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in strum and twang



Two Dollar Pistols leader John Howie Jr. is a fan of all types of music, from southern soul to power pop and, of course, vintage country. "I'd like for people to think of us as a country band that likes R&B, that likes rock 'n' roll, that likes rockabilly, that likes The Beatles, but not a rock 'n' roll band that likes country music," Howie once said of the Pistols, a line that I plan to continue leaning on until he slaps me with some sort of injunction. Their new CD, Hands Up!, calls on elements of pop music more than the band's previous efforts did, as showcased on the punchy, extra-hooky title track and the Mavericks-ish (or would that be Orbison-y?) "There Goes My Baby." Yeah, you'll want to surrender to it. Barn Burning and David Childers, a big guy with a big sound that's half Johnny Cash and half Dave Alvin, opens the show with his band the Modern Don Juans.

The Two Dollar Pistols CD release party for Hands Up! is at the Cat's Cradle, Friday May 21. Tickets are $8. The show starts at10 p.m.

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