Interviews no image

Published on January 25th, 1996 | by Gerry Galipault

0

Omar and The Howlers keep up the blues

Time flies when you’re having a bluesy good time, and Omar Dykes should know. He formed the Howlers 20 years ago.

“It doesn’t seem that long ago,” the soul-bearing blues singer said recently from his Austin, Texas, home. “I still feel like I’m about 15 years old, but then I look in the mirror and scare myself.”

Even after all those years, it’s easy for Dykes to recount his first gig at a VFW post in his native Mississippi.

“A guy built like an Army tank walked in off stage,” Dykes said, laughing. “I saw him walk in and I knew he was drunk. He was staggering around and he kept looking at me with this mean look. I’m thinking, ‘Who is this guy?’

“He pulled me off stage and my bass player grabbed my guitar before I hit the floor. I got beaten up almost unconscious and then his girlfriend yells, ‘No, Foozy, that’s the wrong guy.’ I remember his name very well.

“Back then, we were dressed in black coats and white turtleneck shirts. The guy bloodied my nose and I had blood all over my white shirt. But it didn’t stop me from playing. The show went on.”

That tenacity has served Dykes well. As styles have come and gone, Omar and the Howlers have stayed tried and true to their blues and rock roots, from their glory days with Columbia Records in the ’80s (notably “Hard Times in the Land of Plenty”) to their new “World Wide Open” album, the group’s second for Watermelon Records.

Among other things, “World Wide Open” marks a new Howlers lineup. Tired of the road life, bassist Bruce Jones and drummer Gene Bradley quit and have been replaced by Paul Junior and Steve Kilmer.

“They’ve been with us for two years so they’re broken in real well,” Dykes said. “When the other guys left, both of these guys were recommended by different people who know how I play and what I was looking for, so there weren’t any auditions.”

One of the album’s most daring tracks is “Hey Joe,” a taut cover of the Leaves’ 1965 original.

“That was actually the version I played when I was 14 years old,” Dykes said. “The Leaves did it way before (Jimi) Hendrix it. All the garage bands played in Mississippi back in the ’60s, and that version has always stuck with me.”

BWF (before we forget): Omar and The Howlers’ album discography – “Big Leg Beat” (Amazing, 1980); “I Told You So” (Austin, 1984); “Hard Times in the Land of Plenty” (Columbia, 1987); “Wall of Pride” (1988); “Monkey Land” (Antone’s, 1990); “Blues Bag” (Bullseye Blues/Rounder, 1991); “Live at Paradiso” (1992); “Courts of Lulu” (1993); “Muddy Springs Road” (Watermelon, 1994); “World Wide Open” (1996).

Tags: ,


About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • BEST OF THE WEB

     

    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    April 9, 2021 » Taylor Swift, Cheap Trick, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, Merry Clayton, Fleetwood Mac, Parker Millsap, Peggy Seeger, Nick Waterhouse, Sweet Oblivion Feat. Geoff Tate, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Larry Coryell, Chris Cain, Frances, Vijay Iyer Trio, Jetty Bones, etc.

    April 16, 2021 » Paul McCartney, Eric Church, Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, NEEDTOBREATHE, Fitz, Escape the Fate, Engelbert Humperdinck, Saint Raymond, London Grammar, Andy Stott, Midland, Liquid Tension Experiment, Julia Stone, etc.

    April 23, 2021 » Tom Jones, Peter Frampton, Todd Snider, Dinosaur Jr., Sir Sly, Dumpstaphunk, Steve Cropper, Imelda May, Tracy Lawrence, The Immediate Family, Justin Moore, Pærish, etc.

    April 30, 2021 » Marianne Faithfull, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Thomas Rhett, Birdy, MercyMe, The Dropkick Murphys, Guided By Voices, Shovels & Rope, Teenage Fanclub, The Coral, Royal Blood, Róisín Murphy, Miloš Karadaglić, etc.

    More New Releases » May 7 and Beyond: Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Van Morrison, New Order, Nancy Wilson, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Aly & AJ, Travis Tritt, St. Vincent, Del Amitri, Paul Weller, Alan Jackson, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Blake Shelton, Olivia Rodrigo, twenty one pilots, Gary Numan, John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band, Mat Kearney, k.d. lang, Moby, Ashley McBryde, Texas, Shannon McNally, Rise Against, Black Veil Brides, Crowded House, Liz Phair, James, Tristen, Garbage, Wolf Alice, AFI, Cold Cave, Gary Kemp, Paul McCartney, Joshua Radin, Tom Odell, John Grant, Beartooth, Laura Mvula, The Wallflowers, Ida Mae, The Wandering Hearts, Maggie Rose, Candlebox, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 but yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: Pauseandplay.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love Pauseandplay.com? We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.




  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter