Blankfest: The Barstool Romeos

It’s hard to keep a good band down, and Knoxville’s Barstool Romeos are a damned fine band. Just don’t tell them I told you so. But after the release of their debut album, 2013’s “Twisted Steel & Sex Appeal,” the Romeos hit a serious snag when singer-guitarist Andy Pirkle almost lost his hand in a work-related accident.

A ton of rehab and plant of woodshedding later, and the Romeos are back in the thick of it, furiously finishing their second album. “Andy’s accident really took the wind out of our sails,” says guitarist and co-frontman Mike McGill. “But we have an ass-kicker of an album working right now.”

The band members started playing together roundabout 2008, but didn’t coalesce under the Bartstool Romeos moniker until 2010. Mixing straight-up Rawk with hints of traditional musics and a whole lotta honky tonk and classic country, McGill, Pirkle, and bassist Josh Sidman raise a ruckus that appeals to fans of Merle Haggard, Bill Monroe and ZZ Top alike.

McGill says there are already 12 songs ready for the forthcoming platter, though the recording schedule is still a work in progress. “We’re working diligently, but we don’t have a date yet,” he says. “It could be Christmas that we have it finished, but it could just as easy be spring.”

As for Blankfest, McGill says, “People can expect a good hell-raising time. We make the kind of music that makes you want to move, find yourself a squishy girl and dance.”


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