A Cincinnati duo made up of friends Tyler Randall and Rob Keenan, "might be one of the most original and intricately considered bands in cincinnati's musical history," (Brian Baker, CityBeat), and their path to Dawg Yawp was long and circuitous. Keenan began piano lessons at age 7, Randall picked up guitar at 9. They met in high school when Randall played guitar for a vocal chorus concert where Keenan was singing.
The two musicians raised in Cincinnati, Ohio embrace their folk/rock roots in order to travel with listeners, fully equipped, on an ever changing expedition. Their sitar-painted sonic landscape unifies tradition and modern technology, creating a new, yet familiar sound to the experience of American music. The debut EP "Two Hearted" channels their heroes Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Who and The Rolling Stones, also offering nods to modern influences such as Beck, Air, Radiohead, Black Moth Super Rainbow and Tame Impala.
After hearing The Beatles "Within You, Without You," Tyler became obsessed with the sound of the sitar. "Well I thought it was some sort of electronic instrument at first," Tyler says. "Then I met my future bandmate Rob Keenan and he told me it was a sitar! So I checked out Ravi Shankar and that changed everything for me." Tyler explains that he researched online endlessly until he found the right sitar, house sitting dogs and mowing lawns to help cover the costs. "I had never seen one before in my life, and when it came from India after 6 months of waiting...I nearly cried in front of my mother. I thought I had made a horrible mistake, what was I going to do with this thing? It took me about another 6 months to get it in tune and then I just started going down by the river after high school, playing with the birds until I felt relaxed."
Randall and Keenan returned home after a few years exploring other fields (Tyler running underground electronic music events and DJing techno in Boston, and Rob writing songs in Colorado) to find themselves hooked on folk music of the region in which they were raised. Hearing Cincinnati based group The Tillers play “East Virginia Blues” led the duo to further explore American roots and eventually craft their own version of the song with the sitar taking the melody. Tyler even invented the first ever sitar capo in order to play the song in a higher key.
Dawg Yawp recorded in a “tiny house” studio in Sayler Park, a riverside village near Cincinnati. Rob Fetters (Adrian Belew, The Bears) produced their tracks using analog, digital and vintage gear. Fetters said his goal was simply trying to capture “the magic you can hear when you’re sitting between these two musicians, where the sound blossoms into something you’ve never experienced before."