ION INDIE MAGAZINE December 2014, Volume 7 | Page 59

STARDOG may be heard on internet radio stations around the world, with a powerful blend of Rock and Blues that have catapulted them to new heights globally. They have developed a huge following overseas--including, Israel and Germany--and all across the UK where music lovers are craving new beats from American Rock Bands. Prime time televised shows like “The Voice”, “American Idol” and many others that are adapted by foreign countries, televise their own "talent" contests where celebrity judges either condone or rip apart a performer in front of a live audience. Thanks to the internet, there are many small town and rural bands that are gaining exposure in the confines of their bedrooms, garage, and street corners without being subjected to the live audience rhetoric. Subsequently, we are seeing and hearing more success stories from complete unknowns via the World Wide Web. STARDOG is one of those bands to be reckoned with in this spectrum. At first glance, these musicians and well-rehearsed performers, look like they could be from any major metropolitan city in the U.S. These dogs clean up nicely--and put on a diverse show of all original material with a unique adaptation of a few 70's ballads. Their influences incorporate the thrust of APRIL WINE, and even some early 70′s DEEP PURPLE and LED ZEPPELIN, weaved together with the sonic blast of modern edginess. All of the members of STARDOG are from Columbia, South Carolina with one exception, Raz, who rocks the bass line like a painter on raw canvas. DALE “RAZ” RASZEWSKI, the “Rebel from Pennsylvania”, is a hardcore Pittsburgh Penguins fan. JAYSON MOORE sets the pace with percussion. Keyboardist MARK FOY pulls it all together for STARDOG with BEAU LONG, lead guitarist, and ARTIE JOYNER, front man and vocalist extraordinaire. I was told that each member of STARDOG brings years of experience to the stage. However, there is a unique bond between Beau and Artie, whom have known each other since high school. Beau told me that the past has helped shape what STARDOG is today, and didn’t elaborate much on particulars for every member of the band, other than to say that they are keeping their day jobs for now. Quoting Beau Long, “The other guys have done a lot of touring/playing as well. We don't live there much. It’s just part of what makes us who we are...seasoned musicians creating music we want to hear. Anyway, I handpicked these guys from the local scene.” When they are in sync and performing live, they like to put on a "show" to stimulate and engage the audience, as seen in some of their YouTube videos and links which depict a tribal gathering of sorts. The one who stands out on stage and in any crowd is Front Man and Lead Singer Artie Joyner, affectionately known as “Stony Love”. Artie sings every song with compassion and conviction, and the STARDOG ballads are sure to pierce your heart with one of Cupid’s stray arrows. Historically, music of all genres connects people who may otherwise have nothing in common, and for one night we may be able to loose ourselves and dance like no one is watching. Share in the rage, trance and vibrations that inspire us to loosen up. Isn’t that why we will go out of our way to attend a concert where our favorite bands perform live…to dance and share our affinity for music to stimulate our sense of touch, sight and sounds. Beau Long shared some thoughts about his Rock n' Roll evolution and recollection of touring with his "old band", VENGEANCE. "We opened for OUTLAWS, NANTUCKET and MESSENGER--remember those guys?" Yes, indeed I do, and confess that I truly enjoy watching a man strut on stage wearing nothing but tight leather pants (Ladies, thank you for visualizing). STARDOG has shed the stereotypical image as portrayed by 70's and 80's Rock bands from that area and are breaking the mold when it comes to traditional Southern Rock-- thanks in part to Artie Joyner, aka Stony Love, whose riveting vocals are reminiscent of JOE LYNN TURNER and GRAHAM BONNETT (both of RAINBOW fame). Beau explains the concept and images behind the band’s first music video: