“Hound Dog” is one of those timeless rock and roll songs that feels indelibly etched on our collective consciousness. While Elvis Presley’s cover of the song is likely more widely known than Big Mama Thornton’s original, the latter was a game-changer that sounds as bold and alluring now as it did when it was first released in 1952.
Chris Vos, Alex Stiff, and Marc Carzola of blues rock powerhouse The Record Company drew inspiration from both versions for their inspired reimagining of the song.
“I love the song ‘Hound Dog.’ I grew up with the Elvis version and found the Big Mama Thornton version later in life. So when we got together to do this track, we took the lyric inspiration from Thornton’s original and some of the attitude inspiration from the Elvis version, twisted it together, changed the chords around, and made something that doesn’t sound very much like either laughs Chris Vos.
He recalls, “We recorded the version you’re hearing in 2020 as part of our Side Project EP, but we didn’t release it then. With this Elvis film coming out, we thought it would be the perfect time to put our version out into the world, and we’re excited about it.”
Accompanying the announcement is a video that captures a rousing live performance of the song.
“The video that we did was super simple: we just wanted to take it into one room and show the energy of the band playing the song,” Vos explains. “And of course, we had to have our buddy and recording companion – Alex’s dog Seeger – in the room with us. You can’t have a hound dog song without the dog in the room! So there you have it.
“I would encourage everybody to go listen to the original Big Mama Thornton version, especially one that she did in the ’60s when they were over in Germany. She had a version with Buddy Guy that you can easily find on YouTube that’s just a swinging, phenomenal rendition. It’s really something, and I listen to it often. And of course, the Elvis version will always go down in history as one of the great moments in rock and roll.”
The Record Company will be on tour throughout 2022. This summer, they will appear at festivals in the US and Canada including Milwaukee’s Summerfest (taking place this weekend), Black Dirt Music Festival, CityFolk, and Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. They have confirmed a new run of dates for fall that includes stops in St. Louis, Nashville, Washington DC, New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Minneapolis, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and others. A full list of shows is below.
Last spring, they released the Side Project EP, which features reimagined and reconstructed renditions of songs by some of their favorite artists, including the aforementioned Big Mama Thornton, Cypress Hill, INXS, and Willie Dixon.
In October of 2021, their third studio album Play Loud (produced by Dave Sardy, known for his work with Oasis, The Head and The Heart, LCD Soundsystem, and The Who) was released to critical praise and yielded a top-five Triple-A radio hit in “How High.” In December, the band performed their hit “Never Leave You” on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The band’s debut, Give It Back to You, earned them a GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Blues Album. The record produced three top ten hits at Triple-A radio, including lead single “Off the Ground,” which reached #1 on Billboard‘s Adult Alternative Songs chart. The Record Company has also appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” CBS This Morningand NPR’s World Cafeand has shared bills with John Mayer, My Morning Jacket, Nathaniel Rateliff, and the Zac Brown Band.
The Record Company 2022 Tour Dates:
7/23 Bloomington, IL – Black Dirt Music Festival
8/11 Ketchum, ID – Sun Valley Museum of Art
8/14 Bend, OR – Oregon Spirit Distillers
9/15 Ottawa, ON – CityFolk
9/17 Fredericton, NB – Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival
10/2 Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater
10/20 St. Louis, MO – Delmar Hall
10/21 Nashville, TN – Brooklyn Bowl
10/22 Covington, KY – Madison Theater
10/24 Washington, DC – The Howard
10/25 Jersey City, NJ – White Eagle Hall
10/27 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
10/28 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
10/29 Boston, MA – Royale
10/31 Holyoke, MA – Race Street Live
11/1 Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Iron Works
11/3 Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
11/4 Chicago, IL – Park West
11/5 Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre
11/7 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
11/8 Des Moines, IA – Wooly’s
11/10 Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre
11/11 Aspen, CO – Belly Up Aspen
11/12 Jackson, WY – The Center
11/15 Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
11/16 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
11/18 San Francisco, CA – August Hall
11/19 Los Angeles, CA – El Rey Theatre