, Overground, on Friday 14th January 2022. Engineered and produced (with the band) by George Murphy, the album was recorded in 2019 and 2020, when a brief hiatus from touring turned into an extended, enforced break from performing live.
Although some of the songs were composed before the pandemic struck, a certain lockdown sensibility pervades others – ‘Here Comes Crow’, for example, which James Studholme describes as “completely autobiographical”. “That crow tormented me for weeks in the first spring lockdown,” he says, “coming just as the first light turned the windows into mirrors. He saw his reflection as an arch enemy, moving round the house window by window attacking himself.”
First formed in 2009, Police Dog Hogan combine guitar, fiddle, banjo, trumpet and accordion with bass and drums to create a driving country-folk sound that has made them a popular live act for over a decade. They’ve played dozens of festivals, including Glastonbury, Cropredy, Cornbury, Kendall Calling and the Sidmouth Folk Festival.
In 2020 the band released a Christmas single, ‘My First Christmas Alone’, with an accompanying video. The song helped to raise over £50k for the charity Crisis and reached No1 in the iTunes country charts.
In 2018 their song Devon Brigade was nominated for best original song at the AMA-UK Awards. Overground will be their first full-length release since 2017’s Wild By The Side Of The Road, produced by Oysterband’s Al Scott, which spent several weeks in the Official UK Americana charts. The tour supporting that album culminated in a sold out show at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
Al Scott also produced their previous album, Westward Ho!, although you will note a song of that name only appears on their latest effort, Overground. Westward Ho! does feature a track called ‘From The Land Of Miracles’, a tune which singularly failed to appear on the previous album From the Land Of Miracles, produced by Eliot James. If songwriting is Police Dog Hogan’s greatest strength, filing remains their biggest weakness.
In 2014 Police Dog Hogan were one of only three UK bands invited to Nashville to perform at the prestigious Americana Music Association Awards, where DJ Bob Harris –in town for the awards –snapped them up for a recording that has become one of the most-watched YouTube videos on his “Under the Apple Tree Sessions” channel.
After some re-introductory gigs in 2021, Police Dog Hogan are poised to go back out on tour with Overground, culminating in another homecoming gig at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in May.
Artists’ website: https://policedoghogan.com/
‘Westward Ho!’ – the lockdown video: