Straw Dogs (band)

Straw Dogs (band)

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Straw Dogs
Img_capt = Seattle based Americana Rock group featuring David von Beck and Darren Smith.
Img_size =
Background = group_or_band
Alias =
Origin = Seattle
Genre = Rock
Years_active = 1997 – present
Label = Crafty Records
Associated_acts =
URL = [ Official Website]
Current_members = David Von Beck
Darren Smith

The Beginnings (Legends and Lies)

David von Beck formed the Straw Dogs as an outlet for his shimmering, mellow country rock.

"Legends & Lies (1998)" was recorded (and toured) with the band's original line-up. After touring the United States as a full band in support of the group's debut, "Legends & Lies", von Beck pared Straw Dogs down to a simple duo, initiating the help of his old friend Darren Smith from the Colorado-based Stranger Neighbor. Darren Smith agreed to join his friend. After Smith joined Straw Dogs, the band has enjoyed moderate success.

Any Place At All

The songs on the band's 2001 record, "Any Place At All" earned von Beck and Smith 4 Billboard songwriting awards and the opening slot on the "Crash Test Dummies" final tour. Songs from the album found its way onto AAA and college radio, and won first place in the KZOK (Seattle) talent contest.

Hum Of The Motor

"Hum of the Motor", a tribute to the open road and Americana was released in March 18, 2003, this time with a full band dishing out the tunes. "We've upped the ante," said David von Beck, the band's lead vocalist and guitarist, who co-wrote all of the new songs with guitarist Darren Smith. Smith also handles backing vocals, piano, and even some bass. "This record is fuller, more electric. We brought in Casey Miller on drums, Dan Tyack on pedal steel and some other great players, so it has added some depth to the Straw Dogs sound."

The Straw Dogs' "second album ("Legends and Lies" is over-looked by the band as their first album) was a harder sell than "Any Place At All".

Tell The Rising Sun

""Tell the Rising Sun" , is the band's 2005 release. The song "Not Gone" is in top rotation in the great country of Belgium. Listeners to The Mountain, 103.7 FM (Seattle) also hear tracks from the album quite often. For instance, "Troubles Down" is getting regular airplay on The Mountain's Sunday Brunch. Numerous internet radio stations are also broadcasting the new CD, including Live365, CelticRadio, Buzz Music, GarageRadio, and, where the "Not Gone" was in the station's "Top 20" for January 2006.

The song “All My Days” has been played over 1 million times at

Their song, "Guess Again," will be featured in an upcoming Warren Miller Film, entitled, Hunt. They were also recently asked to write a song for another upcoming production entitled, Trial By Self. The song is entitled, "When Heaven Falls."

Live Shows

As a four-piece rock outfit, Straw Dogs consistently put on live shows.

In longer shows, Darren and David add an acoustic set, which gives the audience a chance to hear just voice and guitar, the root tones and clean harmony that drive this band's compositions. There are also occasional guest musicians in the line-up, including on keyboards, pedal steel, and dobro.

More About David von Beck

Straw Dogs founder David von Beck is also a plaintiff's construction-defect lawyer with Levy-von Beck and Associates. He is married to Marcie, who is an architect who traded in her 12-year career to teach fourth grade. They have 2 daughters.

Other Interesting Information

Straw Dogs are working on their next record, which is said to be released in '08. The band's label, Crafty Records, has also released Darren Smith's solo album entitled, ""Last Drive"."


* 2007 Unisong Song Contest (Honorable Mention - "When Heaven Falls")
* 2006 Unisong Song Contest (Double finalists - "Amelia" and "When She Was Good")
* 2005 Jeff Buckley Tribute (Chicago): Showcase artist
* 2004 SongOfTheYear Contest: Honorable Mention (“Mostly Alone”)
* 2004 – NSAI Contest: Honorable Mention (“Pains of Arkansas”)
* 2003 USA Songwriting Contest - Finalists
* Winners, KZOK (Seattle) Talent Search (national showcase in Las Vegas)
* 2002 Billboard Song Contest: Two “Honorable Mention” Awards
* 2000 World Music Awards: Fourth Place ("All My Days")
* 2000 Billboard Song Contest: Two “Honorable Mention” Awards


* "Legends and Lies" (1998) ["with different line-up"]
* "Any Place at All" (2000)
* "Hum of the Motor" (2003)
* "Tell the Rising Sun" (2005)

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