Greg — Guitar & Vocals
Gregory Louis Candela (Trouble Dog) fist picked up a stringed instrument at age 12 in 1961: His father (piano and saxophone) brought home a cheap tourist ukulele from Hawaii and an exquisite bass ukulele for himself. Young Gregory nearly drove his family insane strumming on the cheapo; his father handed him his bass ukulele then finally bought him his first guitar, a Kay acoustic.
A high school rock band, Saint Michael's Cave, had him on lead electric guitar (members allowed him in because he had his own amplifier).
In college, he played solo gigs at some coffee houses but mostly just played solo picking and singing those beautiful folk tunes of the 60s.
His next band experience and first CD Ay Candela came in the 1980s with Tradicion: Folk Music from the Andes to the Rockies.
His collaboration with Louis Blackwell in the duo LuLu began in the new century and evolved into Dog Star and eclectic folk music group beginning in 2011.
What has emboldened Candela to persist in plucking his guitar and vocal chords? Candela says, “Making a joyful noise, inspired by his fellow band members, and, perhaps, to entertain others.”
Lou — fiddle, mandolin, bass, vocals
Louis, (pronounced Louie), also known as “Salty Dog,” is a founding member of Dog Star in which he plays fiddle, mandolin, bass and occasionally sings. He has been enthralled by all kinds of music as long as he can remember. He first played guitar while a teenager in El Paso, Texas and continued intermittently while in the US Navy and graduate school in Boulder Colorado. After settling in the northern Virginia area, he fell in love with playing Bluegrass about 1982 and attended local jams for 15 years. He played in a working Bluegrass band for 9 years emphasizing standup bass but one morning in 1991 he awakened with a passion he still feels to play the fiddle which he added to the band.
In 1997, he and wife Shirley moved to Los Lunas, NM. Social gatherings led to meeting Greg Candela and mutual joy in playing acoustic music led to a joint musical venture named LuLu. This evolved into a foundation for Dog Star. Louis feels that the mix of talent found in the Dog Star collaboration allows him to creatively expand beyond Bluegrass and country into a beautiful and much wider range of musical genres.
In addition to Dog Star, Louis continues to play in Bluegrass/country/celtic collaborations and is active in organizations which support performance and jamming in the Northern New Mexico area.
Debbi —rhythm guitar, percussion, and vocals
Debbi Miller Gutierrez grew up in transit, mainly in Oklahoma, Texas, and California, but also in foreign lands,before she settled down in New Mexico in 2005. This rambling lifestyle introduced her to a wide variety of rhythms and voices and helped her form her eclectic style. In her youth, she was regularly a part of school and community chorales, clubs, and choruses. Taught piano at an early age by a beloved aunt, Debbi turned to the guitar at 12 for a more portable musical accompaniment, making her solo appearance with one of her first originals “M-44” at a honkytonk bar contest in Bakersfield, CA. Though she didn”t win, the audience's response to her tune (about the travails of working the derrick on an oil rig) was so encouraging that Debbi kept on writing and performing songs about “dogs, trains, and other people's lives.” Her catalog now includes over 120 originals, everything from children's ditties to raucous blues tunes to heartbreak songs and murder ballads. Her first album, Anywhere But Where I Am is available online or at performances.
In April 2012, Debbi joined the fledgling Dog Star band formed by Louis Blackwell, Greg Candela, and Stewart Warren. Known as “Puppydog,” she plays rhythm guitar and occasional percussion, but mostly sings lead or harmony in the band's diverse mix of time-honored favorites and fresh new originals.