Katherine Ailstock is an employee of Pet Poo Skiddoo, needless to say a dog lover, but also an official enthusiast of the Asheville music scene. Although scooping up and composting doggie doo for the good of the planet is her day job, her side passion is to work with local Asheville musicians, typically in a studio setting, and help facilitate their recording experience.
One day, Katherine (usually going by Katie) told me an interesting story that I thought I’d share on our Blog. While listening, I couldn’t help but think this truly reinforces what I always knew was at the core of Asheville, NC and what makes this town so special. We are a town that loves dogs, we are a town that loves music, but we are also a town that allows both our creativity and passions to come together to create the most unique and interesting art that anyone can hear. We’ve often been called a “musical playground” and a “bohemian subculture” of musicians, even Rolling Stone magazine called Asheville, the “New Must-Visit Music City” in 2019; And this particular experience that Katie describes fits in with Asheville’s reputation perfectly.
Here is Katie’s story entitled “Dee Song” based on a past studio experience here in Asheville, written in her own words:
“Are you a dog lover? If so, chances are you’re a music lover too. Many different musicians have been inspired by their beloved dogs. Robert Plant and his Collie Strider, Jim Morrison and his Doberman Thor, and even Jack White had an unplanned appearance from his Chihuahua, Elroy, on a White Stripes record. Being a lover of music and dogs myself, I love these moments when they are combined. I actually got to observe one of these moments in the making. This is the story of Dee Song.
It was 2014, and in between work and school I found myself devoting my spare time to a small local recording studio, Solomon Mines. I did just about everything imaginable: cleaning, set up and breakdown, band liaison, coffee runner, and a whole list of other duties. The studio owner, Aaron Solomon, decided to create his own house project named Re Vera, where a collage of accomplished musicians, many of who were originally from Asheville, would come from all over the country to lend their talents to collectively write and produce an amazingly sounding album.
“We feel that the Album should be a collection of songs that stand on their own. Not a vehicle in which to showcase an individual, rather, a memory to those who contributed to each track. The listener should be able to experience a multitude of emotions and or feelings as the song presents itself to the ears. We wrote every song in a manner that reflected our own aspirations, desires, hardships, and fears. Each song has taken on a life of it’s own in which every musician has added to the conversation….”
– Re Vera
One song in particular holds a special place in my heart, Dee Song. This beautiful instrumental was inspired by Solomon’s favorite dog, Dee Dog, who would often keep him company at the studio. He told me the piece was reflective of her sweet and loving personality. Even though I never got to meet her as she had passed two years before the song was written, I thought that I knew what an amazing dog she must have been. Just by listening to this beautiful song, you can hear the amount of love and care that went into its composition.
The choice in musicians and musical instruments were all planned out to fit the theme. Many musicians were involved – I know Rob Brinkley and Brandon Hill did the guitar work, Ryan Martini played bass, and there were quite a few others I honestly can’t really remember. We even attempted recording dogs barking, but it didn’t make the final cut.
It starts with a psychedelic whistling effect to call Dee, and transitions into the soft and bouncy melody, ending in a low chord and fade out leaving you with a feeling of peace. What’s most interesting is there are no lyrics, the word “dog” is never said, yet you can close your eyes and picture a playful Dee gleefully running beside you. As I said she must have been an amazing dog to inspire such a beautiful song.
Dogs have been an ever faithful companion for mankind for centuries, inspiring stories, statues, paintings, and yes – even songs. With the happiness and joy they bring to our lives, it’s no wonder dogs inspire us. Although Solomon Mines studio no longer exists, I will always remember this sweet little song for a sweet dog. Every time I listen to it I am reminded of my love for my own sweet dogs. I hope you enjoyed my story and could appreciate what took place.”
If you would like to listen to Dee Song click on the link below: