Gimme 5: Carl and the Road Dawgs

I recently spoke with Carl Damone, co-founder of Carl & the Road Dawgs, one of the busiest bands in north Mississippi. During our conversation, he shared some interesting info on the band, a very recent bit of exciting news, and what keeps the band together.

  1. Tell us how the band came to be founded. Who were the original band members?

Damone recounted that it started out with he and another musician being in a band called Road Trip Jones, and they performed for one weekend per month. Most of the other band members had “9-5” jobs and were satisfied playing just one weekend per month. Carl and another band member wanted, out of necessity, to perform more often.

It was suggested that Damone use his name as the name of their new band, in order to avoid any trademark issues. Someone said, in light of the fact that they were always using different musicians, “y’all are just a bunch of ‘road dogs.’” Damone then decided to name the band “Carl & the Road Dawgs.”

The original members of the band were John Kulinich (now with Taylor Hicks) on guitar, Randy Mott on bass, Leif Bonderinko on drums/vocals, and Damone on drums/vocals, with Damone and Bonderinko splitting the vocal duties.    

  1. Who are the current members of the band and what are their roles?

Currently, the band consists of Ben Farrell on guitar, Paul Simmons on bass, Amber Gibson on vocals and percussion, and Damone on lead vocal and drums. Damone stated that, currently, Gibson does about 25% of the vocals and he does about 75%, but that, over time, they will each handle about 50% of the vocal duties.   

  1. What type of music do you play?

Damone indicated that they perform a mix of covers and original music, mostly with a Blues-Rock sound.

  1. What kind of gigs do you play?

Damone responded that the band will play almost any kind of gig, from birthday parties and weddings, to festivals and nightclubs/bars.

Damone said, “James Brown used to be referred to as the ‘Hardest Working Man in Show Business,’ and I kind of like to say that we’re the ‘Hardest Working Band in Show Business.’”

  1. Do you have any projects underway? Do you have any big news that you want to announce?

Damone replied that he just learned on Sunday (7/23) night that the band had been named “Blues Band of the Year” for 2023 by the Alabama Music Awards.

He also mentioned that the band will soon be in the studio, working on their second album, a follow-up to their self-titled debut album, “Carl & the Road Dawgs,” which was released in 2020. This second effort will hopefully be released later this year.

Bonus: Tell us something about the band that nobody knows.

Damone thought for a moment, and then stated that the thing that keeps them together, as a band, is that they live far apart and, thus, they don’t see each other very often. As a result, when they do get together, it’s as if it’s the first time; the excitement is always there.

Watch a video of the band:

Carl & the Road Dawgs will be performing at The Burning Piano (2222 Military Rd. in Columbus; this Friday (7/28) and Saturday (7/29) from 8:30pm-12:30am. The cover charge is $10 per person (cover starts at 7pm).

You can find Carl & the Road Dawgs on Facebook at