The Sickstring Outlaws are a rugged country band based in the North County. “We have an aggressive sound,” says the band, “with story-telling vocals about real life, hard-working men, the day-to-day struggle with substance abuse, and some of our most favorite honky-tonk heroes...we don’t try to sugar-coat anything.”
Their album Johnny Drank Jack was nominated Best Local Recording at the 2013 San Diego Music Awards. Their second full-length album, Electric Moonshine, a tribute to Popcorn Sutton, was released in Autumn 2014.
Drew Gino Zollo left the band in late 2015, sparking an acrimonious exchange of accusations on Facebook and elsewhere. An animated video for "Sounds Like a Country Song To Me" was pulled from Youtube due to a dispute over who had paid for the production.
"I'll be heading into the studio this month to lay down vocals for an upcoming movie about a country singer call Buckshot: The Movie," reported Ron Houston in summer 2016, referencing the Enzo Pictures film which includes a Sickstring Outlaws original as well as Houston singing a song written by director Josh Smith.
In Autumn 2016, the band posted online that "The Sickstring Outlaws are excited to announce that we will be working with Liberty Call Distilling and producing our very own brand of moonshine called Electric Moonshine, which will be sold online, in stores, and at our shows."
As of 2019, the band included longtime members Rob Houston and David Berry backed by guitarist Jason Russell and drummer Jack Hoole.
In summer 2020, Ron Houston worked on a solo album, A Long Road Home, preceded by a single for "Take a Walk With Me" inspired by the George Floyd protests. That November, he battled COVID-19, which he said he believes he was exposed to at a gig. He was still recovering into early 2021.
Singer-guitarist Ron Houston released his first solo album, A Long Road Home, in summer 2021.