John Howie Jr. 'Not Tonight' Album Release Show

John Howie Jr. 'Not Tonight' Album Release Show

Lester Coalbanks and The Seven Sorrows, Sneakers Award

Friday, September 21, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

$8.00 - $10.00

Tickets at the Door

John Howie Jr.
John Howie Jr.
When the time came to record his first "solo" album, country/honky-tonk singer/songwriter John Howie Jr. (Two Dollar Pistols, Rosewood Bluff) decided that the set of songs he had at hand, a set that documented the dissolution of a relationship, was just too personal to release under any banner other than his own name. That set of songs became Not Tonight.

Recorded over a series of sessions in starting in Spring of 2015 with esteemed Southern Culture On The Skids frontman Rick Miller behind the boards at his Kudzu Ranch studio, John Howie Jr.’s eponymous debut is a somber, haunting and emotionally-fraught affair that is the most deeply personal album he’s yet made. It documents a grappling with loss and loss of control that has Howie searching for any light at the end of the tunnel.
“This album is a step forward from a disconcerting period of time in my life,” Howie says.
“In this case, the long, slow dissolution of a relationship. Everything that goes with that is in these songs: loss, loneliness, booze, suspicion, all of it. Not Tonight confronts a specific, painful period in my life, and the music is largely sparser, the lyrics more confessional than before. It ends on a relatively high note, but it's a mighty rough road gettin' there.”

Enlisting a who's-who of Chapel Hill-area players to help commit his vision to tape, Howie tapped into the deep well of compatriots from the stable of relationships he’s cultivated in his two-plus decade career in music.
Featuring appearances by members of his own backing band The Rosewood Bluff, Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, the Shirlette Ammons Band, and Tonk, the subject matter of Not Tonight felt a little too personal to commit to anything but his own name.
“I ended up with a group of songs about a certain cycle in my personal life that did not fall within the scope of the band records I've made in the past, with the Two Dollar Pistols or the Rosewood Bluff in terms of arrangement or lyrical style,” says Howie.
“And these songs necessitated a different approach as far as instrumentation went. For starters, I wanted to play drums on the record, for a different kind of feel. Of the nine songs on the album with drums, I play drums on eight of them. Dave Hartman (Southern Culture On The Skids, Rosewood Bluff) plays on the ninth. Also, the Merle Haggard and George Jones influences remain, as always, as does the heavy presence of pedal steel guitar. But there are Nikki Sudden-style acoustic guitars, too, and strings inspired by Scott Walker records.”
And while this is Howie’s debut under his given name, the North Carolina-born and bred singer/songwriter feels that it doesn’t stray too far from the foundation he’s spent so many years building.
“The album still operates from a base of traditional country/honky tonk, but as always I use that as a starting point and add my own thing,” Howie says.
“I've branched out a little more on Not Tonight, which was the idea, hence using different groupings of musicians,” he continues. “But it’s still me. And I think it will make sense to anyone who has followed what I’ve done over the years.”
Those who have followed him have remained steadfast and devout in their support for over twenty years.
In 1995, Howie’s band the Two Dollar Pistols emerged out of the alt-country explosion that gave the world Whiskeytown and the Backsliders, among others. The Pistols spent twelve years traveling around the United States and Europe, making records for the esteemed Yep Roc label with an updated, soulful take on old-school country and honky-tonk sounds. Over the course of seven albums – including a series of duets with Grammy nominee Tift Merritt – Howie and the band developed a sizeable following, packing clubs on the East Coast and being flown to festivals in Europe, while the band's albums regularly appeared on the Gavin Americana chart. In that time, the Pistols shared the stage with a veritable who's-who of country music legends, including Merle Haggard, Dale Watson, BR-549, the Derailers, and many more, and were invited to play at Opryland in 2003.
When the Two Dollar Pistols went on an extended hiatus in 2008, Howie set about forming a new group, an expansion on the Pistols' sound that broadened its musical scope to incorporate other influences that had crept into John's songwriting, like Southern soul, rhythm and blues and country-rock.
That group, John Howie Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff, has released two full-length albums, and, like the Pistols, the Rosewood Bluff has shared the stage with big names like the legendary George Jones, Wayne Hancock, Shovels and Rope, and many more. Both of the Rosewood Bluff's albums, 2011's Leavin' Yesterday and 2014's Everything Except Goodbye, were met with critical acclaim and received steady airplay on key programs like Sirius/XM's Outlaw Country. The band's five piece line up - that includes pedal steel guitar - allows for movement between honky-tonk shuffles, driving country-rock numbers, and deep soul ballads, all delivered via Howie's rich baritone.
Howie spent the majority of 2016/2017 on the road playing drums for Bloodshot Records artists Sarah Shook and the Disarmers, but left the group in late 2017 to continue to work on his own music, both on Not Tonight, and with his beloved Rosewood Bluff.
Lester Coalbanks and The Seven Sorrows
Lester Coalbanks and The Seven Sorrows
The sounds of true Honky Tonk and Western Swing may not climb the charts these days but the vacuum left behind by the lack of live performances by the likes of Bob Wills and Buck Owens is crying out to be filled.

Luckily, Lester Coalbanks has arrived to help you empty that glass, dry those tears and lift your boot heels. Backed by the sweet sounds of The Seven Sorrows, a crack backing group comprised of decorated veterans of barroom balladry and rising stars of soulful swing, Mr. Coalbanks will leave you hard pressed to stay sober and in your seats.

Look for upcoming appearances of Lester Coalbanks and The Seven Sorrows at venues throughout the Triangle in the coming months and join them in the toe tapping revival of a music born out of the pasture lands of Texas and the hills of Appalachia to be suckled to maturity on the tears and triumphs of working men and women everywhere.

Put down those Solo cups and raise a glass to real Country Music!
Sneakers Award
Sneakers Award
Sneakers Award is a new band made up of members from Plow United, Almost People & Dogs Eyes. Our sights are set on late 70's/early 80's power pop, or at least our version of it. We've been a band since June 28th, 2017.
Venue Information:
Local 506
506 W. Franklin St
Chapel Hill, NC, 27516