Show Review: Lost Dog Street Band was Harsh Honesty at OKC’s Tower Theatre with Casper Allen

Show Reviews

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Lost Dog Street Band returned for their second visit to Oklahoma City’s Tower Theatre Thursday night for yet another mesmerizing performance. The stop was part of the first leg of their 2020 Winter Tour, and this time they brought along Texas singer songwriter Casper Allen with them on their travels.

Lost Dog Street Band is a three piece comprised of husband and wife, Benjamin Tod (voals & guitar), and Ashley Mae (fiddle and vocals) as well as Jeff Loops on bass. Together, they’re one of the formative influences of the DIY music genre. Supported by GemsOnVHS, an important archive/collection of regional folk and songwriter talents across the US, artists like LDSB and Casper Allen are finally gaining the recognition they deserve. Tod is an incredibly gifted songwriter, one that seems to be getting better and better. His solo release, last year’s A Heart Of Gold Is Hard To Find was one of my absolute favorites of 2019, as well as topping many other’s lists.

Somewhat disappointingly, only one song (“Sorry For the Things I Said When I Was Drunk”) from that album found itself in the setlist. But it’s hard to complain about that, especially considering the impressive catalog of songs in their arsenal. There’s a harsh honesty in Tod’s songwriting that really connects with and resonates with the listener. Best received songs of the night included, “Terrible And True,” “Using Again,” a cover of Steve Earle’s “The Mountain,” “War Inside Me” and “September Doves.” My personal favorites though were their lively rendition of Hank Williams’ “Ramblin’ Man” and the powerful closer “Fighting Like Hell To Be Free.”

It was a fun, well played set, one that found the band and audience caught in the moment and relishing the opportunity. Like most of the bands coming through the Tower Theatre, LDSB seem to really enjoy playing in the warm, friendly jewel of OKC music venues. Tod even made a point to remark that the Tower is one of his favorite theatres they frequent. Great news for the band’s OKC fans as that hopefully cements frequent return visits. Indeed, despite it being a chilly Thursday night, the band drew a rambunctious, but respectful crowd that exceeded their previous visit. By the time you’re reading this, Lost Dog Street Band will have finished up the first leg of the tour in Nashville. After a short break, the band will be headed back out, kicking off the next dates in Louisville, KY on March 11th, before wrapping up in Asheville, NC on April 2nd.  Don’t miss an opportunity to see this band. Find out more information including tour dates here: https://www.lostdogstreetband.com/

Casper Allen brought his own stripped down version of DIY songs as well, to warm up the crowd. Despite suffering a bout of food poisoning, and an untimely breaking of a G string in his second song, Allen captivated the crowd with his own personal songs and friendly and engaging demeanor. Meaningful songs and a sincere approach left songs like “Paper Ships,” “Carving Creases” and “King of Corealis” as favorites, but it was the song about Houston that made the biggest impact. “Mosquito Ditch” painted a vivid portrait of my birthplace and home for over 35 years. Lyrics included references to Sharpstown, expensive hair, corner stores and obviously, mosquitoes. All of which left me a bit nostalgic for space city. Allen will have a new album coming soon, reportedly in April, and it’s certain to be one I’ll seek out. Hopefully many of you will check it out too. I highly recommend you do.
For now, keep up with Casper Allen via Facebook or his Bandcamp page here: https://casperallen.bandcamp.com/

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