Since 1978, Washington has witnessed a summer tradition in which individuals from various local bands come together for a couple of weeks as a sudden Supergroup--super at least within the Beltway. It started with the Cheek-to-Cheek Allstars, and resurfaces this week as the Dog Days Revue, which will perform at the Bayou Wednesday and at the Psyche Delly Thursday through Saturday.
"It's our new summer fun band," says Nighthawks drummer Pete Ragusa, a veteran of all five instant bands. "It's going to be lots of good dance music, what we call funk 'n' roll." Other Dogs include Mark Greenhouse on guitar and piano, Stuart Smith on guitar, Johnny Castle on bass and Mitch Collins on piano; all will share vocal duty.
"We've always wanted to do it with this personnel, but this is the first summer we could get everybody's schedule aligned," Ragusa says. The band's been rehearsing for 10 days, six to seven hours a day, even though the players are somewhat familiar with each other from Track Studios in Silver Spring, where Greenhouse is an engineer/producer. "He's always throwing a lot of work our way," Ragusa says. This time, instead of the work coming to them, they'll be going to work. As for the funk 'n' roll tag, Ragusa points to shared R&B roots. "That's where all this material is coming from--a little bit like Little Feat, but more pop sounding, kind of like Orleans." Catfish Hodge, a past member of the summer bands, will open solo for the Dogs at the Bayou.