Dogs at Large / Cass Cwik & The Small Gas Engines at Cole’s bar

@ Cole's Bar

Saturday, January 26 ~~ 9:30PM

FREE SHOW. 9:30 PM / 21+

Dogs at Large is the band and collective of musicians revolving around Chicago-based vocalist, guitarist, keyboardist, and songwriter Sam Pirruccello. Delusions of Paradise (out March 1st, 2019 on FINE PRINTS) is his most fully realized vision yet. Pirruccello has an ear for the sonic palette of psychedelic americana, and his compositions sit nicely beside those of his influences like Gram Parsons, Judee Sill, The Band, and Jackson Browne. But don’t be fooled: Pirruccello is no revivalist, and you wouldn’t mistake a Dogs at Large tune for one released before the turn of the millenium. The themes he explores are distinctively modern, with a protagonist in one song suffering from “paranoid psychosis stemming from being too anxiously involved in social media” - a feeling I think we all know too well. Delusions of Paradise was recorded completely live at Shirk Studios, aside from select vocal and piano overdubs. Pirruccello cites a desire to capture the live sound of his band as the impetus for this pared back approach. And given room to breathe, his band shines. Adam Gilmour, Jamie Yanda, and Aaron Turney (on bass, guitar, and drums respectively) expertly lay the foundations for these songs. But it’s the clever addition of slide guitarist Steve Malito (also of Chicago band Bike Cops) that lends the band its distinct tone. Throughout the record, slide guitar is beautifully employed to add pastoral hooks, melodic counterpoint, and color to the songs.

Cwik traces his musical roots back to an adolescent interest in American folk music and UK pop/rock bands of the sixties. These influences show: his simple, sunny melodies and cozy guitars recall the Byrds and early Stones, and a touch of the psychedelic harks back to Revolver-era Beatles, Syd Barrett’s Floyd, and Donovan.