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The Sovines
The Sovines
Among the Midwest's finest purveyors of diesel-fueled, honky tonk-approved roots rock, the Sovines blend lean but meaty twang-infused rock & roll with the glorious truck-obsessed heritage of country & western icons Red Simpson, Dave Dudley, and the king of truckin' country, Red Sovine, for whom the band was named. Proud sons of Columbus, OH, the Sovines were formed in late 1995 by guitarist Matt Benz, a former Bostonian who'd relocated to Ohio and played for a spell with the McGuires, and Bob Starker, a singer, guitarist, and sax player who was born in Ohio but had lived and worked in Boston in the 1980s before coming back home. Pooling their shared enthusiasm for Nick Lowe, the Who, and anyone who can convincingly play "Six Days on the Road," Benz and Starker joined forces with bassist Ed Mann, whose previous credits included the groups Ugly Stick and the Bush League All-Stars, and the Sovines were born; Pete English signed on to play drums, and in early 1998 the band released a cassette-only album, Owner Operator, on their own Semi-Tone label. Lansing, MI's Kingpin Records released the band's second album (and first CD release), Truckers Welcome, later that same year. The band began touring some of the finer honky tonks around the Midwest and made an impression within the alt-country community after their first appearance at St. Louis's annual music festival, Twangfest. In late 1999, English left the band, and yet another former onetime Bostonian, Gene Brodeur, took over on drums. The band also began working with the Columbus-based indie label Oahu Records and released two more fine albums, 2000's The Sad Last Days Of... and 2001's live set Comin' in Loaded!. In 2002, former Great Plains and One Riot One Ranger member Mark Wyatt joined the Sovines, playing keyboards and accordion, and later the same year they released their fifth album, Stupefyin' Jones. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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