Fingerpistol is a two-time Austin Music Award winning country dance band from Austin, Texas combining tried and true country classics with crowd pleasing originals penned by Fingerpistol front man Dan Hardick, who spends the remainder of his time time working as an advice columnist for The Austin Chronicle and being father to three amazing daughters and a precocious rat terrier that he describes as an “emotional distress animal.”
Rounding out the rest of Fingerpistol are vocalist/aesthetician Meg “Amarillo” Bodi, guitar God/fly fisherman Landis Armstrong, drummer/aquatic scientist Jill Csekitz and alternate drummer/creative visionary Andrew C. Gerfers; bassist, band genius, and bush pilot Sam Wilson, and pedal steel guitarist and genuine country music legend Neil Flanz, who was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2016.
Fingerpistol has released three CDs. The first, Big, Wet, Sloppy World, was released in 2000 and received airplay on stations throughout the US and Europe. Their 2008 release, Young and Beautiful, was a top 100 CD on the Americana chart and scored two top 100 singles on the Texas Regional Radio Chart. The third CD, a traditional country CD called “Stepped in it Again” was released in 2014
Fingerpistol was formed at the turn of the millennium by Oklahoma raised and Texas seasoned singer-songwriter Dan Hardick along with genius bassist/pilot Sam Wilson. Hardick’s musical career had been a steady migration south until he hooked up with Sam, who in the late 80s toured America with the Grateful Dead styled band, Stackabones. After a considerable amount of woodshedding, Hardick and Wilson to formed Austin’s first patio pop supergroup, the Mouthbreathers. In the Fall of 1999, Hardick and Wilson, along with drummer Nina Singh and violinist Stephan Paetzold recorded their first CD under the new name Fingerpistol. The CD, called Big Wet, Sloppy World was their first foray into the Americana genre, and proved to be successful, receiving airplay throughout the US and Europe.
In 2003, drummer Jill Csekitz joined the band, bringing a rock-steady rhythmic foundation. Following Csekitz was girl singer, tambourinist, go-go dancer, and raconteur Suzee Brooks, who had been singing with Hardick at campfires for years until he invited her to go semi-pro. Brooks’ harmonies helped set the band apart from the usual array of singer-songwriter led bands while her enthusiasm and boundless energy broadened the band’s appeal.
Big changes happened for the band in 2015. Guitarist Bill Terry left the band and was replaced by guitar god Landis Armstrong (Paula Nelson, Mclemore Avenue). In March of 2015, Fingerpistol won the Austin Music Award for”Best Country Band” and in December 2015, after more than 10 years with the band Suzee Brooks retired as Fingerpistol girl singer and was replaced by Meg “Amarillo” Bodi, aesthetician and world-class karaoke host. Also joining the band in 2015 was drummer Andrew C. Gerfers, who began sharing duties with Jill Csekitz.
In 2016 Fingerpistol won their second consecutive Austin Music Award for Best Country Band. They can currently be seen every Tuesday at The Little Longhorn Saloon and at dancehalls and honkytonks around Central Texas and the Southwest.
Starting in 2005 the band began pre-production for their CD, Young and Beautiful. Initial tracks were recorded at Bruce Robison’s Premium Recording, with additional tracks being done at Boyland, Hardick’s own studio. Young and Beautiful features session guitar work by Landis Armstrong and steel and dobro tracks by Cindy Cashdollar.
Fingerpistol released “Stepped in it Again”, 15 tracks of Bakersfield-style honky-tonk in 2014. Anchored by the beautiful pedal steel work of country music legend Neil Flanz (Charlie Louvin, Gram Parsons, Joe Sun) “Stepped in it Again” features fun songs about drinking, dancing, loving, and heartache—plus a few tongue-in-cheek jabs at the genre itself like “Songs About Hank Williams” and “Country Music Made A Drinker Out of Me”, as well soon-to-be novelty hits like “Hipster Girls (Can’t Dance)”, “Queer for the Rodeo”, and “Truck Nuts,” the video for which was featured in a Vice Magazine article.
Not only is “Stepped in it Again” an adventurous departure from Fingerpistol’s Americana beginnings, six of the tracks feature lead vocals by girl singer Suzee Brooks, whose harmonies have long been part of Fingerpistol’s trademark sound. Rounding out the rest of the CD are 8 tracks with frontman/songwriter Dan Hardick on lead vocals, a duet, and even a traditional fiddle tune by guest artist Stephan Paetzold. All tracks feature interesting harmonies, smart lyrics, and the fantastic musicianship of Neil Flanz, guitarist Bill Terry, bassist Sam Wilson, and drummer Jill Csekitz. Grammy nominated engineer/producer Mark Hallman also adds accordion and piano on two of the songs as well as working the knobs with co-engineer Andre Moran. “Stepped in it Again” was recorded, mixed and mastered at The Congress House studio in Austin, Texas.
Currently the band is working on a new video album which it hopes to release in installments over the next few years,