Mike McColgan performing live
|Origin||Boston, Massachusetts, USA|
Tobe Bean III
In 1997, McColgan left Dropkick Murphys "to pursue a lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter for the Boston Fire Department." In 2002, McColgan decided he could no longer stay away from music and formed Street Dogs. They first recorded a seven song-demo, which feature McColgan along with his former Dropkick Murphys bandmate Jeff Erna on drums, Rob Guidotti on guitar and Bill Close on bass. They signed with CrossCheck Records in 2002, with Michelle Paulhus now on bass. By the time they started recording their first album, they yet again had someone else on bass, this time Johnny Rioux. Savin Hill (which was produced by former The Mighty Mighty Bosstones member Nate Albert and featured guest appearances by Al Barr and Ken Casey from Dropkick Murphys) was a success and resulted in a supporting tour with Celtic punk band Flogging Molly.
The band underwent a complete shuffle in 2004 when McColgan took a leave of absence from his firefighting career to devote time to recording and promoting their second album Back to the World.The Street Dogs at this time enlisted Marcus Hollar on lead guitar, and expanded the range of their sound with the addition of rhythm guitarist Tobe Bean III. The drummer's spot was filled by Joe Sirois, formerly of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones.
Their second release, Back to the World, proved to be even more of a success for the band. It was hailed critically in the United States, Europe and Japan and opened the doors to touring with the notable likes of Social Distortion, Tiger Army, Bad Religion, Millencolin (in Europe), The Bouncing Souls (US And Japan) and The Briefs. The band also toured on the Vans Warped Tour in the summer of 2005 and embarked on their first headlining tours in the US and Europe.
2006 saw more shows, both headlining and opening for the likes of Rancid,The Adolescents and The Bouncing Souls. Also in 2006, released their third album, Fading American Dream. It was recorded earlier in the year with producer Ted Hutt (Flogging Molly, Madcap, The Bouncing Souls).
While on tour opening for Flogging Molly on February 27, 2007 show at the Sokol Auditorium in Omaha, NE, bass player Johnny Rioux collapsed on stage due to an apparent seizure. McColgan stopped the show and called for paramedics. At the start of the Flogging Molly set, lead singer Dave King dedicated the show to Johnny and announced that he was all right and would be well enough to play the next night in St. Louis. Following that tour, more dates came headlining as well as European shows.
In February 2008, it was announced that the Street Dogs signed on to Hellcat Records. Their fourth album, State of Grace, for Hellcat, which they started recording in early February 2008, once again with Ted Hutt was released on July 8, 2008.
At recent shows, Street Dogs have been promoting Oxfam America, a humanitarian organization fighting poverty and hunger. McColgan spoke to the crowd mid-set at the Bamboozle Festival in New Jersey in May 2008 about the organization while wearing an Oxfam T-shirt. In support of State of Grace, the band toured at the Vans Warped Tour 2008 as a main stage act. Following their Warped tour stint, the group set out on their successful fall State Of Grace headlining tour and then went to Europe for the European Eastpak Antidote tour.
On February 21, 2011, the band performed at an acoustic show with Tom Morello, Tim McIlrath, Wayne Kramer, and Ike Reilly in Madison, WI in support of the ongoing protests against Gov. Scott Walker's proposed Budget Repair Bill.
The Street Dogs announced in March that they will be doing a five-week stint on the 2011 Vans Warped Tour, from June 24 until July 30. This will be their third time on the tour, after 2005 and 2008. Street Dogs will follow Warped with a European festival tour in August, and then Australia and Japan in October.
The band embarked on the nine date Sham Rock-N-Roll Festival in September 2011 where they were the co-headlining act for the Dropkick Murphys. Other than appearances on various Warped Tour lineups, this was the first time McColgan toured with his former band since quitting thirteen years earlier. McColgan would even join the Dropkick Murphys onstage for performances of such songs as "Barroom Hero" and "Far Away Coast" from the Do or Die album.
In an interview with AMP Magazine, Johnny Rioux was asked about a new album from the street dogs. Rioux said, "We want to do a labor standard solo record with Mike, release the large number of B-sides with the records they were recorded for, mix our live in Boston DVD and record, prepare for our first trip to Australia, return to Japan, get back into some Celtic festivals, and just be happy and grateful people are still loyal after almost 10 years."
On November 26, 2012, McColgan wrote on the band's Facebook account that starting January 1, 2013, Street Dogs will be taking a break from recording and touring, but he assured fans that the band is not breaking up. Later that day, Tobe Bean announced that he would no longer be a touring member of Street Dogs, but he will "always be a Street Dog". In February 2013, it was announced that McColgan and Rioux would form a side project with original Dropkick Murphys member Rick Barton called FM359. In March, it was announced their break from touring would be ending in July when they tour Europe. In March, McColgan mentioned that the band will exclusively work with the Pirates Press Records label in the future, and they planned to release a 7-inch single, a live album, and a DVD. He also mentioned that the band is hoping to get Lenny Lashley from Darkbuster to replace Bean on guitar and on April 9 via Street Dogs Facebook page it was formally announced that Lenny Lashley had officially joined The Street Dogs. Also the previously mentioned single will be "Crooked Drunken Sons", a song named after their annual tour, which will be released on Record Store Day 2013. Another single, "Rust Belt Nation", followed a month later. Later in the year, Hollar was replaced by Matt Pruitt (Have Nots).
Members Mike McColgan, Johnny Rioux and Pete Sosa started a side project called FM359 with former Dropkick Murphys guitarist Rick Barton, Street Dogs collaborator Hugh Morrison and Halston Luna. The group, which has an americana sound, released their debut album Truth, Love and Liberty in January 2014. In April, on Record Store Day 2014, they released a split EP with Noi!se.
On June 22, 2018, the band will release their sixth album and first in eight years, Stand For Something Or Die For Nothing. McColgan said of the album, " "The dumbing down of America is a reason to write songs in 2018. The theme is wake the fuck up and the working class needs to unite across all colors, creeds, nationalities, genders and realize that we are being pitted against each other by snake oil salesmen and autocrats."