No Sign of Love or Farewell, the band’s 2016 debut full length album was hailed by New York Music Daily as “A series of richly lyrical character studies among the down-and-out”. The band weaves together country waltzes, Bo Diddley beats, dancehall two steps, nocturnal swamp rock, and old school gospel throughout the record, creating a musical tapestry rooted in without being tied down by the American musical tradition.
Raised in Pennsylvania around farmland and shut down steel mill towns, Pete Lanctot grew up playing fiddle and guitar and began writing songs in his early teens, playing in a numerous bands starting in high school. After a chance meeting, Pete struck up musical partnership with a friend who introduced him to Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk music and the music of Charley Patton, Howlin Wolf, Hank Williams and other influential folk, blues and country musicians, indelibly influencing Pete’s musical direction as a songwriter. The two collaborated for years, and immersed themselves in the American musical tradition, learning songs, listening to records together and trying to discover as many obscure american artists as possible. After the sudden passing of that friend in 2008, Pete quickly left Pennsylvania and moved to Brooklyn, NY with $100 in his bank account to pursue a career as a songwriter. Initially picking up work as a sideman, Pete started playing around the city with many different groups and working with with musicians of many diverse disciplines. After a short run of performing his songs solo, Pete started collaborating with the musicians that he had met playing with other groups and a band started to take shape.
In the subsequent years, the Stray Dogs was formed, growing out of a series of backing bands comprised of a rotating cast of New York’s best jazz, folk, blues, country and experimental musicians. Having now settled into a steady lineup of Pete’s wife, Ginger Dolden on fiddle and lap steel guitar, Adam Brisbin on guitar, Sean Cronin on bass and Alex Raderman on drums, the band maintains an active performance schedule in New York and throughout the mid-atlantic and is currently booking larger national tours for 2017.