Omar & the Howlers

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Omar & The Howlers
Origin Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
Genres Blues rock
Texas blues
Southern rock
Years active 1973–present
Labels Columbia Records, Provogue, Big Guitar Music
Associated acts Jimmie Vaughan
Website www.omarandthehowlers.com
Members Omar Kent Dykes, Bruce Jones, Wes Starr

Omar & the Howlers is a Texas based electric blues and blues rock band,[1] formed in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in 1973 by the blues guitarist and singer Omar Kent Dykes.[2] Three years later they moved to Austin, Texas.[2] The band has regularly toured European countries.[3][4][5]

Early years[edit]

Dykes grew up in McComb, Mississippi, began playing the guitar at age 12 and started his first band at 13. In his 20s, he gathered a group of musicians who started calling themselves 'the Howlers'.[2] They specialized in frat parties and were a party band, playing music that included both "R&B, R&R and even the occasional polka and western swing tune".[6] Dykes has said he remembers these days fondly. It was around this time that he started calling himself Omar and developed his penchant for the blues.

In 1976, the Howlers relocated to Austin, Texas,[2] at the time sporting a bustling music scene, home to such up-and-coming artists as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Johnson. After a year of gigging in Austin, the rest of the band quit, feeling that they were not cut out to play music full-time.[citation needed] As they headed back to Mississippi, Dykes stayed and kept the name. He worked out a new lineup, and recorded the debut album Big Leg Beat for Amazing Records in 1980, just after fellow Austin band The Fabulous Thunderbirds.[6] The record was a local hit and was followed by, I Told You So.

Success[edit]

It was not until 1987, however, when Dykes signed a recording contract with Columbia, that the band would succeed. That year saw the release of Hard Times in the Land of Plenty, that went on to sell in excess of 500,000 copies.[6] The band now consisted of Dykes singing and playing the guitar, Bruce Jones on bass and Wes Starr on drums. Dykes and this rhythm section has been playing together off and on for over 30 years.

Since then, Omar & the Howlers has released around twenty-five successful albums, both for Columbia, Provogue, Ruf Records, as well as their current record label, Big Guitar Music.

Band members[edit]

  • Omar Dykes - vocals, guitar
  • Bruce Jones - bass
  • Gene Brandon - drums (died, January 8, 2014)
  • Stephen Bruton - guitar (died, May 9,2009)
  • Paul Junior - bass
  • Steve Kilmer - drums
  • Mark Hallman - percussion
  • Gary Primich - harmonica (died, September 23, 2007)
  • Nick Connolly - organ
  • Wes Starr - drums
  • Barry Bihm - bass
  • Mike Buck - drums
  • Kaz Kazanoff - saxophone
  • Jason Crisp - bass
  • Ronnie James - bass
  • Barry "Frosty" Smith - drums
  • Jon Hahn - drums

Discography[edit]

  • Big Leg Beat (1980)
  • I Told You So (1984)
  • Hard Times in the Land of Plenty (1987)
  • Wall of Pride (1988)
  • Monkey Land (1990)
  • Live at the Paradiso (1992)
  • Courts of Lulu (1992)
  • Blues Bag (1992) - Omar solo
  • Muddy Springs Road (1995)
  • World Wide Open (1995)
  • Southern Style (1995)
  • Swingland (1998)
  • Live at the Opera House: Austin, Texas - August 30, 1987 (2000)
  • The Screamin' Cat (2000)
  • Big Delta (2001)
  • Boogie Man (2004)
  • Bamboozled: Live in Germany (2006)
  • Omar Kent Dykes and Jimmy Vaughan: On The Jimmy Reed Highway (2007)
  • Big Town Playboy - Omar Dykes with Friends (2009)
  • Essential Collection (2012)
  • Just a Little Bit More - Gary Primich with Omar Kent Dykes (2012)
  • I'm Gone (2012)
  • Too Much Is Not Enough (2012)
  • Runnin' With the Wolf (2013)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Du Noyer, Paul (2003). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music (1st ed.). Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing. p. 181. ISBN 1-904041-96-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. pp. 151–152. ISBN 1-85868-255-X. 
  3. ^ (Danish) "Forårsprogram 2005 – PÅSKEBAL - OMAR and the Howlers og TopNudge som opvarmning! Påskesøndag 27. marts"brovstmusik.dk (Retrieved on April 18, 2008)
  4. ^ (Norwegian) "Billetter igjen, men vær rask ute"Karmsund Avis (28.06.06) (Retrieved on April 18, 2008)
  5. ^ (Norwegian) "Omar topper bluesfestivalen"Østlandets Blad (31.05.2007) (Retrieved on April 18, 2008)
  6. ^ a b c Official homepage (Retrieved on 2008-04-18)

External links[edit]