The Jock of Rock Presents: Hug The Dog

DUBLIN, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Based in Southern New Hampshire and formed as a duo in 2012 by guitarist/vocalist Wes Aldrich and drummer Garth Tichy, Hug The Dog grew to a five-piece band the following year which now includes Aldrich on guitar and vocals, Jeff Costello on drums and backing vocals, Sareth Rouen on bass, Leslie Sheldon on keyboards and Whit Shonk on guitar.


Article by Joe Milliken * Photos courtesy of Hug The Dog

“Originally, we focused on synths and loops to create a bigger sound, but being a two-man band, we were always looking to build our rhythm section,” Wes Aldrich said in a recent, exclusive Standing Room Only interview. “Then, Sareth Roeun joined us on bass and that really helped our songs evolve. When Garth moved on from the band in 2013, Jeff Costello joined on drums and shortly thereafter, Whit on guitar and Leslie on keys.”

The now five-piece Hug The Dog outfit writes and rehearses from their cool, Colonial carriage house/rehearsal space in scenic Dublin, New Hampshire and have been quite busy recording and touring over the last year-and-a-half. Their unique brand of rock combines classic rock structures laced with a fresh indie-vibe, evoking infectious melodies with soulful grooves.

This month, Hug The Dog also released their debut CD titled The Animals We Raise on their own .Carriage House Records. Aldrich engineered and mixed the recording, which was mastered by Mark Chalecki based in Los Angeles. “We recorded the CD at our recording/rehearsal space, over the course of four months,” Aldrich said. “The recording process really brought the band together as friends and colleagues.”

Other contributors included Grace Aldrich of the Tara Greenblatt Band singing on two songs and Michael Ryan from Highland Rover, playing percussion on several tracks. Also, Abner Soto came out from Los Angeles and worked with local filmmaker Toni Nagy to film, produce and direct five music videos for the album. Two of the videos have been released and the other three will be released in the next few months.

To coincide with the release of the new CD, the band also recently hosted a “CD release party” at their rehearsal/recording space in Dublin. It was a great live performance as the band played all original numbers from the new CD with energy and enthusiasm, performed through the top-notch sound and lighting of Saxon Sound Productions based in the Antrim/Hancock, New Hampshire area. Hug The Dog creates a sound that is truly their own, and certainly got the approval of an enthusiastic audience.

“The CD release party was a great time,” Aldrich added. “ It was filmed by Besty's Folly Studios, who also streamed a live feed to our website. Saxon Sounds provided the sound and lighting and frankly, the whole event really blew us away! The support from the community was humbling and we are so appreciative for such an epic night.”

So far it has been a great year for Hug The Dog, as the band has also been travelling a lot and booking shows throughout New England, as well as New York City, Austin, Texas and Washington, DC. “We’ve been playing venues such as the famed club in Manhattan, the Middle East in Cambridge, MA and more locally, the Uplift Music Festival in New Hampshire,” Wes added.

Hug The Dog is currently writing new material, will continue promoting the new CD and is also planning a tour for 2015. will be sure to reserve you a seat for all the band’s upcoming happenings… after all they are “man’s best friend.” To learn more about Hug The Dog and to order their new CD, please visit the following links: hugthedog.com, facebook.com/hugthedog, twitter.com/hugthedog and instagram.com/hugthedog.