RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Riverdogs – Riverdogs 
Rock Candy Records

Rating: B

The Riverdogs are most famous for being a band that Vivian Campbell played in after he left DIO and Whitesnake.  They are, however, much more important than just being a place for Viv to jam out to before joining Def Leppard.  The Riverdogs are a solid band that put out a self-titled album in 1990 that should have made them famous!

The band was a victim of the times, as 1990 Grunge was quickly swallowing up all of the hair bands and traditional rock bands around.  It was a dark time for bands who played guitar solos and wanted to celebrate life with their music.  Instead, bands wearing T-shirts and donning greasy hair while attempting to get that third chord down were the next new thing.  Riverdogs were a long way from fitting that bill as they had chops, songs and a singer that was more Paul Rodgers than he was whiny and full of angst.  To make matters worse, the band was signed to be stars but the President of their record company was canned and the replacement favored snot-nosed people from Seattle over hard rocking bands with solid songs. 

The album came and went and no one seemed to notice... in fact, no one seemed to care at all.  Campbell moved on and that was that.  Looking back, this band not only had a great guitar player in Campbell they had a top notch vocalist in Rob Lamothe.  This dude makes the album something special.  The one/two punch of Lamothe and Campbell kick the songs up a notch.  This is one of those albums that is always going to be found on those "Which albums really should have been huge but weren't" album lists.  So... they've got that going for them!

Not even famed producers Michael Frondeilli and Jeff Glixman could make the masses sit up and take notice.  At the end of the day this album sounds great, has good songs and more than solid musical performances... but it failed!  Riverdogs legacy is being one of the most overlooked albums of all time, which is just the thing Rock Candy Records is looking for! The song that ended up being best known by the band was "Toy Soldier" but, in reality, there is not a weak song on that album. 

Rock Candy has brought this album from the dustbin to the check-out line!  There is no heavy thinking when it comes to the opportunity to own this CD.  Simply put:  BUY IT.  You not only get the main disc, but you get a second rare disc of the band performing live in 1990!  The bonus disc even includes a tune not found on the original release. 

Rock Candy is committed to excellence, and with Riverdogs they have even outdone themselves.  The album is being released as a Special Deluxe Collector’s 2CD Edition, with 11 bonus tracks, fully remastered sound, a 16 page full color booklet, and new interviews, a 3,400 word essay and enhanced artwork.

Disc One

1. Whisper
2. Toy Soldier
3. Big House
4. Holy War
5. Baby Blue
6. I Believe
7. Water from the Moon
8. Rain, Rain
9. Spooky
10. America

Disc Two: Live radio station performances 1990
11. Whisper
12. Toy Soldier
13. Big House
14. Holy War
15. Baby Blue
16. I Believe
17. Water from the Moon
18. Rain, Rain
19. Spooky
20. America
21. Pennsylvania (non album track)

By Jeb Wright