Meet the Band

Banish The Dogs bring infectious rhythms and riveting melodies to a multi-generational audience. There is something for everyone to love.
— Stephanie Spaid
The original banished dog, Cosmo

The original banished dog, Cosmo



Brought together by the camaraderie of music-making, Banish The Dogs originated in our living room years ago during evening rehearsals with dogs and kids parading around while we —the adults in the room—worked out tempos, arrangements, and chord progressions to this music which delighted and inspired us. At first we simply copied the artists we loved the best. Then we started mixing and matching tunes for our own satisfaction. It caught on from there.

The repetitive structure so common to most folk tunes made for fast learning. The modal harmonies found in many arrangements of Celtic origin fed our souls. Speed kept the music alive and thrilled us. The gut-wrenching airs healed us in spite of their almost tangible grief—so real their stories streaming from our instruments. What we currently played— the violin, the guitar, the accordion, the penny whistle—were a perfect match for reels, jigs, hornpipes, airs and songs. Then we learned more instruments—the mandola, the mandolin, the concertina— just for fun. And have added the bass sparingly for a touch of modernity.

The inevitable and long history of folk music has allowed us to join with innumerable musicians of yore whose craft lives on today in Banish The Dogs. We tip our hats to the gift of tradition while tapping our feet to the rhythms and melodies of the present day. We deliver music that will make you move, hum, clap, dance, sing, and keep you coming back for more.

And the name? Well, it refers to two 80 pound lab mixes who upon greeting the bandmates in our living room those many years ago would proceed to the kitchen and consume in rapid succession the pizzas on the countertops meant to feed the rest of us. We loved them, but we banished them to the backyard.


Current Members

Stephanie Spaid
Fiddle/Mandola/ Lead Vocals

Mike Spaid

Paul Kostka
Penny Whistle/Accordion

Tom Gewecke
Guitar/Bass/ Vocals


Mike Knapp, Founder

Marion Briggs