release_the _hound_1.JPG (17785 bytes)


Release date - April 27, 2004 on Alligator Records. Produced by Bruce Iglauer, Studio tracks Produced by Bruce Iglauer and Wesley Race

Hound Dog Taylor - Lead & Slide Guitar, Vocals, Six string Bass on tracks 2, 6 & 11.

Brewer Phillips - Guitar, occasional six string Bass, Lead Guitar on tracks 2, 6 & 11
Ted Harvey - Drums


Levi Warren - Drums on tracks 3, 4 & 8

(Click on song for lyrics


1 WILD ABOUT YOU BABY  (James)   10.0
2 SEN-SA-SHUN (King & Thompson)     7.5
3 SHE'S GONE   (Taylor)     7.5
4 IT HURTS ME TOO   (James)     8.4
5 WHAT'D I SAY (Charles)     7.2
6 ONE MORE TIME (Phillips)     7.5
7 SADIE (Taylor)     8.6
8 THE DOG MEETS THE WOLF (Taylor)     7.7
9 WALKING THE CEILING  (Taylor)     8.1
10 SITTING AT HOME ALONE (Taylor)     8.2
11 PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER (Phillips)     7.7
13 THINGS DON'T WORK OUT RIGHT (Taylor)     8.4
IT'S ALRIGHT  (Taylor)
  Average     7.9


The one thing those who were lucky enough to see Hound Dog Taylor play live all agree with, is that he always put on the best of shows. Like the first live Hound Dog album, Beware Of The Dog, on this 2004 release, Release the Dog, we can hear Taylor living it up with the audience both before and after he would get into a number, and like on his first live album, you can feel right down to your bones, just how grand he did play live.

If it wasn't for new technology, chances are we never would have gotten to hear this album, as the recordings were all very raw, with lots of tape hiss, etc. But most of that has been cleaned up, and we now get to hear a bunch of his songs live that we never before have, and if your a fan, you will be delighted at what you will hear.

The album, like so many of his past studio LPs, blasts off with an explosion from the Dog's guitar, with the Elmore James cover "Wild About You Babe". This live take is better than the one we hear him play on his debut album, and it's the best song on the album. But every live song on here is excellent, the man just had a knack for playing to a crowd! We get to hear him play "Sadie" with fine results, and another James cover, "It Hurts Me Too", is also tops. Then there is the slower number, "Things Don't Work Out Right", which sounds like a rework of his song "Freddie's Blues". It contains different lyrics - with drummer Ted Harvey adding background talk just like he does on "Freddie's Blues", but the music here is a bit more up tempo, with more of Hound Dog's guitar here than what is heard on "Freddie's Blues".

We also get to hear the original drummer for the Houserockers,  Levi Warren on three songs, "She's Gone", "It Hurts Me Too", and " The Dog Meets The Wolf" (a tribute to Howling Wolf), which comes from the first live gig that the Hound and his band ever played outside of the Chicago area.

In addition to the live stuff, this LP also contains three studio recordings. Two are alternative takes of "Walking On The Ceiling" - which contains a nice drum solo by Harvey, and "Gonna Send You Back To Georgia", the song that would later metamorphous into "Give Me Back My Wig". The third studio cut is something that was never released before, "Phillips Screwdriver", an instrumental featuring Brewer Phillips playing a fine lead guitar, as Hound Dog lays down a heavy bass line.

The album closes off with an untitled little rap between the Dog and Harvey, which is priceless. What I  reviewed here is the pre-released promo album, I only hope that they include this little gem on the official release.

Hound Hog has been gone for almost 30 years now, so hearing anything unreleased from him is cool. But don't expect something along the lines of the compilation, posthumous album Genuine Houserocking Music, which was an okay album, but not anywhere as good as this one, which is great! What a true joy for all Hound Dog fans!

- Keno , 2004

To listen to some sound clips from RELEASE THE HOUND or to buy it click on: Release The Hound

Return to Hound Dog's Home Page | Hound Dog's Discography Page