Blues travelers

Singers take temporary vow of homelessness to spread musical message

Allan Blanks/MDN Rubberto Toez, left, and Cadiey Stressman are a singing and songwriting duo of Yeah Dawgs and the Goons. The two performers have taken a temporary vow of homelessness to spread musical messages about personal happiness and following one’s passion.

Songwriters Cadiey Stressman and Rubberto Toez, their love for life is inspired by their fiery passion of music.

From coast-to-coast, Stressman and Toez, musically known as Yeah Dawg and the Goons, have serenaded audiences on street corners, roof tops, parks and beaches.

Fusing elements of folk, blues and ragtime into their music, audience members stop in their tracks to listen to the colorful stories expressed by the nomadic pair.

“I really think they are interesting people,” said Julie Sjol, a passerby in downtown Minot. “They have a love of traveling and meeting people.”

As Stressman soulfully strums melodies on the banjo, Toez complements the folk singing songstress with blues inspired harmonies.

Vocally, Yeah Dawg and the Goons showcase a variety of dynamics that reflect the tempo changes and rests performed in their music, notably “Home Sweet Homeless.”

For nearly four years, Stressman and Toez have traveled the country with only their guitars, a pop-up tent and what they consider the absolute necessities.

During their musical journey, Stressman and Toez hope to inspire people to pursue their passion and discover that happiness can be found anywhere at anytime.

“We’re not just living on the streets,” Toez said. “We’re not homeless and sad, we chose this life and we enjoy playing music whenever we can. Happiness is not about how much money you have, it’s about being happy with who you are and the people you’re with. We hope that people will see our joy and learn to be happy with the blessings in their life.”

Throughout their tour, Stressman and Toez have found time to take momentary breaks and work conventional jobs.

However, their passion to perform music and share songs of happiness with others brings them back to the road.

Stressman said that Yeah Dawg and the Goons will eventually rap up their musical journey to lead ordinary lives.

Until then, the folk singing and blues traveling tandem will continue to share their unique brand of message music.

“Don’t be afraid to live,” Toez said. “There is so much positive energy around us. Sometimes people scowl at us, we just smile and give them a friendly wave. It feels good when we see a frown turn into a smile. Kindness has the power to change negative energy into something positive.”