The Love Starved Dogs entertained us with some great classic rock and country sounds. We plan to see them again — and if you’re in Dallas-Fort Worth, you should, too

Kay and I have never been much for nighttime/social outings — although we do go out to eat quite often, either as a couple or family, if that counts. 🙂 But with my recent job change from The Dallas Morning News to UT Southwestern Medical Center, finally having Saturdays off for the first time in decades may change that … somewhat.

We followed up last weekend’s anniversary date to see KC and the Sunshine Band by joining our friend Donna Gold Vest on Saturday night to catch The Love Starved Dogs, a classic rock cover band that my longtime friend and former Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Odessa American colleague Tim Madigan has fronted the past several years. They were playing Stumpy’s Blues Bar, a cool joint in Arlington we’d never checked out (we’re not exactly bar types).

From left: Gary Kelly on keyboards/vocals, Tim Madigan on guitar/vocals, David Porter on drums/vocals, Hillary Leverton on lead vocals/tambourine/maracas, David Opalecky (behind Hillary) on bass/vocals, and Randy Hudson on lead guitar/vocals. (Photo by Frank Christlieb)

Tim and his five band mates — Randy Hudson (lead guitar), Gary Kelly (keyboards), David Porter (drums), David Opalecky (bass) and Hillary Leverton (lead vocals) — played a nearly two-hour opening set that rocked (and they did country, too) in every way. It featured covers of classic hits by too many big names to list, including Heart, the Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, The Beatles, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, Bonnie Raitt, the Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty, Rare Earth — even “Love Shack” by the B-52’s — and lots more.

They played a version of “What’d I Say,” which the great Ray Charles first made famous in the late ’50s. When I heard the song, it took me a few minutes to recognize it. Once I checked online, I found that Rare Earth did a version in the early ’70s, which I hadn’t known. I’m partial to the piece, because I found out a few years ago that it’s one of the many songs my late brother Robin Workman, one of my three birth family full siblings I found in 2005, sang when he was the vocalist for a popular garage band in the early ’60s in my birthplace of Huntington, West Virginia.

The Love Starved Dogs, from left, are Opalecky, Hudson, Porter, Kelly, Leverton and Madigan.

It was obvious everyone at Stumpy’s had a great time Saturday night, with a lot of folks getting up to dance — although, to my dismay, I couldn’t drag Kay on the floor, even for a Dan Fogelberg song Tim sang late in the opening set.

I later learned that Hillary was singing with the band for the FIRST time (corrected from earlier — I thought it was her second!). She has a powerful voice and a fantastic stage presence that demonstrate her chops as a veteran performer. She’s been a music educator at an elementary school in Plano ISD for 15 years and also sings with other bands in the D-FW area, including an Alanis Morissette tribute group.

All the male Loved Starved Dogs not named Tim are also in an Allman Brothers tribute band called Schroomville (great name). From the guitar riffs they played and Gary’s keyboard expertise and vocals, they’ve all clearly been doing this a long time.

If you live in the D-FW area and are looking for a music act to catch, check out the band’s Facebook page at to watch for when they’re performing. The Dogs are awesome entertainment and I promise you’ll have a great evening.

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