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Tone Dogs biography
Tone Dogs began in 1987 with a phone call from bassist Fred Chalenor to multi-instrumentalist Amy Denio, inviting her to collaborate & spend sometime in a recording studio with a top notch engineer (Drew Canulette) high up in the Oregon countryside. A tractor trailer truck was parked outside, housing the recording gear. Cables followed the stone pathway into the glass-walled living room, overlooking the Newberg Valley. Fresh coffee & blackberry pie greeted Fred & Amy the first time they spent a weekend there. They started experimenting in the studio, and a band was born.

The first drummer was Matt Cameron - he's on their first release, Ankety Low Day (originally C/Z Records, Seattle), recorded in the pre-natal days of the band. That CD was nominated to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Recording. Rough mixes got sent out, and Tone Dogs were invited to festivals in Europe in Fall, 1988. The group is joined by Fred Frith and Hans Reichel on this album as well.

In concert, they started as a quartet with Henry Franzoni on drums, and Courtney von Drehle on keyboards & saxes. Eventually they regrouped to make a trio, with Will Dowd on drums. They toured Europe 5 times (especially in ex-Yugoslavia, Hungary & Czech, every tour by train), and played on both North American coasts, as well as in Montreal for New Music America...

Their last European tour, Fall 1991, was very difficult, and the band fell apart. Endless succession of strange and challenging situations. For one, Early Middle Years was delayed in release, so once again they were touring with cassettes. A box of T-shirts mysteriously disappeared between the house & Seattle Airport. A friend came along, and had deep troubles. Two nights recording at our favorite club in Budapest, but this time horrific ? howling feedback, starting at 2:30am on a Tuesday night, lost key & accommodation confusion (at dawn after horrible show), arriving in Linz we discovered we were a week late (while the taxi radio blared ?always look at the bright side of life?) etc. etc. etc.

They thought to make a third and final CD, but an earthquake triggered an electrical fire at Dogfish, and the studio burned, along with all the Tone Dogs archives.

The group's sound has been compared to that of Fred Frith during his Gravity/Speechless period.

Thanks to Amy Denio for permission to use the blurb from CD Baby.

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TONE DOGS discography

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4.00 | 1 ratings
Ankety Low Day
3.50 | 2 ratings
Early Middle Years

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