Something You Don’t See Every Day: A Bluegrass Sitar Duo With Samples: Dawg Yawp
Sept. 29, 2017 | Bob Boilen — A man in a black cape holds a sitar like a guitar all while singing a dreamy tale about wanting to be a dog. Well actually a “dawg.”
Welcome the world of Dawg Yawp, the musical concoction of Rob Keenan and Tyler Randall, where drones and toy pianos are likely to collide with heavy metal electronics and a well-placed melody.
It’s also a vessel for humor, experimentation and foot-stomping fun, whether that stomping is to an original techno beat or a classic bluegrass tune. In fact it was the duo’s cover of “East Virginia Blues,” a song made famous by the Stanley Brothers that first won my heart when I heard them replace the more traditional banjo with a sitar.
These two Cincinnati high school friends create endearing tunes with roots in fingerpicking folk tunes but with a sense of adventure. Listening to their debut, self-titled album is like listening to kids music made for grownups. It’s both clever and wonderfully weird. They always put a smile on my face.
“I Wanna Be A Dawg”
“East Virginia Blues”
“Lost At Sea”
Tyler Randall (sitar, vocals, guitar, synthesizers, drums); Robert Keenan (guitar, vocals, synthesizers)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Morgan Noelle Smith, Bronson Arcuri; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineers: Josh Rogosin, James Willetts; Videographers: Bronson Arcuri, Maia Stern; Editor: Niki Walker; Production Assistant: Marissa Lorusso; Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR.
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