S.P.I.T.T.L.E. Fest Featuring: SPITTLE Fest All Star Jam, The Loudermilks
John Howie Jr. & the Rosewood Bluff, Michael Rank & Stag, The Gravy Boys, Tim Lee 3
224 S. Blount
Raleigh, NC, 27601
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:00 PM
Watch & Listen
After more than a decade fronting Charlotte, NC's critically acclaimed alt. country pioneers, Lou Ford, brothers Alan & Chad Edwards return with a new take on their signature "rural pop" sound. Ever-present are the sibling harmonies, guitar chops, and hook-laden songwriting that No Depression said "...sounds like the product of a childhood spent listening to a cool aunt or uncle's well-worn copies of Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere and The Gilded Palace Of Sin, with Exile On Main Street..." and led Creative Loafing to declare "...some of the catchiest, most heart-rending country rock around." The Loudermilks carry on that tradition, but suggest a maturity and refinement in both songwriting and performance that can only come from years spent honing one's craft.
With the Loudermilks, too, comes a crack rhythm section composed of former Lou Ford drummer Shawn Lynch on bass, fellow Lou Ford veteran Jason Atkins on piano & organ, and former Jolene time-keeper Mike Kenerley on drums and percussion. Individually, these five musicians represent Charlotte, NC's finest, with an impressive musical pedigree. Together these gentlemen represent the Edwards' most cohesive unit to date, and a powerhouse combo capable of both subtlety and bombast with equal precision and ethos.
Named for iconic gospel & country duo Ira & Charlie Loudermilk, better known as the Louvin Brothers, the Loudermilks find a comfortable place in the unlikely juxtaposition of the Louvin's southern gothic and sibling harmonies and the emotive & powerful Memphis-Soul-meets-'60's-Pop of underground rock legends Big Star. It's a musical combination which feels intrinsic and honest, as if they could do nothing else. "Brothers Alan and Chad Edwards have always shared vocal and songwriting duties, and that familial, familiar element no doubt shades their music in an organic way, a sort of composting of shared experience and bloodline that is rather impossible to fake," wrote Creative Loafing, "…songs feel lived in, rather than put on, the sadness and anger genuinely cathartic. [The brothers'] strength has always been avoiding country rock's clichés while remaining true to its tenets and slipping in a punk-inspired defiance."
The Loudermilks carry on a musical legacy that started nearly twenty years ago, when, as Shuffle Magazine described it, "two brothers… and their tragic songs of life… form a "rural rock" band." Yet the Edwards brothers' music sounds as if it has always been. Once described as "recorded more in sepia, than in stereo," the Edwards brothers, and their "...top-shelf sibling harmonies, and rural rock songs so poignant your grandkids will be downloading them for deep catalog cachet [Creative Loafing]," deliver, once again, with the Loudermilks.
John Howie Jr. & 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."
Michael Rank & Stag
MICHAEL RANK + STAG COMES OFF AS THE ILLEGITIMATE SON OF ROCK AND ROLL CASUALTIES, SNATCHES OF PINK. THE ACOUSTIC ARM OF THE SCARECROW. WITH A RUSSIAN ROULETTE LINEUP THAT READS LIKE A PRISONER EXCHANGE PROGRAM AND A DEBUT ALBUM FEATURING MEMBERS OF SNATCHES OF PINK, TWO DOLLAR PISTOLS, DEX ROMWEBER DUO, TRAILER BRIDE, PATTY HURST SHIFTER, CHATHAM COUNTY LINE, CALICO HAUNTS, & JOHN HOWIE JR AND THE ROSEWOOD BLUFF. WITH ACOUSTIC GUITARS, UPRIGHT BASS, LAP STEEL & DUAL DRUMMERS AS POINT OF IGNITION. FLYING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF 70'S STONES, OUTLAW COUNTRY & ROYAL TRUX. WITH OVER TWO DECADES OF ALBUMS, MOVIE & TELEVISION SONG PLACEMENT, MTV APPEARANCES, AND OPENING FOR THE LIKES OF IGGY POP, JOHNNY THUNDERS, THE RAMONES & THE CRAMPS, GUITARIST / SINGER / SONGWRITER MICHAEL RANK NOW SETS SIGHTS ON A MORE DUST FED LANDSCAPE. AND HE'S BROUGHT KIN. STAG.
The Gravy Boys
They take a cup of country, a pinch of roots rock, a handful of honky-tonk, a splash of bluegrass, a dash of hobo folk; stir vigorously, and let is simmer ‘til the pot bubbles over...
The Gravy Boys are based in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina. Their music draws deep from the well of our country’s diverse musical heritage. Their high energy shows feature heartfelt vocal harmonies, boot-stomping rhythms, lively stage banter, and honest musicianship.
The Gravy Boys are story tellers and entertainers. They spin their tales by taking classic American themes and bringing them into the present day with a passion that resonates with all who listen.
The band formed in 2005 and consists of:
Steve Celestini on Vocals and Harmonica
Steve Storms on Guitar, Dobro & Vocals
Bill Spagnardi on Vocals, Mandolin & Percussion
Tom Spagnardi on Doghouse Bass & Vocals
Joe Spagnardi on Guitar & Vocals.
The Gravy Boys have released 3 CDs of (mostly) original music: Crackerjack Whistle (2013), Dust Bowl Lover (2009), and Workin’ the Angels for Handouts (2007).
Tim Lee 3
Devil's Rope... all over the map.
Literally and metaphorically, that's the phrase that might best describe Devil's Rope, the newest release from Tim Lee 3 on Cool Dog Sound. Following in the tradition of their first two full-length recordings — 2008's good2b3 and 2010's sprawling double-wide Raucous Americanus — TL3 traveled to 3 studios in 3 states to capture the 13 songs that comprise Devil's Rope. That approach was appropriate considering the tunes were written in various locations, from south Georgia to Arizona and New Mexico, from Texas to principal songwriters Tim and Susan Bauer Lee's east Tennessee home, and points in between.
Recorded in Knoxville, Austin, and Tucson, the new record contains the same rock n' roll stew that defined previous TL3 releases — a heady mixture of power pop, garage rock, psychedelia, punk, blues, Americana, and swamp rock. On Devil's Rope, though, the trio stretches out a bit more.
The soup's still the same, just with additional ingredients.
"It's not that this record is so different from what we've done before," said bassist/singer/songwriter Susan Bauer Lee. "There's just a wider variety of approaches."
Added guitarist/singer/songwriter Tim Lee: "We have a tendency to let the songs dictate how they are played, so we don't necessarily worry about a specific sound. We really try to trust our instincts and the songs, so sometimes the styles end up being all over the map.
"But, that's our sonic definition of rock n' roll."
Included among the record's track listing are stylistically diverse tunes such as the jangly power-pop of lead-off track "Signal" and the anthemic "Halo Days," the swampy psychelic blues of the title song, the ethereal "Alibi," the bludgeoning punk of "Says Baby Strange" and "Monkey Dance," the slow burn of "Weird Weather" and "Any Day Now," and the straight-up rock n' roll of "Judging You" and "You're Not There."
All over the map? Yeah, but right on point.