BAND BIO- Established in Crabapple, Georgia, in the early 1990's, Cigar Store Indians have enjoyed widespread success with their unique take on American roots rock. Their career started in barbeque shacks, with songwriter Ben Friedman and his band spreading the gospel to anyone who would listen. Their endeavors paid off! Today, music fans come out in droves and shimmy their hips every time they take the stage. Nothing quite captures the essence of this band like their electrifying live performances. Four pals cranking out a sound that will kick the frown off a cop! Lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Ben Friedman joined forces with lead guitarist Jim 'Low Note' Lavender and bassist Keith Perissi to record their 1995 Landslide debut Cigar Store Indians. Their breakthrough came a few years later when the band toured with Squirrel Nut Zippers to support their 1998 Deep South release El Baille De La Cobra. Cigar Store Indians solidified their lineup with drummer Paul Barrie and went on to record their 2001 live disc Guest List on Overall Records. Over the years, Cigar Store Indians have blazed a trail that became their warpath, churning out such sizzling classics as 'Hot Rod Concerto', 'Heaven', 'Who 'Dat', 'Jailbait', 'Kisses in Vain', and 'Big Girl Blouse.' Drummer Paul Barrie sums it up best: 'It's totally infectious. When you see us in the clubs and see what we do...unless you're dead, it's hard not to move some part of your body.' In late 2003, lead guitarist Jim Lavender left the band to pursue family interests. Losing Lavender's signature rockabilly guitar riffs left Ben Friedman wondering if there could be a future without 'Low Note.' Feeling an urgency to keep moving, Cigar Store Indians decided to find out. The search for a new guitarist took them back to the town where it all began...Crabapple, Georgia. The answer was working at a local music store. Long time friend and axe man Jeff Sprayberry seemed like the perfect candidate for lead guitarist, and after several rehearsals with him, the guys in the band knew they'd found their man. Friedman's confidence beamed over the new hire, announcing, 'The icing on the cake has changed from Lavender to Sprayberry flavor!' Sprayberry's searing guitar style complements the back catalog, yet adds something new and exciting at the same time. Cigar Store Indians have traveled many miles on their long journey become a certified blip on the radar screen of rock and roll. Like life itself the road has been filled with many ups and downs. From tour vans breaking down to band members quitting, they've seen their share of good and bad times. Through it all, they stood tall and stared adversity straight in the face. With that in mind, it's only appropriate their latest release is titled Built of Stone. With the production help of Jeff Bakos and Rodney Mills, the band cranks out 11 tracks of pure rock and roll that satisfies the soul. On this effort the band has decided to spread their wings creatively. 'It's in the same vein as Rockpile, or The Replacements....it's more rock than billy,' says Friedman. While 'Hit Me' has a trucker groove to make you shake a leg, such tracks as 'Copy Cat Season' and 'Nothing Else Matters' take on more serious issues backed by a raucous guitar-driven sound. 'I just wanted to do what felt good and this damn thing feels good,' declares Friedman. Amen! Take an aspirin if your head hurts, take in a Cigar Store Indians show if your feelin' down. They possess the power to move you in ways you'd never imagine. It's a toe-tapping, foot-stomping, Waffle-House shuffling, cow-tipping good time. David McCorkle WRAL-TV Raleigh, North Carolina.