After the Backsliders, he joined the Two Dollar Pistols, "just to be able to play the guitar and not have to worry about where we're playing or where the PA is." Howell laid low after the Pistols, teaching at Harry's Guitar shop until Allyn Love walked in one day and started fooling with the pedal steel guitar set up in the corner. Howell liked the sound so much he decided to form a band on the spot.
The Steve Howell Band gigged around for a couple of years before Howell got busy domestically. "I got married, bought a house, a mini-van and got a little family kind of thing happening." They got back together last May, when The Pour House booker Marianne Taylor hired him for Twang Bang. It inspired the current lineup with Love on pedal steel, Pee Wee Watson on bass, ex-Six String Dragger Scott Miller on guitar and ex-Backslider Jeff Dennis on drums. The band recently opened for Jim Lauderdale, and Howell says they're energized and "ready to play these small places open to the Americana thing."
But it won't be Backslider music. "We certainly don't sound like a traditionalist band," Howell says. "Nobody's afraid to get a little rowdy, but we're not doing that out-of-control punk style guitar."
The Steve Howell Band plays Six String Cafe in Cary on Thursday, Feb. 10 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5.