The Yard Dogs Road Show is a hobo cabaret, a living patchwork of vaudeville and rock and roll. Last spring they sauntered through the Northwest with their Cabaret Blitz! Tour. Most recently, the troupe left Oregon Country Fair audiences breathless. This month, the Yard Dogs will return to the Northwest at intimate venues in select cities, performing with Louisiana's restless musical storyteller Gill Landry at Seattle's Triple Door and Portland's Doug Fir Lounge (www.myspace.com/gilllandry). In addition, the Yard Dogs Road Show will share the stage once again with Portland's own Vagabond Opera, this time in Boise, for a late-night shebang with New Belgium Brewery's Tour De Fat (www.vagabondopera.com).
Yard Dogs Road Show are pure visual and sonic voodoo. It's a true story on stage: sword swallowers, dancing dolls, fire eaters and sunset hobo poetry - all animated by the live sounds of the Yard Dogs cartoon heavy band. Born from the saloon vaudeville that toured the Wild West in the late 1800's and slammed into the underworld of modern American road culture. The Yard Dogs create a timeless space for the union of ancient theatrical alchemy and modern pop culture.
Current west coast confirmed show details are as follows:
Sunday, August 12th and Monday, August 13th
w/ Gill Landry
216 Union Street, Seattle
Tickets $20.00 Advance, $22.00 DOS / All Ages Welcome
For more information please visit www.tripledoor.com
Saturday, August 18th and Sunday, August 19th
Doug Fir Lounge
w/ Gill Landry
830 East Burnside Street, Portland
Tickets $15.00 Advance, $17.00 DOS / Ages 21 + Welcome
For more information please visit www.dougfirlounge.com
Saturday, August 25th
Co-headlining w/ Vagabond Opera
1010 West Main Street , Boise
Tickets $12.00 / All Ages Welcome
New Belgium Tour De Fat after-party
For more information please visit www.thebouquet.net
Look for Yard Dogs Road Show on the East Coast this fall. Visit www.madisonhousepublicity.com
With the publication of his book, Hobo: A Young Man's Thoughts on Trains and Tramping in America (Random House / 2003), straw boss and founding member Eddy Joe Cotton and the Yard Dogs Road Show surfaced into the mainstream media, including recent recognition in SPIN Magazine. As the San Francisco Weekly reviewed, "Many wandering youngsters identify with the label "tramp artist," but few have taken it to the top-hat perfection quite like Eddy Joe Cotton…[Eddy] and the Yard Dogs Road Show do their neo-vaudeville thing the only way it should be: with flash, panache and an underlying sense of menace."
Bringing rock & roll to theatre and theatre to rock & roll, Yard Dogs Road Show has collaborated with Teatro Zinzanni, Cirque Du Soleil, and Burning Man and have performed such renowned festivals as Bonnaroo, Vegoose, Oregon Country Fair and Wakarusa.
There is some speculation as to the origin of the Yard Dogs Road Show. Not for the want of mystery but for the difficulty in translating an experience that was navigated by the overly-romantic and sleep deprived. Shows came and went leaving very little time to fully comprehend what was going on. Some say the carnival-inspired performance art of the Yard Dogs Road Show began as a three piece jug band performing in road houses and dance halls and at informal gatherings, including Oregon's modern day acid tests with Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters. Some say they traveled in a 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 and the evolution of their show revealed itself in the flames of a campfire on Dog Creek Road: dancing dolls with feather fans, an hombre in silver sunglasses eating fire, a dreamy guitar boy with golden locks, a bearded swami capable of conjuring the supernatural. Others say this story is complete hogwash and it was actually the brainchild of a unemployed "cowboy" and his faithful muse – transient artists with an incredible talent for brainstorming impossible ideas while under the influence of poppy tea and wishful thinking. By chance these conversations were overheard by an ambitious young poet who decided to actualize them for the sake of all impossible dreams everywhere.
Either way, that was seven years ago, and the unlikely troupe of gypsies has been performing on stages ever since.