I’ve been a fan of John Howie, Jr.’s music since he fronted the Two Dollar Pistols. His new record with his current band of friends and rotating legends is John Howie, Jr. and the Rosewood Bluff. The cover art by fellow North Carolinian, Skillet Gilmore, ices the cake on Everything Except Goodbye. When Howie broke up his successful honky-tonk band to go in other directions, he was reacting to both real and perceived limits on their sound. In a vibrant but small music community like North Carolina at the time, sounding too much like 6 String Drag or Whiskeytown could give a band the ultimate label, “Derivative.” While the Two Dollar Pistols were sliding slowly towards a split, Howie yanked it apart and moved on.
John Howie, Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff have not brought along the level of recognition or audiences that his previous band did, but Howie’s writing and music have continued to grow in ways that those critics and fans will appreciate. No longer shying away from sounding “country rock,” and acknowledging influences like The Byrds, his latest album honors the death of his long-time drummer, Matt Brown. Maturing, parenting, and failing have all made Everything Except Goodbye a more developed, but equally fun, album for John Howie, Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff.
In Memory Of Matt Brown
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