Friday, September 7, 2012

Posthaste with The Howdies

By Dege Legg

Back when archaeologists first discovered that early cavemen – as well as the remains of mummified Egyptian kings – had pompadours, the whole scene changed – it blew the doors off rutgut outhouses from here to BangBang, TN. Seriously, everybody was, like, “Yes. We knew it all along, but now we can go confidently forward with our Mephistophelian plans for pompadourian domination .” It was great. Life made sense. Men, women, and even children could wear their hair in the pompadour style and not face prosecution or indiscriminate discrimination for their cultural persuasion. The land was free. Church was like a drive-in movie.  And the barley grew like weeds. Then things went back to normal. But for a while it was cool.

Taking their cues from those priceless times are Lafayette’s rockabilly heroes The Howdies. The Howdies play barn-tarding, swampbilly, old school rock & roll. Unfortunately, they've decided to quit while they were ahead and disband, so unless you attend this farewell show, you probably won’t be seeing them for another decade or so.  Since 2007, The Howdies have cranked out potato sacks full of chicken scratch twang. Their songs are a killer mix of hard yarns, polio moons, and drag strip greasers. Bust it hard. And go wish them well on their future journeys through space, time, and sound.


History of the Howdies in five words, more or less.
Rock too hard for some.

Hard rocking

The genre of rockabilly is a highly competitive genre full of overblown caricatures, faux hillbillies, cartoonish personas. How do you avoid turning into a rodeo clown and still play good music?
You have to have been raised listening to rockabilly and old country. Develop a genuine love for that music. You can tell a Johnny come lately hipster or some rip-off copycat baloney from someone who really "gets it.”

Fill in the blank. Chickenscratch is ______________. 
What you sometimes make at the end of the night or what The Howdies pre-production notebooks looks like.

Who is the creative genius in the Howdies?
Julian Primeaux.

Julian Primeaux. Photo: Denny Culbert

Who is the lazy guy in your band?
There's no room for laziness in The Howdies. We're quitting before it becomes lazy.

What is Howdies' drummer Austin Keller like on the road?
A trooper. Also tries to make a weapon out of everything.

Austin Keller (drums)

Worst gig ever?
Tour 2009. Nashville date. Played on an off night for the venue. Stormy weather. Played to the opening band and their girlfriends (until they split). So after we were alone, we made the best of it by doing the rest of our songs in somewhat of a heavy metal style. Some hipster kid offered for us to stay at his house. It seems he didn't expect us to take him up on his offer (he was doing it for "indie cred")...and he tried to give us the slip when we were following him home. We stayed at his house anyway.

Best gig ever?
2010 Conroe Texas Festival. Large festivals shows are always fun.

If Top Gun-era Tom Cruise were in a rockabilly band, what would the name of that band be?
Tommy Cruise and the Jetsetters.

Tommy Cruiser & The Jetsetters

Good rocking tonight

Well played! There are a zillion bands. Why should people care that The Howdies are breaking up?
Because remember all those rowdy, rockin', Roots music bands with energetic stage shows that existed in Lafayette BEFORE The Howdies? .....oh, right.

"Do it for Johnny"

Old Elvis vs. Young Elvis. Why?
Young Elvis.  Why? Simple. Sun Records.

Old Elvis

Young vs. Old Elvi

Who controls the money in your band? Who controls it internationally? Why aren’t there more rockabilly songs about the Illuminati? Slim is the money guy.  Internationally controlled by electronic transfer via ExRay Unlimited. The goth-industrial genre has a lockdown on all songs about the Illuminati. 


December 21, 2012. Post-election economic collapse, DNA upgrade, or business as usual?
All of the the zombie apocalypse.

Zombie Apocalypse

The Howdies

Denny Culbert: Photographer

The Independent: