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Arts/Culture

Two Dollar Pistols

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Yep Roc Records
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Muddy Bottom Blues

Program #110 (June 30 at 8:00 p.m. and July 1 at 3:00 p.m.)

Two Dollar Pistols

Since their formation in 1996, the Two Dollar Pistols, led by baritone singer John Howie, Jr., have gained the respect of country music fans worldwide through international touring and four critically acclaimed releases.

With a soulful honky-tonk country sound as their foundation, the Chapel Hill-based Pistols drive their music home with an energetic edge that leaves their audiences wanting more.

The Two Dollar Pistols’ debut, 1997’s On Down the Track, was greeted with immediate regional praise and quickly climbed into the Top 20 of the Gavin Americana Chart.

In 1998, the Two Dollar Pistols began their relationship with Yep Roc Records by recording a spirited live set, Step Right Up. The album earned the band two awards from Austin, TX’s 3rd Coast Music magazine, “Best Live Album,” and “Best Male Vocalist” for Howie.

In 1999, following several enthusiastically received local gigs together, the band and Tift Merritt were coaxed into the studio to record a set of duets. The resulting 7-song EP release, The Two Dollar Pistols with Tift Merritt, quickly became a fan favorite and was Merritt’s (now a popular Lost Highway recording artist) first CD recording and release.

The Pistols’ 2002 Yep Roc long-player, You Ruined Everything, was a full band effort with a line-up featuring Howie, Scott McCall (lead guitar), Neal Spaulding (bass) and Mark A. Weaver (drums). With tracks ranging from danceable shuffles to country-soul tearjerkers, the album showcased Howie’s warm baritone vocals and managed to conjure a classic, timeless feel while maintaining a contemporary honky-tonk sound and attitude.

The Pistols’ third studio full-length, Hands Up!, was recorded with producer Brian Paulson (Wilco, Son Volt, Slint and many more) in the band’s stomping grounds of Chapel Hill, NC.

(story provided by Yep Roc Records)