Peewee Moore gives new spin to country songs he grew up with

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Most of the songs that Peewee Moore sings were hits before he was born, yet he gives them his own spin, making them sound like fresh traditional country releases.

What else would you expect from a guy who had his first band in elementary school, grew up listening to the Wanted: The Outlaws album (Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jessi Colter and Tompall Glaser) and still uses his mother, Carol, as a backup guitarist and vocalist when needed?

You can see Peewee Moore & The Awful Dreadful Snakes at 10 p.m. Friday at Still Water Tap Room, 974 Broad St. Call (706) 826-9857. You also can hear him at

Mr. Moore plays guitar and harmonica in the trio, with Ivan Wilson on upright bass and backup vocals, and Dud Wash on drums.

Mr. Moore -- born Cecil Allen Moore Jr. in Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., now lives in the same area, in Rossville. He weighs about 240 and says he has had his nickname "since before I can remember."

"I come from a pretty musical family," he said. "All on my mom's side have been musicians who were into all that old stuff and just played it for fun. My granddad, Bill Housley, had several bands throughout the years.

"I've been playing pretty much the same stuff that I've played since I was about 16 or 17," he said. "I had my first band in elementary school near the end of the fifth grade or start of the sixth grade. It was three pieces. I don't think we had a name. We just got together and did some local things."

He lists his key musical influences as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley (in his rockabilly Sun Records days), Billy Joe Shaver, Johnny Paycheck, Johnny Burnette, Woody Guthrie, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Carl Perkins, Dick Dale and Kris Kristofferson.

"I'm a big fan of good songwriters," he said, "because that was such a big deal when I was growing up. Both my mom and Uncle Billy (Bill Housley Jr.) write songs. So, I've been more a fan of songwriter than musicians."

One Augusta-area songwriter he loves but never has met is Larry Jon Wilson.

"I've been looking around for him," Mr. Moore said. "He's a heck of a guitar player and great singer. The first time I ever saw or heard him do anything was the (1981) music documentary Heartworn Highways , sort of an underground thing which focuses on Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Larry Jon and others."

Out by summer should be Mr. Moore's new CD, Leaving Side of Gone , whose title cut was influenced by a Clark song called She Ain't Going Nowhere .

"I pretty much wrote the chorus to Leaving Side of Gone about six or seven years ago and put it away," he said. "I was going through some old song papers about five months ago and came across it and said to myself, 'This just might work.' "

Don Rhodes has written about country music for 37 years. He can be reached at (706) 823-3214 or at

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