Electric Dawgs Reunite in Orange Beach

By Jim Hannaford

January 20, 2020 - Orange Beach, AL - (OBA®) - Scott Koehn, one of the Orange Beach area’s most popular entertainers, recently picked up where he left off a few decades ago when he was playing rock ‘n’ roll in Atlanta, and it’s been a big hit here on the beach.

One of his latest musical projects, Electric Dawg, features a close pal and neighbor, Lee Day, from childhood on lead guitar and vocals and their drummer from their high school days.

“We had the name when we were 10 or 11, when we were kids in his basement trying to play along with records. We started playing for real when we were around 13,” says Koehn, who is now 57.

“And we even had a logo painted on the bass drum,” says Day. “It was a dog with its tail plugged into an electrical socket. Unfortunately, it’s long gone.”

This was in the Cliftondale area, a small town just south of Atlanta. As the musical bug took hold, they played at parties in their first band, Pyramid, which morphed into Stryker with the addition of Lee Wilkerson on guitar “shown in photo above”, were good enough to play some of Atlanta’s hotspots even though they were all under the legal age. Mark Whitmire, their flashy hard hitting drummer, moved to the area last year to round out the reunited trio “Electric Dawg”

“The whole thing’s been kind of a surprise to us,” says Koehn. “It’s comfortable and it’s easy and it just kind of fell into place.”

They seem to have come along at the right time. They’ve been packing the house with their twice-a-month shows at the Flora-Bama Lounge, giving crowds a rocking alternative to the country and singer/songwriter genres that have long been popular there. Koehn mostly plays bass (instead of his usual guitar) as he leads the band through classic tunes from the likes of the Eagles, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Day has the voice and chops for the harder-edged material from bands like Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and AC/DC.

Then
Electric Dawgs in the 70s
Left to right: Lee Day, Mark Whitmire & Scott Koehn - Circa 1978

“Scott’s more versatile while I’m pretty much a rock guy,” says Day, who also performs in the popular classic rock group MidLife Crisis. “But there is a real chemistry there. We complement each other well.”

Koehn came to Orange Beach eight years ago after working in the construction business for nearly 30 years in metro Atlanta. He hadn’t played music professionally for many years when he decided to try his hand at the old Flipper’s, which was close to his house. He ended up being a regular there for many years, and he maintains a busy schedule at numerous other venues, including twice a week at Pleasure Island Tiki Bar.

Day relocated from Atlanta to Fairhope going on 13 years ago, and runs his own construction business. He hadn’t played with Koehn regularly since they were teens but has played shows with him sporadically in recent years. He and Whitmire, whose nickname is “Goat,” played together in the early ‘80s in a successful touring act called Riff Raff.

Whitmire says he decided to make the move himself after opportunities back home had dwindled as deejays and karaoke became more popular. He found a place in Elberta last summer.

“It’s gone well for me so far,” he says, “and I can only see it getting better. I wouldn’t go back to Atlanta for anything in the world right now. It’s kind of hard to believe we’re playing together again after all these years – and the people still dig it,” he says.

NowElectric Dawgs at Flora-BamaLeft to right: Lee Day, Mark Whitmire & Scott Koehn - 2019

One of those people is local music lover Tom Moreau. He created a Facebook group called Electric Dawg Pound, where fans can post photos and videos and keep up with the band’s schedule. “They’re dynamite, with a great mix of music,” he says. “Being a ‘70’s child, it makes my heart happy.”

Koehn says he’s so glad he decided to pick up music again in recent years, and is grateful for the response from the community.

“I really live an amazing, blessed life that I don’t take for granted,” says Koehn. “It’s paradise. Gigs are everywhere, and you’ve got people here that love the music. The support here is second to none.”

Electric Dawgs on main stage at the Flora-Bama
Video by Julie Herndon of Socially Inclined
(A company dedicated to teaching businesses how to get the most out of social media.)

 

Electric Dawgs on stage at the Bama Dome
Video by Patti Sevenish