We’re heartbroken at the news that Boot & Saddle is closing. We held our album release show for The Greater Dog there in January 2020, and it was an experience we’ll never forget. Brendan was featured in MAGNET Magazine’s tribute to the legacy of the iconic venue.
Magnet Magazine Feature
In the new Where We Belong article, MAGNET’s Chris Sikich interviews Boot & Saddle general manager, Gina Piccari, and highlights reflections from artists that played there.
Our CD release at Boot & Saddle was Stella Ruze’s last Philadelphia show before the pandemic. That night, as we all crammed onstage in front of a packed house of screaming, sweaty fans, we could feel the energy pulsating through the room. It was a culmination of all the blood, sweat and tears we have put into this group over the last six years. Boot & Saddle was one of the highest rungs on the local venue circuit. We were honored to get a Saturday night in the dead of winter, and we made sure to turn out so we could get invited back. Good sound, good food, good people. In summation, this totally blows.
Brendan Johnson to MAGNET Magazine’s Chris Sikich
Save Our Stages
Boot & Saddle fell victim to the devastating effect of COVID 19 on the live music scene. Management decided to close the venue in an effort to keep its sister, Union Transfer, alive.
Please speak up about the effort to Save Our Stages. Make your voice heard and urge your Congressional representatives to support the HEROES Act now!
The Greater Dog will be available on all streaming platforms Friday, Jan. 17; Record release show Saturday, Jan. 18 at Boot & Saddle
PHILADELPHIA- Philadelphia Roots Rock band Stella Ruze today announced the release of its debut full-length album, The Greater Dog, on Friday, January 17, 2020. The album comes at a pivotal time for the band, having just been named a top Philly music find for 2019 by 88.5 WXPN’s The Key; and winner of the Folk/Country category in the PHL Live Center Stage 2019 competition, sponsored by Philadelphia City Councilman David Oh.
The new record represents an alignment of fates that has produced a diverse and ambitious collection of songs. Over the past two years, the addition of a permanent rhythm section and saxophone has completed Stella Ruze’s lineup, and pushed the now seven-piece band further into a category of Roots Rock that is at once both fresh and familiar. This sound is born in Philadelphia, unapologetic and unafraid to shed labels while staying true to the American rock & roll continuum.
“Our new sound emboldens our message to fans,” says lead singer, Brendan Johnson. “The common theme of The Greater Dog is the search for love and purpose in pursuit of life’s many adventures. This message is a metaphor for the band itself, a group of working adults who resolve to devote their free time and resources to the pursuit of something we all love. Through this record, we are encouraging our listeners to do the same.”
The Greater Dog was recorded over several months in the spring and summer of 2019. After visiting with multiple local studios, the band decided to work with Philly-rock guru Brian McTear at Miner Street Recordings in Fishtown. The decidedly edgy ethos of McTear and wunderkind engineer Matt Poirier evidently rubbed off on the band. Crunchy electric guitars and thick drum sounds replaced the folkier acoustic tendencies of the band’s previous records. This veritable blue-eyed soul stew layers modern indie folk vocal harmonies over horn-infused classic rock to create a new organic musical experience.