John Howie Jr. is a Triangle fixture and former (championship, from what I hear) drummer, who left the skins behind (except for the occasional one-off, as on the new Snatches record) to head up the Two Dollar Pistols, for whom he pens heartbreaking honky-tonk as though he has sorrow on tap.
1. Glen Campbell & Jimmy Webb--Reunion: Songs of Jimmy Webb: "Pre-'Rhinestone Cowboy,' in an attempt to resuscitate Glen's flagging career, his record company paired him again with Jimmy 'Wichita Lineman' Webb. What they got, with the exception of an incongruous cover of Little Feat's 'Roll Me Easy,' was a dark, bitter, countrypolitan masterpiece. Favorite lyric: 'I don't think you're human, but I'll miss you anyway.'"
2. George Jones--Anniversary: Ten Years of Hits: "I must hear this man's voice at least once a day. End of story."
3. James Carr--A Man Needs A Woman: "My favorite soul singer--one of my favorite anything singers--and this is my favorite album by him. Absolutely wonderful, and the CD version contains a gorgeous cover of 'Ring of Fire.' Which brings us to..."
4. Johnny Cash--Up Through the Years: "All of Cash's Sun master recordings on one CD. Life gets no better."
5. The Cramps--Psychedelic Jungle/Gravest Hits: "Recently went to see them again--and they were still phenomenal--so I'd take this CD to keep the Cramps buzz rolling."
The Two Dollar Pistols play Local 506 on Friday, Nov. 19 with Cub Country.