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'Hair of the Dog’ bites back

White’s journey to make Hair of the Dog was fraught with failure.
white, David Dino centre
Ben Leggett, David White, Andrew Sowka. White, centre, is releasing a new EP called Hair of the Dog. Photo credit: Ryan Marshall.

North Bay, ON - On David Dino White’s new EP, Hair of the Dog - set for release on Thursday, November 17th at the Voyager Inn - the 27-year-old songwriter explores intimacy, self-doubt, addiction and the fear of failure on a record that’s a culmination of good luck and ultimately, reaching for the near impossible.

A musician since the age of 16 - and one versed in guitar, drums, and piano - White’s journey to make Hair of the Dog was fraught with failure. “I’ve launched my musical career a half-dozen times,” White says. “I’ve been in and out of three different college programs, gone the solo route, been part of a duo and had bands that fizzled out. This is the first time I’ve made a band record the way I wanted to.” The key to the EP’s success, he says, was finding the right bandmates.

Joining White in his eponymous band is Sault Sainte Marie-born bassist Andrew Sowka (27, formerly of North Bay’s Faraway Neighbours and currently, Kalle Mattson) and drummer Ben Leggett, 31, a Corbeil native who was nominated for a Juno for producing the 2012 Craig Cardiff release, Floods, and Fires. The band takes its inspiration in equal parts from The Zolas, The Darkness, and Mother Mother, fusing together intricate guitar work with punchy drums and sweeping harmonies.

What White, Sowka and Leggett achieve is nothing short of exciting: standout track “The Hair” recalls The Beatles' “Doctor Roberts” in its harmony and craving for vice ('It was the hair - modern medicine didn't get me anywhere’). Elsewhere on the record, “Reach,” a gliding tune that could be mistaken for a John Mayer outtake, seems to make the claim that art-- and success - is in the eye of the beholder:  ‘If you don’t believe, then how could it exist?’

Hair of the Dog comes on the heels of White’s debut LP Alone Together which saw the band tour across Ontario, playing some the province’s best festivals, including UP HERE, River & Sky, Windsong and North Bay’s Summer in the Park. The 5-song EP was co-funded by FACTOR, produced by JUNO-nominee Ben Leggett (2012’s Floods and Fires) and mastered by Noah Mintz of Lacquer Channel Mastering & Siegfried Meier of Beach Road Mastering.

David Dino White is set to release Hair of the Dog with a hometown album release show taking place on Thursday, November 17 at the Voyager Inn. Tickets are $10 in advance (available at The Voyager Inn, Escape Movement, Waxman Records, Music City, Acclaim Sound & Lighting) and $15 at the door.