Elvis Fest – Tickets – Cat’s Cradle – Back Room – Carrboro, NC – January 6th, 2017

Elvis Fest

Elvis Fest

John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff, TCB '56, The GTV's, Phatlynx, Phantom Playboys, Kitty Box & The Johnnies, Wooly Bushmen, Greg Phoenix Experience, Clambake Spinout

Fri, January 6, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 7:30 pm

Cat's Cradle - Back Room

Carrboro, NC


John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff
John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff
When North Carolina's honky-tonk heroes the Two Dollar Pistols broke up in 2008- leaving behind a legacy that included five full-length CD's, an EP of duets with Grammy nominee Tift Merritt, and several US and European tours- lead singer/songwriter John Howie Jr. already had the seeds planted for a new group, one that would continue the Pistols tradition of making soulful honky-tonk based music for contemporary times. Bringing drummer Matt Brown over from the Pistols, John recruited pedal steel guitar ace Nathan Golub, christened the new band John Howie Jr and the Rosewood Bluff, and set about writing a new batch of songs.

After a solid year of playing live, opening for everyone from Junior Brown to Lucero, plans were made for the band to enter the studio. Brian Paulson (Wilco, The Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo) was called on to take the producer's chair, having done a stellar job in that capacity on the Two Dollar Pistols 2004 Yep Roc release, Hands Up! Studio time was blocked off at Kudzu Ranch, owned and operated by Rick Miller (Southern Culture on the Skids). Several months later, the band emerged with Leavin' Yesterday, an album that expands upon the Pistols trademark sound, adding prominent pedal steel guitar, piano (by DB's/REM member Peter Holsapple), and strings to the mix for a landmark country music collection that should please Pistols fans, while breaking new ground at the same time.

Album opener "Watch Me Fall," a defiant, ringing kiss-off in the grand tradition of country music, sets the tone for Leavin' Yesterday. Straight-ahead country-rockers, "Trying Not to Think," and, "Last Great Guitar Slinger," sit comfortably next to ballads like, "Downhill," and classic honky-tonk shuffles like, "Handful of Heartaches,"and, "Back to Basics." The Jimmy Webb/Glen Campbell influenced "Dead Man's Suit" comes off "like it could have been Gene Clark...if he'd packed a string section," according to Shuffle Magazine, while "I've Found Someone New," also featuring a string quartet, bears the influence of Billy Sherill's 1970's "Countrypolitan" productions as found on the George Jones and Charlie Rich records of the day. The album-closing title track rings out with 12-string Rickenbacker, pedal steel, and gorgeous harmonies.

With Leavin Yesterday finished, Howie put together a crack band capable of capturing all of the moods in the country music idiom and doing full justice to his songs. Along with Golub on steel and Brown on drums, electric/upright bassist Billie Feather (The Bo-Stevens, Darnell Woodies) signed up, as did telecaster hero Tim Shearer (Hearts and Daggers), with Howie front and center on lead vocals and acoustic guitar.

Response to the album - as evidenced by great reviews, airplay on Little Steven's Outlaw Country, and choice slots at the Ameriserv Flood City Music Fest and an opening spot for country music legend George Jones - has been overwhelmingly positive. The fan base Howie built with Two Dollar Pistols and prime song placement in hit films like Jeepers Creepers and hot TV shows like Weeds and United States of Tara continues to grow.

Two Dollar Pistols fans mourning the loss of North Carolina's finest traditional country/honky-tonk band need not have worried. While the Pistols may be gone, one listen to Leavin' Yesterday by John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff should prove that, as the Charleston City Paper says, "Howie's best years may still be ahead of him."
The GTV's
After Philadelphia garage rock heroes Mondo Topless finally called it a day in 2011, keyboard man and group leader Sam Steinig wasted no time launching a new project, and the GTV's show he's taken his love of cool sounds from the past and headed out in a new direction. On their debut album, Sh'Bang!, the GTV's start with the raunchy guitars and booming drums of vintage garage rock and fuse them with classic soul and R&B influences, with Steinig making like Booker T. Jones, Alan Price, or Felix Cavaliere on the Hammond organ as the group writes hard-grooving tunes like "Left Me on the Corner" and "Mind the Gap." While folks who have followed Steinig's work in the past will recognize his stamp on this music, the GTV's are clearly a band and not just someone's backing crew; Pat Wescott's guitar is a powerful counterpoint, adding plentiful fire and grit to the tunes, and bassist Jude Dandelion and drummer Scott Galper are a fine rhythm section who can hold down the backbeat, heat up the dancefloor, or push these songs into high gear as the situation demands. The album has the open, natural sound of a live-in-the-studio session, and Sh'Bang! suggests this is a band that knows how to move a crowd -- there's plenty of sweat and soul in these performances, and if the music often looks to the past, the energy and attitude come from the 21st century and is as up to date as your next party. Folks who dug Mondo Topless will certainly find lots to like in the GTV's, but if you're down with the retro-soul scene or just dig R&B-flavored music that will let you wind it up on the dancefloor, you should come out to see the GTV's!
Greg Phoenix Experience
Rock / Garage / Psych
Venue Information:
Cat's Cradle - Back Room
300 East Main St.
Carrboro, NC, 27510