Here's a fave tune of mine by Artful Dodger. They were a staple on the live music scene in Northeastern Ohio in the mid to late 70's and they had a pretty large following in cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh at the time. I remember them being a perennial opening act for bigger groups and for this reason I must have seen them live at least 6 or 7 times during the era. Unfortunately, at the time I was a punk rocker and they really didn't leave that much of an impression on me.
Later, when I caught the powerpop bug, I kept seeing their name mentioned as prime practitioners of the genre and I was curious to check them out again because I honestly couldn't remember anything about them. It turns out they released three records on Columbia and a fourth on Ariola between 1975-1980. It also appears that the CD reish of their second LP, Honor Among Thieves , is now out of print and changing hands for a princely sum. Wayside is the song that is most frequently anthologized on comps and here they are performing that tune, appropriately enough, at a reunion gig at the Cleveland Agora in 2006. In Cleveland, Wayside still makes the song rotation of classic rock stations. BTW, there are better vids of this tune and other Artful Dodger songs on YouTube, but unfortunately they don't allow embedding.
All in all, the band's records can be a bit uneven, but each has at least four or five stellar tracks that make them keepers in my collection. It's not surprising that they were big in Clevo because they remind me a lot of the Raspberries, although they generally tended to take a more straight-ahead rock and roll approach. They certainly are prime candidates for a thoughtful career anthology that I am certain would be a must-have for fans of 70's era powerpop. Rave On!