Beer Dawgs

The sixth song on A Little Luck, album number eight from one of Sacramento’s hardest-working bands, is titled “Tony Joe.” Now, any combo that pens and records a love letter to Tony Joe White, whose 1968 hit “Polk Salad Annie” is such a touchstone of Southern-fried skank rock, is all right. Chalk that strike of white lightning up to Bawb Pierce, who writes most of the Beer Dawgs’ tunes. Pierce, whose cigs ’n’ Jack-tainted vocal cords slouch toward the Dr. John school of dissipation, possesses a musical vision that’s retro and quite Southern, reminiscent of another California band with a keen understanding of Highway 99, Little Feat. And Pierce’s partner in crime, guitarist Steve Wall, coaxes the kind of noises from his ax that made Little Feat’s Lowell George such a threat. This set is a huge leap forward for the Dawgs, in production and in its attractive presentation. Gator got your granny, indeed.