John Howie Jr plays three tracks from Everything Except Goodbye, tells the story behind the new band name and why Earnest Tubb deserves a tribute show.
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- Something May Catch Fire / Chuck Ragan / Till Midnight / 3:52
- (We Could Still Be) Each Other's Alibi / Turchi / Can't Bury Your Past / 4:18
- My Heart's On Empty / Candi Staton / Life Happens / 3:42
- Too Much Fun / Bill Kirchen / Seeds And Stems / 2:39
- Something We Just Know / Twin Forks / Twin Forks / 2:51
- I Wouldn't Be Me Without You / Rodney Crowell / Tarpaper Sky / 3:28
- Broken Bones & Pocket Change / St. Paul & The Broken Bones / Half The City / 3:47
John Howie Jr & The Rosewood Bluff Info
- preview Everything Except Goodbye by John Howie Jr. & The Rosewood Bluff on Amazon.
- John Howie Jr. web site.
John Howie Jr. interview Recap
Calvin asks John Howie Jr about what point in the production process the album felt "done." John Howie Jr says, "I think for me, to be honest, that doesn't really happen until the CD arrives. Until that point you never know what's going to happen. There are milestones along the way like getting the final mix. That's a big deal. And then you have to have it mastered. And when you hear that's obviously really really close. But honestly it's not really until this thing shows up and left on the porch by the UPS man."
Calvin asks John Howie Jr. about the origin of the band name "Rosewood Bluff." He says, "The first person I recruited when the Two Dollar Pistols were breaking up I brought over my drummer Matt Brown. The first other guy I recruited was Nathan Golub on pedal steel..... He and I, one of the things we bonded on was our love of country rock. At that point I was going back and listening to a lot of stuff I liked in my early twenties. I've always listened to the Byrds and Michael Nesmith because I've always loved them. But the Gram Parson and the Burrito Brothers and Poco, and some of those groups, I was really going back and listening to that stuff a lot and Nathan liked that a lot too. Right around that time there was a new Gram Parsons book called 20,000 Roads and it had a poem in it called Rosewood Casket that someone had written about his death. I really liked the word Rosewood saw that sitting there on the page it looked nice it had nice connotations. And somewhere in the next couple of pages someone was talking about a bluff maybe overlooking Joshua Tree or one of those places he liked to hangout. And it just clicked right there boom. It wasn't connected. It wasn't Rosewood and Bluff right there next to each other but I got both those words from that Gram Parsons book So I should send the author a Thank You note."
John Howie Jr sets up "Everything Except Goodbye." He says "It's my favorite piece of recorded music that I have ever had anything to do with. Honestly. I'm not saying it's the best piece of recorded music ever. Or even that it's the best song that I've written. But I just love the way that song sounds. That's about as close as I've gotten to the sounds in my head actually coming out in the recording. I don't do this a lot but I was going for a specific deal, kind of a contemporary take on late 60's early 70's Charlie Pride that I love so much. I was really going for that. I think the band kills it. I think the guest keyboard player Richard Putnam is awesome. Rick Miller's production and our mix on it is great. That's my favorite thing on the record for sure."
[Calvin plays the title track from Everything Except Goodbye by John Howie Jr and the Rosewood Bluff.]
Calvin asks John Howie Jr how he learned to sing in such a low voice. He says, "I'm not trying to be arrogant or narcissistic. I'm pretty self-critical, but I am pretty happy with the vocals on this record. In October of 2011 I quit smoking after twenty years and I haven't gone back. And I have to say, I don't have any medical proof for this or anything, but I'd been smoking through every other record I'd ever sang on with the Two Dollar Pistols and that first Rosewood Bluff record. Not smoking did wonders, wonders for my singing. My range expanded. We played a place in Charlotte last night called the Thirsty Beaver. It's a wonderful place. The monitors aren't that great and I blew out my voice so I sound a little gruff now. But quitting smoking, man, if anyone listening to this who sings and smokes, you know, I know Roy Orbison did it but I'm not Roy Orbison. It changed my life as far as singing goes, it really did."
Calvin asks John Howie Jr if there are some country singers that inspire him in terms of vocal style. he says, "Charlie Pride really .... the records I have from him from the late 60's and early 70's are just so beautiful and his articulation is magnificent. And then it would certainly be Haggard and Earnest Tubb and George Jones. You can't really be a country-ish singer or country rock singer and not be influenced by those guys."
Calvin asks to run through the rest of the band members in addition to Nathan Golub. He says, "When Leavin' Yesterday came out, our bass player and guitar player left about the that time. That's when I picked up Billie Feather and she plays both upright bass and electric bass, which is great to have. I got Tim Shearer, who’s form England, who I think really kills on electric guitar. Sadly as you know in 2012 our drummer Matt Brown who had been playing with me for 10 years passed away. So that's been pretty brutal. For the record and some shows now we have been very fortunate to have Dave Hartman from Southern Culture On the Skids. He's a phenomenal drummer. We have other guys who play with us there's a guy named Brad Porter who plays in a band called Some Army. We play with a guy named Clay Anderson. "
John Howie Jr sets up "Suspicion." He says, "That's one that I specifically wrote to utilize Billie Feather's upright bass playing. That's the reason behind doing that swing / rockabilly."
[Calvin plays "Suspicion" from Everything Except Goodbye by John Howie Jr and the Rosewood Bluff.]
Calvin asks John Howie Jr about the Gram Parsons tribute show he did recently and the other tribute shows he's done. He says, "We just did a Johnny Cash tribute show in Winston-Salem. They have one on Charlotte too they call them the Cash Bash. Those things are just a lot of fun to do. The Rosewood Bluff hosted one about three years ago hosted at The Casbah called The Buck off and it was a Buck Owens tribute. The Parson's one, I just love his music and '$1000 Wedding' It's just a weird song. It's kind of country. It's kind of R&B. It has these strange chord changes in it. I got Lynne Blakey who has an angelic voice, it was a good excuse to sing with her. At the Johnny Cash one. We did "One Piece At A Time" which we do a lot and we did a song he did when he was at Sun Records called "So Doggone Lonesome" It's a cool tune and Earnest Tubb covered it in the 50s and knocked it out of the park and it was cool to meld those versions throw some of us in there."
Calvin asks who John Howie Jr would do a tribute show for. He says, "It would probably be Earnest Tubb because I feel like outside of maybe Nashville and that area where his record store is he doesn't get the reverence I think he deserves I think he's kind of responsible for honky tonk music, honestly, bringing in the electric guitar in and all that. His voice is one of a kind obviously. My mom couldn't stand it."
John Howie Jr. sets up "Why You Been Gone So Long." he says, "I wanted to put it on the record because it's one of the few songs we still play that we've been playing since the band started that's not an original. When we started the group I only had about 8 original songs so we had to flesh the set out obviously. I had this CD by a guy named Johnny Darrell. It had a whole album on it that was a country rock record but it also had some straight country songs on it he had done in the 60's. I think he had the first cut on "Why You Been Gone So Long" other than Mickey Newbury. We based our arrangement on his and ran with it."
[Calvin plays "Why You Been Gone So Long" from Everything Except Goodbye by John Howie Jr and the Rosewood Bluff.]
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