The Red Dog Band

The Red Dog Band

Carol Jean Peltier - Lead vocal, percussion

Since I was a child I have been singing. My favorite radio station, WDGY, played all the great pop tunes of the sixties and I sang along until I knew them all by heart. This lead to my first experience of singing on stage by way of The Rahrettes. The Rahrettes were a rag tag group featuring a changing line up of female vocalists whose primary strength was their great outfits. I found myself singing lead by default and it was with this group that I honed my skills and learned that I loved the stage. I belted out all the great pop tunes of the sixties including, “Going to the Chapel,” “Soldier Boy,” and “Da Do Run Run.” This experience gave me the courage to audition for an actual band in the early seventies. 

 

The West Bank Trackers. This group featured four female vocalists backed by four strong musicians. I was part of the music/dance scene around Minneapolis for four wonderful years. But in the late seventies my full time musical career was side-lined by a return to school, raising a family and starting a job as a therapist. But through those years I was able to stay in the game with a three piece group called Carol Jean and the Bluegills. This band, with Bob Close on lead guitar and Roland Trenary on rhythm guitar, featured three part harmonies. We stayed together for an amazing twenty five years. When we finally folded up shop, I found myself without an outlet for musical performance. I really missed so much about it; singing, writing songs, being on stage. 

 

A year or two went by, and by a happy coincidence, Don Frantz appeared and he and Bob found that they had very similar musical interests. Bob contacted me and asked me if I wanted to try a few songs with them. Don just happens to be a guitar player extraordinaire and once the three of us got together, the quality of our sound and our ability to come up with original tunes really ignited. The three of us together represent decades of great music whose sounds form the basis of our original songs and harmonies. Together we have gathered a very loyal following of aging hipsters and also a younger crowd who seem to enjoy the retro sound that The Red Dog Band has created.

Donald Williamson Frantz - Guitar, vocals

Don took piano in grade school. Then he played trombone in the high school band and also in a combo with friends called “The Brass Beats”. They played songs by artists such as Herb Alpert and Henry Mancini. He got his first guitar for his 18th birthday in 1966, from his parents—his father was an avid musician—playing clarinet with Les Brown during his college years.

 Don with his father with John Pisa on fiddle, Charlie Uehlin on bass

His first band playing guitar came three years later with “Alexander Hamilton” playing rock such as Mountain, James Gang, The Who, and even a few original tunes around the Twin Cities.

 Don--far right with "Alexander Hamilton" at the Cedar Theatre 1969

Don and his family moved to the Northern Wisconsin country a couple years later—built a home in the woods with no phone, electricity or running water for six years. Acoustic music became the best entertainment eventually giving rise to playing with “Up The Creek”, a  highly energetic bluegrass group before bluegrass was quite as popular as now. They played most of the bars and saloons north of Highway 8 over a period of five or six years. Don did eventually get electricity and stayed in the woods for over 20 years. After “Up The Creek” disbanded he played with “Whiskey and Lace”, a straight-up country group featuring two harmonizing sisters.

 John Pisa, Mark Bachelor, Frank Melton, Don Frantz, Howie "Sunday School" Nelson

He moved a bit closer to the city and met up with Bob and Carol and collaborative songwriting became an important creative outlet with The Red Dog Band. They are currently working on their second album.