Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Little Village Foundation artist: Howell Devine - Howl - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Howl, from Howell Devine and it's quite cool. Recorded at the acclaimed Greaseland Studios by Kid Andersen, this release has a great old style yet current vibe. Opening with Sonny Boy Williamson's The Key, Joshua Howell on vocal, guitar and harp melds nicely with Pete Devine on drums and Joe Kyle Jr. on bass. With it's lumbering pace, the track has deep blues roots. RL Burnside's Going Down South develops a rumble with solid bass lines and super vocals by Howell. Kickin it up a notch, Howell drives his guitar hard without breaking Burnside's basic monumental style. Very nice. Sookie Sookie has that great Booker T feel complimented by Kid Andersen on organ but this track is really a showcase for Howell's harp work. Very cool. One of my favorite tracks on the release is original composition, Sirenic Woman with raw slide playing and tom tom heavy drums and exaggerated bass lines by Kyle. Excellent! a traditional cover of Robert Johnson's Come Into My Kitchen will always be a welcome addition to a rough and ready blues release and HD does a real nice job on this one with clean, under exaggerated vocals and real nice slide work. Very nice. Showing broader influences, The Meter's Funky Miracle is a cool break away from the traditional style blues but tight never the less. Andersen, Howell, Devine and Kyle trade riffs like kids with a ball giving the track a real playful feel. Solid. Blind Blake's Rope Stretching Blues is another really nice primitive style cover with particularly sensitive snare work by Devine, complimenting particularly clean guitar and vocals by Howell. Wrapping the release is original composition, PM Blues with solid strong tension on a traditional, SBW style theme. With the addition of Danny Brown on tenor sax and Fil Lorenz on bari sax this is a great closer with a wide open road for Howell's harp work. Very nice.

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