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By Adam Trumbo

2003 is birddog’s ninth year making the rounds. Many a wonderful drifter has crossed the path: Elliott Smith on multiple occasions, Glenn Kotche (Wilco) for a couple of albums, Edith Frost for a few breath-bated minutes—the roll call is long and remarkable.

The picture already is in focus. It’s just a bleary world sometimes—that’s all. Lucky for us, Bill Santen plays his acoustic guitar and sings his songs that carve out some peace from life’s oblique moments. Kicking the stones along Santen’s path are Jesse Lebus (guitar/backing vocals), Jonathan Moore (bass/backing vocals), Ben Phelan (drums/backing vocals), and Phillip Farmer (guitar). Come see a show, though, and you’ll get who you get. Best count on Bill and bad weather.

There were a couple of 7” records out in Portland. There were three distinguished albums during some years of circuitous laps around the country. The dice were cast multiple times, finally landing birddog on the Happy Happy Birthday To Me square. The newest release is Songs From Willipa Bay, which was recorded during the winter of 2002 in Shelbyville, KY with Paul Oldham (Palace Brothers/Party Girls). Drifting into the studio this time was Jason Loewenstein, an old Lebus cohort from the Drunken Desperados (among other well chronicled projects). Songs From Willipa Bay is birddog’s best album yet and features casually ardent songs that playfully chip away at the ice of winter.

click here to view the press sheet for the new record

click here for the press sheet for the previous three records


babysue / lmnop review of songs from willipa bay

all music guide - review of a sweet and bitter fancy

splendid e-zine - a sweet and bitter fancy

roadhouse.gr fanzine

In Music We Trust

Ink 19

"birddog" - a poem by thax douglas