The Spongetones

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The Spongetones
Origin Charlotte, North Carolina
Genres Power pop
Years active 1979-present
Labels Ripete Records,
Triapore Records,
Loaded Goat Records,
Black Vinyl,
Gadfly Records
Members Jamie Hoover,
Steve Stoeckel,
Rob Thorne,
Pat Walters
Past members Greg James

The Spongetones, formed in 1979, are an American power pop band from Charlotte, North Carolina. They formed from a desire to play Beatles and other 60's music they grew up with.[1]

Very much influenced by the British Invasion, the Spongetones carried on the musical genre through acclaimed original songwriting, jangle pop riffs, and lilting vocals of Beatlesque quality. In his 2007 book, Shake Some Action, John M. Borack rated the Beat and Torn album at number 25 of his Top 200 Power Pop Albums of all time, comparing the album to early Beatles and Searchers, calling the album "simply wonderful."[2] Rolling Stone gave Beat and Torn a 3-1/2 star review.

Band members[edit]

The following are the original and current members of The Spongetones:

  • Jamie Hoover (guitars, vocals, occasional bass and drums, songwriting) -- Hoover also has toured and recorded with Don Dixon and Marti Jones, the Smithereens, Graham Parker as a member of "The Small Clubs", and produced Americana artist Rebecca Rippy, as well as playing several instruments on both of her releases. He owns and operates a project studio in Charlotte, NC, called "Hooverama@Liquid Studios". Musician Bill Lloyd collaborates with Jamie Hoover via "through-the-mail writing".[1]. Hoover has produced (or co-produced) all the Spongetones' albums.
  • Steve Stoeckel (bass, ukulele, vocals, guitars, songwriting) -- Stoeckel was the band's original bassist. He quit the band in 1985 but rejoined in 1989 and is with the band today. He began playing professionally in the early 70’s before becoming a Spongetone. Stoeckel was instrumental in co-writing much of the band's original material and sang lead on a large number of their songs. He and Hoover continue to write and record under the name "Jamie and Steve".
  • Rob Thorne (drums, percussion ) Thorne was the original drummer and has been with the Spongetones for 33 years. He played his first professional gig at 12 years old (1956) with his father who was a trumpeter for the Les Brown Band of Renown.As a teenager Rob joined a band that toured the Chitlin' Circuit backing up all the well known soul artists of the day.He has played with almost every conceivable style music group and spent years doing studio work with many accomplished professional musicians of all genres of music which helped form his versatility.Rob currently performs with The Spongetones, award winning, singer, song writer, Chuck Johnson, (The Charly Horse) and "ace" Honky Tonker, from Austin, Texas, Wink Keziah and The Delux Motel.
  • Pat Walters (guitars, vocals and keyboards, songwriting) Walters began playing guitar at an early age; at 14 he was the lead guitarist on The Paragon's garage-rock classic single, “Abba”. Early bands include The Barons, The Paragons, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and Jeremiah (a band which also included future Wings drummer Denny Seiwell and session guitarist, Dave Spinosa, who played on McCartney's "Ram" LP).Pat was still a teenager when he was called on to play lead guitar on an early Aaron Neville single, “Mojo Hannah”. He's also played in bands backing such artists as Lesley Gore, Bobby Vee, Tommy Roe and others.


  • Greg James (bass, keyboards, backing vocals) -- James took over as the official Spongetones bassist during 1985 and 1986, when Stoeckel left the band for a time. This occurred between the releases of Torn Apart and Where-Ever-Land; . However, James maintained a working relationship with the band thereafter, playing a role in the creation of every Spongetones album from 1987 to 2005, either as a co-writer of original material, or as a session musician (or sometimes both).


The band cites the following influences: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark 5, The Animals, The Zombies, The Hollies, Manfred Mann, Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Searchers, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Yardbirds, The Byrds, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Who, and Spirit.[3]


  • "The Spongetones are aglow with a forward-thrusting musical abandon that recalls the glory days of many of the most familiar British Invasion front-liners, including the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five, the Zombies and the Who....But the SpongeTones' music has little of the rote, dogmatic obeisance of mere revivalism; instead, it sounds like the soundtrack to a party so good it could never happen in real life." - Rolling Stone, September 15, 1983
  • Chris Woodstra (Allmusic) called the Spongetones' albums "effortlessly catchy." Woodstra wrote that 1995's Textural Drone Thing was more subtle than the Spongetones' other albums.[4]
  • "The SpongeTones are without a doubt the finest example of pure, unadulterated Beatlesque joy to emanate from the indie pop underground." - Goldmine Magazine, November 2006.[5][6]


See the complete Spongetones discography, including foreign releases [7]


  • Beat Music (1982)[8]
  • Torn Apart (1984 - mini LP)
  • Where-Ever-Land (1987)
  • Oh Yeah! (1991)
  • Textural Drone Thing (1995)
  • Odd Fellows (2000)
  • Number 9 (2005)
  • Too Clever By Half (2008)
  • Scrambled Eggs (2009)


  • Welcome to Comboland: A Collection of Twelve Artists From North Carolina (1986), which also included songs by The Connells, The Othermothers and Fetchin' Bones[9]
  • Beat & Torn (1994) (compiles Beat Music and Torn Apart, + one bonus track)
  • Beat the Spongetones (2005) (compiles early demo recordings)
  • Mersey Christmas (2006) (compiles Christmas-themed fan-club releases)
  • Always Carry On: The Best of the Spongetones (2007)

Jamie Hoover solo[edit]

  • Coupons, Questions and Comments (1990)
  • Jamie Hoo-Ever (2004)
  • Lind Me Four (2006)
  • Most Loved Melodies (2006 - compilation)

Jamie Hoover and Steve Stoeckel ("Jamie and Steve[2]")[edit]

Jamie Hoover and Steve Stoeckel continue to work together, writing and recording new music.

  • English Afterthoughts [10] (2009)
  • The Next Big Thing [11] (2011)
  • Imaginary Cafe [12] (2013)

Jamie Hoover and Bill Lloyd[edit]

  • Paparazzi (2004)


  1. ^ "Spongetones Biography". Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  2. ^ Borack, John M. (2007). Shake Some Action. Not Lame. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-9797714-0-8. 
  3. ^ "Spongetones on Myspace". Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  4. ^ "The Spongetones Biography". Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  5. ^ "High Country Press". High Country Press. 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  6. ^ "Charlotte: The Spongetones on Saturday 12/27 - The Gaston Gazette". 2008-12-27. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  7. ^ "The Complete Spongetones Discography". Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  8. ^ "The Spongetones Biography". Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  9. ^ "Welcome to Comboland: A Collection of Twelve Artists From North Carolina by Various Artists (Compilation): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  10. ^ "Music - Jamie and Steve - Official Web Site". Jamie and Steve. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  11. ^ "Music - Jamie and Steve - Official Web Site". Jamie and Steve. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  12. ^ "Music - Jamie and Steve - Official Web Site". Jamie and Steve. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 


External links[edit]