Righteous by Dag (1994)


In the early 90s I was but a teenage mutant music turtle, but my boy Andy was busy tearing up his college years in southern VA…the “7-year plan” if I remember correctly. His greatest accomplishment during that Wilder-esque career was surely the choice he made to attend whatever basement party or dive bar was hosting funk band Dag one fateful drunken evening. After buying Righteous out of a guitar case for $2 or a beer or whatever the price was, he handed it to me a decade later with wide eyes and proclaimed that my life was about to change.

It’s really sad to hear about great bands like this whose career never really went anywhere. Since I was late to the Dag party, I have to go with Andy and Wiki and whatnot to piece together what I know about their demise. The story isn’t much different than many other small bands who fizzle out, but the key difference is that this band was ready to OWN! Their pure funk sound is juicy as hell, and is a fitting backdrop for any party. Perhaps that was the problem? Dag was notorious at the time for traveling the southern college circuit and putting on a great show…a scene that probably pulled them like a tractor beam away from the boring life of recording studios and business meetings. Whatever happened, it’s a damn shame because one listen to this record will leave you wanting more. Here’s the mental picture: 4 white boys channeling Parliament on bass, keyboard and drum, dressed like any 90s grunge band, with a singer that sounds like Jamiroquai at his least boring. Huh? If a visual would help, here is their Youtube channel. These guys dove in to the funk genre…no pussyfooting around with the funk elements here.

The record starts off casually with ‘Sweet Little Lass’ to pique your interest, then slams the door shut with title track ‘Righteous (City Pain)’. I mean, come on…I feel like I need to go produce a Hollywood blockbuster just to include this trophy on the soundtrack! Your average music album would promptly tank after laying down the best track, but Righteous is just getting its feet wet. ‘Lovely Jane’ moves your ass, ‘Even So’ puts your hands in the air, and if Andy’s date to the party was drunk enough then surely he closed the deal during ‘You Can Lick It (If You Try)’.

There’s a gaping funky hole in music right now, hopefully to be filled by the next funk disciple in the mold of Prince, Parliament or even the Motown giants. The closest artists I can think of are Robin Thicke (although he’s already drifting toward pop/R&B over-production), Van Hunt, or Galactic. Dag had all the necessary ingredients to fill that void. And while they sadly never sold enough records to fill that role, thankfully they did make a stop in Radford, VA before vanishing from the map.

music turtle recommends: GET SOME FUNKIN TRACKS!

What do you think about this album? Comment below


4 Responses to “Righteous by Dag (1994)”

  1. 1 Andy

    It was the 10 year plan.

    My liver hurrrts.

    Thanks for the feature. Still an awesome band, better than Everything, Tweed Sneakers and Egypt, although those three were also part of the Power FUnk/SKa circuit back in tha day.

    • hahahahaha tweed sneakers

  2. 3 Todd

    Some Tweed residue here, along with Boy o boy/fighting gravity and G-spot thrown in for good measure.

  3. Having reawd this I believed itt was rather enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and energy to putt this informative article together.
    I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both
    reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

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