“I think it was Ernest Tubb”. Mike Bagwell knows his country music, and even though Scott Allen had mentioned he thought it was Hank Williams, he was not going to argue with the steel guitar player when it came to matters of who wrote what classic song. Anyway, it was time for the next number on the set list. 1-2-3-4.
The set at Smiley’s Acoustic Cafe, in Greenville, SC was going well. The room was in a good mood. The boys had been chewing through songs by artists like Hank Snow, The Louvin Brothers, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Cash. A smorgasbord of real country music. The kind you grew up on. The kind thats in your subconscious. The kind you love.
These guys have been playing music for a long time. They have been playing most of there lives as a matter of fact, and there ain’t one of them younger than 50. So go figure, they know there way around a country song. Hell, they have lived these country songs. There are many miles of road and playing between them and it shows on there faces and in there voices. The wear and tear looks and sounds great.
Dog Whistle is pieced together by Scott Allen, Mike Bagwell, Stan Halbkat, and Lee Holroyd. These boys are done proving anything to anybody. They have already done that. Now it is plain to see that it is all about the music and nothing more. They want to present the song as it was intended with respect for the greats who wrote and performed them back in the day.
Based in western North Carolina, one can hear the landscape of Appalachia, the dust of Texas, and the streets of Nashville in everything they do. They carry little bits of them in their memories and in their stories. Stories that are at least based in truth, but no doubt seasoned with southern exaggeration like a fine gumbo. They are happy to remember and tell them.
If you get the chance, go see Dog Whistle and sing the country songs you grew up on. You may catch them in South Carolina or you may catch them in North Carolina. The point is catch ‘em! Acoustic guitar, steel guitar, doghouse bass, snare drum, and rich harmonies, they have the bones of a road hardened honky-tonk band and the soul of country legends.
At the end of the song, Bagwell said it again, "I think it was Ernest Tubb". The song was “Walking The Floor Over You”, and of course Mike was right. 1-2-3-4.
Scott Allen (guitar and vocals )
He picked up a guitar at the age of 13 and has not stopped playing since. Listening to him today you can hear a lifetime of practice and experience. Scott has traveled the USA a lot and has the stories to prove it. With him it’s always about the story.
Scott has enjoyed many successes including his time in the americana band Seconds Flat. He was a founding member along with Greenville, SC musician Anthony Tomlinson. They appeared on Mountain Stage and performed live on World Café as well as opening for The Band, Jr Brown and Alison Kraus to name a few. Their CD “Spittin’ Cause We Like To” was produced by Grammy award winning producer Trina Shoemaker at Daniel Lanois’ Kingsway Studios in New Orleans.
After experiencing the rigors of touring and living on the road, Scott settled down in Saluda, North Carolina where he married and became a father. Now he enjoys writing and performing music with friends.
Mike Bagwell (pedal & lap steel, and vocals)
Mike lives in Greenville, SC, where he works and plays music with a vengeance.
He has a reputation as a stone cold player and proves it over and over as he performs with many musicians from the area. He is a long time member of the noted band The Bad Popes as well as playing regularly with The Note Ropers. In the past he has been on stage with greats like Randy Travis and National Public Radio's Garrison Keillor and A Prairie Home Companion.
This true country boy grew up picking the pedal steel in his father's band and has seen a honky-tonk or two. Real country music runs through his veins and bleeds out on the strings of the many vintage pedal and lap steel guitars he loves to collect and play.
When Mr. Bagwell talks about songs and music the rest of the band is all to eager to listen; kinda like the crowds of music fans that come to hear him play on any given night.
Stan Halbkat (upright & electric bass, and vocals)
Even though Stan Halbkat (Luke Warm) was not born in the south, he got here as quick as he could. He grew up in a family with 5 kids and by age 7 was living in Travelers Rest, SC. That is when he first fell in love with country music. He attributes it to a local Greenville, SC radio station WESC and a school bus driver that impressed upon him the soul in good music. That is to say Country and Gospel music. A skateboard punk at heart, he got his first guitar at the age of 11 and never looked back.
His teenage years were influenced by great jazz musicians like Charles Mingus, Stanley Clarke and Jaco Pastorius. Still, when he would drive his fathers delivery truck throughout the rural south, he would listen to the country music that filled the radio.
Luke Warm has payed his dues. He played all over Atlanta, GA in the 80’s, including many garages. He played with the notable Virginia based band Ancient Chinese Secret. He is also a long time member of the band Trophy Huzbands. He has played with everybody and has always been one of those “go to guys” when good bass playin’ is required.
He now lives in Tryon, NC with his wife Lauren, where they have raised two children and put down roots. There home is a musical one with the whole family often joining in on jams.
Stan has known Scott Allen for a long time and Lee Holroyd even longer. They have history. It only seems right that they would end up in a country band together. They fit like well worn gloves. The bass player has always had a great ear for real country classics, now he can even hear the Dog Whistle.