Spittin' on the schedule: a guide to S.P.I.T.T.L.E. Fest | Music Feature | Indy Week
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Spittin' on the schedule: a guide to S.P.I.T.T.L.E. Fest 

John Howie Jr., who fronted his Two Dollar Pistols at S.P.I.T.T.L.E Fest 1999, plays this year with the Rosewood Bluff.

Photo by Daniel Coston

John Howie Jr., who fronted his Two Dollar Pistols at S.P.I.T.T.L.E Fest 1999, plays this year with the Rosewood Bluff.

THURSDAY @ DEEP SOUTH THE BAR

7 p.m.: Opener JOSH MORNINGSTAR aims to be both rootsy songwriter and budding rapper on his schizophrenic disc Contradiction; he'll likely stress the former, though the fest has always welcomed straying from the straight and narrow.
8 p.m.: Country songwriter KURT FORTMEYER formerly owned Fuquay-Varina's Hyphen Coffeehouse but moved to Nashville, Tenn., a decade ago.
9 p.m.: The rockabilly vamps of DEXTER ROMWEBER are the stuff of local legend.
10 p.m.: ELLIOTT HUMPHRIES & BE THE MOON blend country, folk and rock influences in intriguing originals.
11 p.m.: The OLYMPIC ASS-KICKIN TEAM is led by Terry Anderson, a Triangle roots rock veteran since his days in The Woods.

FRIDAY @ THE POUR HOUSE

7 p.m.: The TIM LEE 3 draws upon Lee's Southern pop songwriting instincts.
8 p.m.: The GRAVY BOYS tend toward the more acoustic end of Americana on originals and cool covers, including The Zombies' "Time of the Season."
9 p.m.: MICHAEL RANK & STAG bring together several of the Triangle's top roots musicians playing behind the former Snatches of Pink leader, now veering toward the Stonesy side of country and rock.
10 p.m.: JOHN HOWIE & THE ROSEWOOD BLUFF, led by the former Two Dollar Pistols frontman, rules the roost of Carolina honky-tonk.
11 p.m.: The LOUDERMILKS have resurrected the brotherly harmonies of Alan and Chad Edwards, which made Lou Ford one of the Queen City's finest acts during S.P.I.T.T.L.E.'s heyday.
Midnight: Billed as an ALL-STAR JAM, this free-for-all features Steve Howell, Jon Shain, Greg Bell, Greg Stamper, the Debonzo Brothers, Eddie Taylor, Mark Simonsen and others. It could be a revelation, a trainwreck or both, simultaneously.

SATURDAY @ THE POUR HOUSE

7 p.m.: ANDY VAUGHAN & THE DRIVELINE are serious old-school honky-tonk devotees, dressing the part and delivering the goods.
8 p.m.: The VIBEKILLERS find Backsliders frontman Chip Robinson veering away from country and toward rock.
9 p.m.: MELISSA & THE SWINGLERS are fronted by Melissa Swingle, a veteran of the original S.P.I.T.T.L.E. Fests from her days with the darkly twanging Trailer Bride.
10 p.m.:Kenny Roby brings his latest ensemble, the DARK STRANGERS. Sets by his old band, 6 String Drag, were highlights of S.P.I.T.T.L.E.s past, meaning his appearance here is a fitting one. This crew will also some choice covers that 6 String Drag used to play.
11 p.m.:Nashville's PHIL LEE is a native Carolina roots rocker who played the very first S.P.I.T.T.L.E. Fest back in 1996; Rick Cornell's review of that show declared, "Everybody has their 'should have made it big' performer; Lee is mine."
Midnight: Fronted by fest co-organizer Jeff Holshouser, HANK SINATRA tends to play up the hard-edged country-honk attitude in their music, but there's straight pop appeal in some of their songs, too.

  • S.P.I.T.T.L.E. Fest - Thursday, Friday and Saturday

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