There comes a time in each band’s life when it will likely record a few Christmas tunes. This holiday, longtime Charleston roots/rock group The Blue Dogs is ringing in the release of Happy Howlidays, a six-track EP full of holiday cheer. 

“The funny thing is, on five of the six songs, the basic tracks were recorded in 2006,” said guitarist/lead vocalist Bobby Houck. The Blue Dogs had been in the studio last summer recording a new album — its first studio album since 2004 — and the holiday songs were finished in the process. In addition to Houck and upright/electric bassist Hank Futch on the holiday EP, you will hear acclaimed Dobro player Jerry Douglas and local mandolin player Bob Sachs, among others. 

The Happy Howlidays release celebration will take place Dec. 29 at Charleston Music Hall at 8 p.m. — the crew has a long tradition of end-of-year hometown shows.

In addition to Houck and Futch, The Blue Dogs lineup will include longtime drummer Greg Walker, guitarist Dan Hood, pedal steel player Charlie Thompson and keyboardist Travis Allison. Joining them will be several special guests, including guitarists Justin Osborne and Dries Vandenberg of Susto, trumpeter Charlton Singleton, trombonist Stephen Spaulding, keyboardist Stephen Washington, singer-songwriter Danielle Howle and Americana duo Finnegan Bell. 

“It’s been so good to make new music again,” Houck said. “We hadn’t done that in like 16 years. It’s so nice that in 2022 we are going to have a brand new record coming out. I’ll be saying goodbye to the years of not making music.”

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