With 8 members in the full line-up and instruments including guitar, accordion, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and trumpet, Police Dog hogan draw their influences from many different wells.
You could call it Americana, country-folk, folk-pop or even urban bluegrass, but it’s difficult to do justice to the sheer range of styles this band can bend to its will.
Police Dog Hogan’s second album, From the Land of Miracles, attracted praise from many quarters. “No one in their right mind would imagine that the band that play on the opening track Better Go Now come from anywhere other than the heartland of America,” said Maverick magazine’s 5-star review. “But some of James Studholme’s intricate guitar playing comes straight out of the traditional English folk book and would make Richard Thompson proud.”
With an average age comfortably over 40 (23-year old trumpeter Emily Norris is something of an outlier), Police Dog Hogan offer more in the way of experience than innocence. While the members hold down a variety of what might be described as “day jobs” (their banjo player Tim Dowling is a writer and Guardian columnist; lead singer James Studholme runs an advertising production company), they take the music very seriously, and keep up a rigorous touring schedule, recently playing to sell-out crowds at Bush Hall, the Borderline and various venues across the UK, as well as festivals including Camp Bestival, Cornbury, Maverick and Kendal Calling.
This September the band are exporting their unique take on Americana to Nashville, playing two showcase gigs at the Americana Music Association awards. After that they return to the UK to play a string of dates in October, November and December.
Their third album Westward Ho! is due out on the influential Union Music Store label in the autumn. That title – part swashbuckling exhortation, part melancholy seaside postcard – goes some way toward encapsulating Police Dog Hogan’s sound: bold and infectious country-folk wedded to a wry, reflective and deeply English sensibility.