"Ghosts of Champoeg" | Sound Stories & Interviews | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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"Ghosts of Champoeg" 

The Hill Dogs Re-release

Few albums are worthy of taking up a permanent spot used for companionship on the road, but the re-released "Ghosts of Champoeg" by the Hill Dogs is one of those albums.

This CD, first released March 13, 2013, includes 15 tracks of what the band calls psychedelic folk'n' rock. These Oregon musicians call Newberg home, but live a well-traveled life, playing as many shows as they can muster, and enjoying every minute of it.

The Source was able to track down the manager of the group, Cosmo Spada, also known as The Dog Catcher, and lead singer Taylor Kingman, 23, to answer some questions about the band's first album.

All five members of the group lend vocals to the cause and each has a specific musical contribution. Lucas Benoit, 23, plays guitar; Ricky Rohr, 24, is featured on drums; Kayla Stroik, 25, plays viola; and Rowan Cobb, 30, plays bass. The group has stayed with this current lineup since 2013, and it should be noted that bassist Kody Mikkelson was on the album, but is not currently in the band.

The album was written by Kingman during his late teens. "He wrote most of these songs while living in the century-old former Champoeg Schoolhouse depicted on the cover, which is his family home in the heart of the Willamette Valley," says Spada.

Kingman says he wants those listening to connect with how he felt at the time saying, "I want people to feel human. I want people to feel that they experienced something uniquely Northwestern. Something raw and personal and honest, but really, something deeply familiar."

Notable songs on the album include "Make War With Your Heart" (a personal favorite on repeat), "Oh My," and "A Whiskey Song." The Hill Dogs can be found on Facebook and Twitter, as well as ReverbNation/thehilldogs.

The Hill Dogs

"Ghosts of Champoeg"

Available via Band Camp and CD Baby

$15

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