The Lost Dogs are an Americana/ Christian Rock supergroup starring the frontmen of four important underground Christian alt-rock bands: Terry Scott Taylor (Daniel Amos), Gene Eugene (Adam Again), Mike Roe (The 77s), and Derri Daugherty (The Choir). They began with a one-off project, Scenic Routes, in 1992, but to their own surprise, found themselves recording more and more records, eventually becoming more active than most of their main bands. They were shaken by Gene Eugene's untimely death in March 2000, but ended up soldiering on well into the 21st century.
- Scenic Routes (1992)
- Little Red Riding Hood (1993)
- The Green Room Serenade, Part One (1996)
- Gift Horse (1999)
- The Best of the Lost Dogs (1999) (selections from their first three albums, plus a live version of "Built for Glory, Made to Last" and a *Green Room* outtake called "Make Believe")
- Real Men Cry (2001)
- Nazarene Crying Towel (2003)
- Mutt (2004)(covers of songs from the members' other bands)
- The Lost Cabin and the Mystery Trees (2006)
- Old Angel (2010)
- Derri Daugherty: Vocals, Guitar, Bass
- Gene Eugene (1992-2000): Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
- Mike Roe: Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin, Bass
- Terry Scott Taylor: Vocals, Guitar
- Steve Hindalong (2006-present): Drums, Percussion
- Tim Chandler: Bass
- Burleigh Drummond: Drums, Percussion
- Greg Kellogg: Dobro, Pedal Steel, Banjo
Provides examples of:
- A Cappella: "Hard Times Come Again No More," in crystalline four-part harmony. And nearly twenty years later, "The World Is Against Us," in three parts.
- Adam and Eve Plot: Implied in "Eleanor, It's Raining Now."
- Addiction Song: "Smokescreen," though Mike Roe says it's not about cigarettes.
- The narrator of "The Wall of Heaven"'s alcoholism was so severe that it killed his wife.
- Afterlife Express: "Ghost Train to Nowhere," though it never actually gets there, of course.
- Album Intro Track: "The Green Room Serenade," more or less.
- Amicable Exes: "Waiting for You to Come Around," which is the last Gene Eugene composition the band performed.
- Amoral Attorney: Satan disguises himself as one in the second verse of "Hey You Little Devil."
- Anti-Love Song: "I Don't Love You."
- Are We There Yet?: Evoked in "Dunce Cap."
- As the Good Book Says...: Invoked in "Imagine That."There's a book about us filled with hope and despair
Tells of crooks and crusaders, clowns and kings
- Bad Ass Mustache: Terry's Zappa-esque Van Dyke in the Little Red Riding Hood era.
- Big Red Devil: Subverted in "Why Is the Devil Red?" which rejects pop-cultural presentations of Satan for biblical ones.But who's that looking like an angel of light?
Who's that dressed in a gown of white?
Who's that saying everything's all right?
Who's that grinning in the dead of night?
- Break Up Song: Roe's "I Don't Love You" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Call-Back: "Scenic Routes" incorporates a song title from the four members' other bands: Daniel Amos's "Endless Summer," Adam Again's "Eyes Wide Open," The Choir's "Wide-Eyed Wonder," and The 77s' "Nowhere Else."
- Calling the Old Man Out: The Vietnam veteran narrator of "Red, White and Blue"My daddy said a man has got to fight to be free
Tucked his slogans into bed there with my brothers and me
Well, he'd be prouder now if I had never come home
- Car Song: "Pearl Moon," in which some Okies' car breaks down in the desert.
- Celebrity Elegy: "The Great Divide" is about Gene Eugene's death.
- Celebrity Song: "Jesus Loves You, Brian Wilson."
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: All of them, to one degree or another, but especially Mike Roe, and especially on his cover of "On the Good Ship Lollypop."Gene Eugene: Sounds like a pervert!
Terry Taylor: You sound like a pervert, Mike.
Mike Roe after a beat: Takes one to know one.
- Concept Album: Old Angel features fifteen songs about Route 66.
- Corpsing: Gene on the third verse of "Bad Indigestion," probably because of the silly corn-pone accent he sings it in.
- Cover Album: Mutt is an odd example, in that most of its songs are covers of the band's members' other bands' albums, sung by different singers.
- Cover Song: "You Gotta Move" (Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell); "I Am a Pilgrim" (traditional); "Hard Times Come Again No More" (Stephen Foster); "Precious Memories" (traditional); "Lil' Red Riding Hood" (Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs); "I'm a Loser" (The Beatles); "On the Good Ship Lollipop" (Shirley Temple); "If It Be Your Will" (Leonard Cohen); "Farther Along" (traditional); "Dust on the Bible" (Kitty Wells).
- Crazy Consumption: The "Twinkie defense" at the beginning of "Bad Indigestion."
- Dead All Along: "In the Distance."
- Deadpan Snarker: All four of them, at least in concert.
- Dead Person Conversation: The narrator of "The Wall of Heaven" has one with his late wife every night.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Terry Taylor, if "Bullet Train" is to be believed.
- Downer Ending: "The Last Testament of Angus Shane" presumably ends with the (innocent) narrator's execution, though it is not narrated in-song.
- Family Business: "Rocky Mountain Mines," much to the narrator's sorrow.I cried, "Oh, Daddy, oh, Dad, don't go"
But he won't be coming home, no
And Mother, dear Mom, don't you know
I'm feeling so cold and alone?
'Cause I'm the son next in line
For the black lung dyin'
And just a few come back from the Rocky Mountain mines
- Feeling Their Age: "Old and Lonesome," naturally enough—a parody of Jimmy Reed's "Cold and Lonesome."
- Food Songs Are Funny: "Bad Indigestion."
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Mike Roe (choleric), Gene Eugene (melancholic), Derri Daugherty (phlegmatic), and Terry Taylor (sanguine).
- Frame-Up: "The Last Testament of Angus Shane."
- The Gambling Addict: "Free Drinks and a Dream," to horrible effect. He sells his car, abandons his family, and is stuck in Vegas, presumably forever.
- Ghost Train: One that goes nowhere, right at the beginning of Gift Horse.
- Greatest Hits Album: The rather unnecessary The Best of the Lost Dogs, given that all three of the albums it draws from were readily available when it came out. At least it brought us "Make Believe."
- Grief Song: "Rebecca Go Home," sung by Gene Eugene just months before he died.
- Heavy Meta: "Three-Legged Dog," a parable about the band's choosing to continue after Gene's death.
- Horny Devil: The first verse of "Hey, You Little Devil."
- Indecipherable Lyrics: "America's Main Street," at least toward the end, when Taylor starts listing monuments.
- Innocence Lost: "Amber Waves Goodbye" is about America as a whole losing its innocence.
- Inspirationally Disabled: Averted hard in "Red, White, and Blue," whose Shell-Shocked Veteran narrator points to his "lame and legless comrades" when people tell him to go away.
- But played straight in "Built for Glory - Made to Last," where the disabled homeless man teaches our narrator a valuable lesson about mortality.
- In the Style of...: "Close but No Cigar" gives Roe a chance to do his incredible Elvis Presley impersonation. Ditto "Make Believe" and Roy Orbison.
- It's Always Mardi Gras in New Orleans: The narrator of "Mexico" "heard they throw some party there / With people in their underwear."
- Last Note Hilarity: "Bad Indigestion" ends with someone flushing a toilet and the guys complaining about the odor.
- Lead Bassist: Roe, Eugene, and Daugherty often play the bass on the studio recordings, when Tim Chandler isn't doing it. Live, Daugherty usually plays it.
- "Leaving the Nest" Song: "I'm Setting You Free (But I'm Not Letting You Go)." And "Loved and Forgiven," kind of.
- Lighter and Softer: Nazarene Crying Towel is a subdued and acoustic album. Real Men Cry, two years earlier, was hardly raucous, but it was much less light and soft than Nazarene.
- List Song: "Breathe Deep (The Breath of God)" is a list of groups of people who are instructed to turn to God. "Pray Where You Are" is a list of places to pray.
- Misogyny Song: Roe's verse in "Free at Last":I met a woman
Dressed in black
All she did was just yakety-yak
I talked back
And got the sack
Thank God I got out before I kacked
- Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: Mostly 3-5, though the band's penchant for silliness can drive them below 3. Notably, the lyrics tend to be less hard than the band members' other projects.
- Morning Routine: "Up in the Morning," appropriately enough.I'll be out the door, but not before
I've kissed the wife and kids
- Murder Ballad: "The Mark of Cain" and "Wicked Guns."
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Their first three albums are grab bags of styles and sounds; this changes substantially with Gift Horse.
- New Sound Album: Gift Horse saw the band move away from its kitchen-sink approach and offer eleven country songs, ten of them written by Taylor.
- To some extent, the Lost Dogs themselves are a new sound album for the principal members, none of whose bands were making Americana music at the time.
- Non-Appearing Title: "The New Physics," "Bush League", "Smokescreen," and "The Last Testament of Angus Shane." And "Dunce Cap," unless you count the Studio Chatter before the song begins.
- One-Man Song: "The Last Testament of Angus Shane," "Jimmy."
- One-Woman Song: "Eleanor, It's Raining Now."
- Opposites Attract: The only thing the narrator of "Ditto" and his loved one have in common is that they want to be with each other.
- Perpetual Poverty: "No Ship Coming In," though they believe they'll be just fine.
- Protest Song: Several on Scenic Routes: Taylor's "Bullet Train" is a borderline-Anvilicious call for gun control; "The Fortunate Sons" is a war protest song; and "Bush League" is an explanation of why Gene Eugene won't be voting for George H.W. Bush. "Amber Waves Goodbye," a song about America's lost innocence, probably qualifies too, in a more elegiac key.
- "Red, White and Blue," from Little Red Riding Hood, uses the character of a burned-out Vietnam vet to protest American foreign policy.I'm a living reminder that pride comes before a fall.
- "Red, White and Blue," from Little Red Riding Hood, uses the character of a burned-out Vietnam vet to protest American foreign policy.
- Record Producer: All four principals have produced albums for other artists.
- Revenge Ballad: "If You Loved Here, You'd Be Home by Now." Having lost his spouse to infidelity, the narrator erects an enormous billboard with the title on it over his house, knowing that she gets stuck in a traffic jam in that location every day.
- Riches to Rags: "Diamonds to Coal," though the narrator requests it as a way of confronting his pride.
- Self-Backing Vocalist: Given that the band is composed of 3-4 lead singers, this is rare, though it does show up from time to time. Most notably, Mike Roe seems to be doing many of the backing vocals in "Jesus Loves You, Brian Wilson," for which he also sings lead.
- Serenade Your Lover: "The Green Room Serenade" is a parody of this trope.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: "Red, White, and Blue."
- The narrator of "The Fortunate Sons" will probably qualify if he makes it home alive.
- Shout-Out: "The Fortunate Sons," to Creedence Clearwater Revival.
- Signature Song: "Breathe Deep (The Breath of God)." So much so that they rerecorded it for their third album.
- Singer Namedrop: From the second line of "Scenic Routes": "Lost dogs bark the Nicene Creed and dream of bones to eat."
- Singer-Songwriter: Four of them, though they all sing lead on one another's songs, too.
- Smoking Is Not Cool: "Smokescreen," although Mike Roe insists that it's not about smoking.
- Social Media Is Bad: "The Net," although it was written way back in the chatroom era of 1998.
- Song Parody: Roe's "Old and Lonesome" parodies Jimmy Reed's "Cold and Lonesome."
- Spoken Word in Music: The bridges of "Rocky Mountain Mines" and "Free Drinks and a Dream."
- Supergroup: The most notable one in Christian rock.
- Stealth Pun: In "Jesus Loves You, Brian Wilson," Mike sings that he "paid the price and leafed through every book that I could find about" the title character. The liner notes spell it "Preiss," the author of a noteworthy biography of Brian Wilson.
- Combined with a stealth Take That! in "Dead-End Diner." The song begins "Obama's on the radio" and ends "Keep the change, honey"—ostensibly spoken by a diner patron but perhaps referring to the popular anti-Obama tea party slogan. (The band's politics are difficult to pin down, to be sure.)
- Studio Chatter: All over Little Red Riding Hood, and even more of it on the 2020 deluxe reissue. They make a joke about it on their cover of "The Chipmunk Song."
- Take That!: "Bush League," to George H.W. Bush.
- The next time you start a stormYou better get you a mess kit, canteen, and uniform'Cause we feel like living, so you've gotta go.
- Title Track: "Scenic Routes," "The Green Room Serenade," "Real Men Cry," and "Old Angel."
- 12-Bar Blues: "You Satisfy" and "Free at Last."
- Unfinished Business: The wife of the narrator of "The Wall of Heaven" won't leave him alone until he converts to Christianity.
- Unplugged Version: An acoustic mix of "No Ship Coming In" for a 1993 compilation.
- The Vietnam Vet: "Red, White, and Blue."
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Mike and Gene, if the 'Little Red Riding Hood' Studio Chatter is to be believed.
- Vocal Tag Team: A hallmark of the band, especially evident when there were four of them. "No Ship Coming In" and "Ghost Train to Nowhere" are good examples.
- Word Salad Lyrics: Gene's verse in "Free at Last":See, see him riding
On the Devil E. Lee
He's taking photos a-plenty
But none of me
At the foot of his bed
He put a dove on their wall and a bullet in my head