After winning RELIX magazine's "Jam-off Contest" in June 2009, Diesel Dog received editorial coverage in July's issue as well as a track on July's CD compilation.This coverage has lead the band to yet another track inclusion for the August- September compilation. With each compilation having a reproduction of 100,000 these releases have the band enthused as to the number of people exposed to their music with this win.--thanks RELIX!!!

By Denise De La Franier

It’s a Monday night and I’m chatting with two of the five members of Diesel Dog. Drummer Ricky Neu is the quiet but friendly sort who smiles a lot and pipes up occasionally to expand on what guitarist/vocalist Doug Burnside has to say. Doug is relaxed, talkative, and appears to be as comfortable sitting on a couch drinking coffee in Neu’s basement as he is on stage. Diesel Dog, also comprising Ryan Morrison on keys and vocals, Ian Richardson on bass and J. Jonas Berkeley on saxophone, just got back to town from their week-long tour on the East Coast. They had a blast playing for enthused music appreciators in cities including Moncton and Bayside, New Brunswick.

"I think our stuff has fallen on the right ears," says Burnside. "A lot of people had heard of us before, and there’s such a big jamband scene out there , just as big as or even bigger than here. I think part of the reason is the traditional Celtic roots, a lot of kids were brought up on the more traditional live music. Maybe that’s why they really enjoyed us."

The eastern jaunt was a landmark occasion for the band, which was born out of the remnants of the ’90s band Jacob’s Ladder; and first performed under the name Diesel Dog at Brantford’s Summerfest in 2001. Not only was it their first time out of Ontario, it was their first shot travelling together in one vehicle. The tour really tested the waters, Burnside reports. The results were affirming: both he and Neu agree that the band enjoyed a fairly easy week in close quarters and really got to know each other on a more personal level. "No black eyes," Neu laughs.

Besides fitting in some extra practice time, the trip also gave the guys the opportunity to iron out the last few details of their freshly pressed first release, Cherry Hits.

The studio follow-up to their live promotional recording Live at the Lanc, Cherry Hits was produced by Diesel Dog, with Burnside and Morrison assuming the engineering and mixing duties.

"I took audio engineering and I got this bull-headed notion that we could take this on ourselves," says Burnside. "We were already recording our songwriting sessions. There was no point in going elsewhere , we were scheduling ourselves and it took us a [long time], but we could take breaks and clear our heads, come back, listen to the mix, then start another session. We had more time to refine and really got to evolve all the songs ourselves."

The cd represents 'the cream of the crop' of over 20 songs written in the past year and a half. The opener, 'Fishing with the Skipper' is a catchy, crowd-pleasing number with rockin’ riffs and a great '’50s wailin’ sax sound.' 'Ain’t Got None' wraps things up with an irresistible toe-tapping, head-bobbin’ bass line and keys inspired by southern rock. Short in running length , it clocks in at just a over 30 minutes but sweet to the ear, Cherry Hits is a groovy, feel-good disc.

A true member of the jamband community, Diesel Dog has produced a cd that is a condensed sample of what they’re like onstage. The tracks on Cherry Hits "are a little more cut and dry" than the versions they play live. According to Burnside, "the songs tend to go places."

"We’ll never play exactly the same set. That’s why I think we fit in the scene. We don’t try to change it up all the time, that’s just the way we play. We’re coming at it from the traditional aspect. We’ll get in to the more repetitive ‘hippie-trance,’ but it’s not really our forte. Though the number of bands classified within the jamband spectrum is expanding, Diesel Dog aims to maintain their’ “’70s sound,” or as Neu puts it, “the more organic side of things.” The cd release party tomorrow night at the Lancaster Tavern is organized by local promoter Mark Tonin and will feature hand drumming to keep the good vibes flowing during set break. The University of Waterloo’s Drum Circle will be there with their collection of skins to break the ice and lead the primal rhythms. All proceeds from the show will benefit Reaching Our Outdoor Friends (ROOF), a United Way agency “committed to providing for the safety, support and overall well–being of homeless youth and youth–at–risk” in the KW area.


"A strong debut from this Simcoe area band. Highly indebted to early ’70s Grateful Dead and The Band, this eight–song effort only hints at what they’re capable of live. Strong songs and a fantastic rhythm section make this an enjoyable debut."-View Magazine

Diesel dog is loved by the fans for their rockin’ riffs, toe-tapping, head bobbin’ bass lines and southern rock inspired keys.”

“ Their groove is infectious, melodic and coming to a town near you! ” -Sillouette Magazine

Neo-Seventies Funk.” -U.F.Productions

“This album from the Dog shows off the bands eclectic writing styles, jam sensibilities, and competant musicianship, all while maintaining a rootsy and fresh sounding vibe.”