Snit's Dog & Pony Show
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Snit's Dog & Pony Show

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Jan. 19, 2005, 2:07PM
Snit's shows pony up


By SARA CRESS
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle


His name is Kevin Fitzpatrick, but everyone knows him as Snit. As with most nicknames, there's a story that goes along with it, but Snit's story is way more rock 'n' roll than yours, Sparky.

"I was living in New Jersey, and I had a little house out in the woods in the middle of nowhere. We could play our music as loud as we wanted, whenever we wanted. The only thing around was Martin's Liquors. We were into reading things backward, so people started calling my house Snitram's Palace and they called me Snitram, which was shortened to Snit."

Years have passed, but Snit is still Snit, and he still likes his music loud. Snit's Dog and Pony Show -- in which Snit sings with guitarist Sam Dunlop and drummer J.D. DiTullio -- plays a few nights a week all over town, in different configurations, with a rotating cast of bass players, with acoustic and electric sets. And tireless energy.

"I don't want to play once a month," he says. "I want to play."

Snit moved to Houston from Atlanta in 1994 and immediately became an integral part of the local music scene as drummer for the successful and beloved Hollisters.

"[Hollisters frontman] Mike Barfield called me and said he wanted to form a band. It was great, and it worked for five years. We heard people complain about the music scene here, but we were really happy. I think we're going to do a few dates coming up, some reunion shows. I hope people remember us."

While Snit speaks fondly of his country-rock days with the Hollisters, when he left the band he knew there was something else he wanted to do.

"I wanted to play more rock 'n' roll," he says.

If you're like most music fans, you won't realize that many of Snit's Dog and Pony Show's songs aren't its own. You probably know who Chuck Berry is, but do you know much beyond Johnny B. Goode?

"Most people don't recognize 80 percent of what we do, so it's going to be new to them," Snit says. "To me, a good song is a good song no matter who wrote it."

Snit doesn't like to think of himself as a musical historian, but teaching less rock-savvy listeners about performers like Status Quo, Frankie Miller and Rockpile brings him joy.

"Nobody wants to be thought of as a nostalgia act," he says, "but nothing makes me happier when we're playing somewhere and somebody comes up to the stage and asks about a song.

"I'm a music fan. I've got a lot of pet bands that most people wouldn't expect me to listen to. Manic Street Preachers, Paul Weller, Ash. Social Distortion because they've stayed together for a million years and mean it. And of course I love Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Chuck Berry; those are the masters. I'll never stop listening to that stuff because that's as real as it gets."

But it's not all about the classics. Snit peppers his sets with originals, a few of which can be heard on the band's 2001 release 3 Chords and a Cloud of Dust. These are straightforward blues-rock songs about mildly wicked women and the men who get their hearts trampled by them.

"I'm not a prolific songwriter," he says. "I'm not someone who gets up in the morning, goes to the cubicle in Nashville and writes `Beers! And trucks! And beers and trucks and Texas!' "

Snit's goals for 2005 include working on a new album, writing more songs with Dunlop and sometime-Pony Show bassist Benny Braskey, and he hopes to get on an indie label and tour. But his dream, he says, would be to get out of the country entirely.

"If you can get to Europe, that's the way to go. The audiences get the music, the beer is great, and the women are cute. I went over there (playing drums) for Tony Vega, and I didn't want to come home. They treat you like kings, especially if you're from Texas or California."

Should you ever get too lost at a Snit's Dog and Pony Show gig, yearning to hear something familiar, Snit may oblige. Just be careful what you wish for.

"Every once in a while we'll pull something out that everyone knows. I had an idea for a while to play the cheesiest song I could think of, which was Morning Train by Sheena Easton."



localbands@chron.com

- Houston Chronicle


From houstonpress.com
Originally published by Houston Press 2006-04-06
©2005 New Times, Inc. All rights reserved.

Snit's Dog and Pony Show
Friday, April 7, at the Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club, 5731 Kirby, 713-523-9999
By William Michael Smith




Snit's Dog and Pony Show


Who / What:
Snit's Dog and Pony Show
Music Genre:
Rock/Pop

They've been playing around town a few years now, and Snit's Dog and Pony Show make no bones about it -- originality is overrated. They seem to take as much pleasure in turning the amps to 11 for a rousing version of "Down, Down, Down" from the first Dave Edmunds album as in playing their own songs. As on their covers-heavy first album, Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust, the new No Good Deed Goes Unpunished (this gig is its release party) finds Kevin Fitzpatrick and his like-minded mates sifting '80s vinyl and the rocking B-sides of their childhood. They faithfully dig into "Got You on my Mind" by Gulf Coast legends Cookie & Cupcakes and smoke through two little-remembered tunes by Scottish blues legend Frankie Miller. Their closing take on Professor Longhair's "Roberta" is especially choice.
It's surprising, given Pony Show's penchant for faithful interpretations of faded classics, but the clutch of originals on the disc not only work alongside the classic nuggets, they manage to catch that working-man's-boogie vibe that informs the best work of Houston artists from Lightnin' Hopkins and Albert Collins to Roy Head and Rodney Crowell. If Pony Show guitarist Sam Dunlap's "Whiskey Highway" isn't cut from a strip of pavement along Telephone Road, my GPS is busted. Makes you wonder how much longer these guys will keep underrating that pesky originality.

- From houstonpress.com


Discography

Three Chords and a Cloud of Dust-Cd-2001
No Good Deed Goes Unpunished-Cd-2006

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Bio

Influenced by Chuck Berry and British Blues..Keeping close to our Texas influences as well.Gulf coast R&B and English Pub Rock mixed together to form a driving foot stomping,drinking and good time soul bending sound.