Band strives to be top dog

July 02, 2009|By By NATALIE BRANDON

Dogfoot will perform at this weekend's July 4 Celebration at Byron Memorial Park in Williamsport. The band is scheduled to begin playing at 1 p.m.

The husband-and-wife duo of Maya and Todd Haines have been playing together for the past three years. They will celebrate their three-year wedding anniversary in September.

"Our name is a tribute to our animals," Maya Haines said when reached by phone this week.

The couple has adopted a number of dogs from the Humane Society of Washington County. The dogs serve as a practice audience, Haines said.

"They would sometimes get in the way of our equipment while we were practicing," she says, "and my husband said, 'If we had less dog feet, we'd have more room to practice!'"


Someone said "Dogfoot" and the duet had a name.

Maya and Todd share an appreciation and background in music. Todd played trumpet in college. He plays lead guitar for Dogfoot.

As Dogfoot's lead vocalist, Maya Haines first sang for the band Paint the Sky for eight years, alongside her sister. Within the band's first year, Paint the Sky won the 1999 regional Country Showdown in Williamsport and went on to win third place at the national competition at Hershey Park.

"It was a tight, family harmony that you really can't duplicate," said Haines, "I wouldn't be the same musician I am today if I hadn't been in that band and been a part of that family."

Dogfoot played this past Father's Day as part of the Summer Concert Series in Williamsport. The audience was, um, modest.

"It was very, very small, but it was perfect for us. We are still very up-and-coming," Haines said.

This weekend, the audience should be larger.

"We are ecstatic to perform July 4. We thought 'Oh my gosh, that's a huge day!'" she said. "It is an honor, it's a real honor."

Haines described Dogfoot's sound as acoustic with a "coffeehouse music" sound. The couple plays covers from a variety of genres.

Haines said her greatest musical influences are Kenny Loggins, Alison Krauss and Karen Carpenter, while her husband's are The Beatles and Neil Young.

One of Dogfoot's greatest passions is giving back to their community. In July, they have several scheduled performances with Williamsport nursing homes.

Haines said the band strives to be known as "the great group with the great sound." With a positive attitude, good heart, professional showmanship and charitable nature, Dogfoot could become the cat's meow.

If you go ...

WHAT: Dogfoot performs during Williamsport's July 4 celebration

WHEN: 1 p.m. Saturday, July 4; the Independence Day celebration begins with pancake breakfast and a 5-kilometer race and closes with fireworks at dusk.

WHERE: Byron Memorial Park in Williamsport

COST: Free admission

CONTACT: For a complete schedule, call the mayor's office at 301-223-7711.

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