The Villager, Texas September 10, 2002
By: LINDA KOZAR, Contributing writer
Although The Lost Dogs produce a unique, eclectic style of music, they don't stray far from their traditional American roots. They combine country, folk, blues and rock with a decidedly modern feel, and each of the band's artists brings a rich background of musical style and talent to the table. The band is comprised of Michael Roe, lead guitars and vocals; Terry Taylor, guitars and lead vocals; and Derri Daugherty, guitars and lead vocals.
"We've all been in our own bands before getting together," said Roe. "I was with The 77's, a former label mate of U2; Terry Taylor came from DA and the Swirling Eddies and Derri Daugherty from The Choir."
Gene Eugene of Adam Again, also a founding member, passed away suddenly two years ago.
"We're presently working on putting together a live album from a tour we all did and hearing his voice and his music again, it's like he's alive," Roe said. The group began "as a lark," said Roe. The four music industry veterans, all frontmen and songwriters for their respective bands, decided to collaborate to create a different sound.
"Lost Dogs picked up the home-grown influences we left behind when we were really young, our rock and roll ethos if you will," Roe said. "We wanted something like The Traveling Wilberries concept. We didn't think it impossible to combine four huge personalities into a brand new entity without all the baggage that comes with that sort of collaboration. It worked. We've done six albums together in the last 10 or 11 years.
Born into a musical family, Roe's grandmother played the church organ and his mother and aunt played piano and organ.
"I remember being aware of rock and roll as a toddler," Roe said. "In fact, my boyhood idols were Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. Now, you have to understand, I was raised in an Assembly of God Church and my parents were concerned about how their 3-year-old was acting out these fantasies. One day I told my mother and father I wanted to be a rock and roll singer and a dishwasher.
"I guess the template was set right there." Both Roe and Taylor grew up in San Jose, Calif. "Part of the background we share as well is that we were surrounded by an awful lot of music, from 60s type to garage punk music," Roe said. "Terry started right away getting into groups like The Beatles, Elvis and all that. Derri Daugherty, from Downey in Southern California, was raised as a preacher's kid. He's younger than us and more influenced by 80s music than we are. We all came together from fairly seminal groups of music.
"I started playing guitar at the age of 9 and although I really wanted to sing back then as well, I did best I could. I didn't know how to control my voice. I tried to pattern my voice after Steve Winwood from Traffic. Yes, he was my model for vocal success at the time."
Although all of the band members are strong guitarists, they all play a variety of instruments as well.
"Both Derri and Terry play guitar, and we all dabble in other instruments as well," Roe said. "In retrospect, I wish I would have learned to play the keyboards, but at the time I decided that I really wanted to be exceptional at the guitar, so I concentrated all my efforts on that.
"My favorite kind of music depends on what decade we're talking about. Presently, I'm drawn to music that is highly emotional, you know, folk ballads, 50s West Coast cool jazz, classical and country music but mostly older country by Kenny Williams and Merle Haggard. I don't really listen to much rock and roll, but if I do, it's the old rock and roll. For me, it all has to do with emotion, the sound of the music, the lyrics and vocals. That crosses a lot of boundaries and styles."
The Lost Dogs have performed all over the map, both here in the U.S. and overseas. The group has appeared in cathedrals, country bars, rec halls and other venues.
"We've even played in a field somewhere in Southern California for a church picnic," Roe said. "The weirdest place we've ever played was a bar in Austin, Texas that I'm convinced was haunted. There were some strange phenomena at that place, but we didn't worry about it too much. We were more interested in the restaurant next door. Food attracts more attention from us than ghosts."
Roe said he and his bandmates hope fans see more than an entertainment value in their music.
"We build our music around our personal lives and our faith. If it helps them in their life, then it's not just a pretty song, maybe it changed their life for the better. I was brought up in the Assembly of God Church, a Pentecostal. I've seen my share of rolling and travailing. It was an interesting way to grow up. My parents really imparted to me a very strong faith. I accepted Jesus at 5 and have reaffirmed that faith many times since as well. The church was great place to grow up. It shaped me quite a bit but my faith is more real to me now. I see God working in a more profound way.
"When I was just a kid growing up, church was church and the world was the world and never the two shall meet. Many years later, I saw God everywhere I walked. Occasionally, I go back to the church with my parents. It is a grand tradition, but I prefer a different type of church now. I go to a private, personal fellowship in a tawdry warehouse in the Tenderloin District in San Francisco. There are just a handful of us now, but we're hoping people in the area who are really down and out, maybe confused about their life would come and be a part of what we're doing. We are nondenominational and meet together to sing and worship, read from the Bible, have a time of meditation and contemplation. We call ourselves Kenosis which in Greek means 'emptying.' We are very much like a small cell group -- very tiny, but we like it that way. We are really like a mustard seed of faith."
Roe said he believes his music was shaped by bands from his generations, and is different from today's music.
"If I were 16 years old, I would be into today's music, but my parents always comment that music from their time was so much better," Roe said. "The older I get, the more I find that I share the same view. Music used to have a lot more substance to it. I guess I've finally grown up. I would hope that any music that is going to stick around would be good, but most music I hear doesn't have nearly enough harmonic structure. However, in all fairness, most of the best music never gets played on the radio. Imagine all the brilliant music that you and I will never hear. "
Some of the group's releases include "Scenic Routes," released in 1992 with favorite "Breathe Deep" described by some as a modern hymn; 1993's "Little Red Riding Hood," described as a songwriting tour de force; "Green Room Serenade" from 1996; "Volume One" and "Gift Horse" from 1999, which Roe believes to be their best album.
Roe is also pursuing a career as a solo artist and has just released his third solo project, "Say Your Prayers."
"The Lost Dogs have been together for 11 years," said Roe, "but the name originated between me and my buddies back in our college days. We thought of it then but never got to use it."
Although some people mistakenly access their Web site, www.thelostdogs.com to post a missing pet, The Lost Dogs are more about connecting people with their music.
The Lost Dogs will be appearing at Area 51 at The Woodlands United Methodist Church, 2200 Lake Woodlands, Drive. For more information, call the church at (281) 297-5900 or contact promoter Bob Swan of Rebel Base Ministries at (281) 297-5941.