“John Millard is one of a kind, well I guess we’re all one of a kind but he is super one of a kind, and the Polka Dogs are a close first.”
Mary Margaret O’Hara
“I have such fond memories of The Polka Dogs in concert. They made my ears happy and I lost a bunch of weight on the dance floor. So glad John Millard is back in the saddle, taking this wonderful band out for another round of hip, happy music!”
Jaymz Bee Jazz FM
“Be sure to not be shy about how outstanding your band is, and how you represented the highest reaches of musicality, originality, and entertainment value in the very healthy Toronto music scene back in the late 80’s and early 90’s!”
“The Polka Dogs are a boiling pan-cultural stew that bastes you, roasts you and serves you up well done. Please, Polka Dogs, can I have some more?”
Tom Allen CBC
“Almost a quarter of a century ago I was knocked out (aesthetically) by a band. They were called The Polka Dogs and were from Toronto and had an unusual instrumentation- banjo, accordion, tuba, trombone and drums. They mixed up all kinds of music and the songs they sang were wonderful and strange narratives full of well crafted lines and great insights. I was running The Vancouver Folk Music Festival at the time and I booked them for the festival and put out their first recording. A few years later the band broke up and I went to work for The Canada Council for the Arts but I kept in touch with the band’s singer/songwriter/composer, John Millard. Every now and again, among other projects, there was talk about the Polka Dogs reforming. There were even a few shows, one of which I was privileged to attend. Now THEY ARE BACK FOR REAL!
Thomas Wolfe is reputed to have said that you can’t go home again and F. Scott Fitzgerald said that there are no second acts in American public life. The reappearance of The Polka Dogs would seem to deny the veracity of these writers- both of whom would have liked this band. The revived, renascent, reformed Polka Dogs is as startlingly original today as they were when they appeared on the scene in 1989. Their new material- listen to The Bee!-is wonderful as is their return to their original repertoire- the ‘home again’ part of the equation. The fact that they sound so fresh today underlines how far ahead of the times they were when they started.
Over the last while the band has been playing regularly in Toronto and environs, doing a Hank Williams show and polishing the old silver of their historic repertoire while forging new stuff. Now they feel ready to return to the front, taking their unique approach to stages of festivals next summer. Today, as when they debuted, there is no easy way to categorize this band- no easy niches- not Americana, not roots, not trad! File these folks under ‘original, innovative and enduring.’”