Jungle Dogs Reunion 2013: A Quarter Century of Music, Memories, and Fun

Jungle Dogs Reunion 2013: A Quarter Century of Music, Memories, and Fun
Bands
Jungle Dogs

MP3's
Jungle Dogs

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Jungle Dogs

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Jungle Dogs

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Jungle Dogs

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Jungle Dogs

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Jungle Dogs

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Venues & Businesses
Copper Dragon, The
Pinch Penny Pub

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Jungle Dogs: SIU’s Party-school Image Incarnate


Who: Jungle Dogs
What: funk, reggae, party rock
Where:
When: 2013-08-31
If memories are like threads of gold, then the Jungle Dogs are keepers of a tapestry locked inside o
Jeff Hale

If memories are like threads of gold, then the Jungle Dogs are keepers of a tapestry locked inside of Fort Knox. More than a quarter-century ago, a group of guys from the community and the SIU School of Music got together for two purposes-- to make a great, infectious mix of brass and rhythm-based ska, calypso, and reggae, and to provide a few hours of musical escape and fun both for themselves and for the audiences at Carbondale's favorite watering holes. The result was the Jungle Dogs, who would become a tradition on the Southern Illinois bar scene for the next seventeen years, until the band officially retired in 2003.

For five years the band left the music scene. That absence, coupled with the band's desire to reconnect with each other and their fans, led to what has become, in recent years, another of Carbondale's most anticipated late-summer traditions: the annual Jungle Dogs reunion concert, which continues Saturday, August 31 on the beer-garden stage of Pinch Penny Pub.

Although massive flooding in 2012 forced the Jungle Dogs to move their annual Labor Day blowout indoors to the Copper Dragon (which remains the rain location this year), founding Jungle Dogs member and trumpet player extraordinaire D. Ward tells Nightlife that the devoted fans who came out (some against safety recommendations) for the once-a-year tradition made it a night to remember.

"I almost didn't make it out of Carbondale last year," Ward laughs, "because the streets were just flooded with water. Hopefully, we'll have some good weather this year. We had a lot of fun last year, but I love being outside."

The true fun of the Jungle Dogs concert experience, of course, cannot be dampened by unexpected heavy rainfall. With more than twenty-five years of musical memories and two generations of fans (original Dogs fans are now introducing their grown children to the infectious musical extravaganza) who consider classics like "Cold Beer" part of the soundtrack of their college days, there is not much in nature than can diminish the spirit of the band or the scores of old and new fans who flock to the reunion shows. That devotion keeps Carbondale's most legendary bar band coming back year after year.

"It's always fun! When you only get a chance to play together once a year, you just gotta have fun; you can't help it!" Ward says happily. "It's always a great gig."

Something that surprises the legendary party boss of the band, known for his limitless stage energy and unforgettable hats, is how the annual reunion show has grown into nearly as much of an anticipated event as the first Jungle Dogs shows more two decades ago.

"I wasn't really aware that it was getting to that point,” Ward says. “But that's cool. That's a great thing. It's always good to see the people that come out. We see a lot of people who used to come who still come out, and we see a lot of new faces too. It's always a good time."

The energetic and ageless front man says the Dogs are excited as ever about the performance and the preshow rehearsal/jam session that never fails to recapture that brotherhood that was, for both the band and their audience, lightning in a bottle.

"We rehearse the night before and run the set,” Ward says. “That's always a great time. Everybody's pumped up. It's like riding a bike. Those lines and those tunes come right back, and it's almost like you never stopped playing. We're excited, and we can't wait!"

For more about The Jungle Dogs, visit them online at <http://www.JungleDogs.com>.

who: Jungle Dogs reunion

what: funk, reggae, party rock

where: Pinch Penny Pub Beer Garden / Copper Dragon Brewing Company

when: Saturday, August 31