Omar And The HOWLERS – World Wide Open 1996

Omar And The HOWLERS – World Wide Open 1996

Blues

Long known for what founder Omar Kent Dykes called “big leg music,” Austin’s Howlers stick close to their frontman’s Mississippi roots. That makes for a body of work incorporating a Delta influence with contemporary smarts and a touch of backwoods hoodoo. Dykes grew up in McComb, home of Bo Diddley, whose heavy-bottomed sound imprinted Omar early on, as did fellow Mississippian Jimmy Reed. By age 12, Dykes had sniffed out McComb’s juke joints and was hanging around the local music store. In the early 1970s, he formed the first lineup of the Howlers, making their name around the Deep South. He had his eye on Austin, with its then-underground blues scene, and in 1976, he and the Howlers moved to Texas. Though the band’s hybrid of Texas and Delta blues didn’t garner them the crowds that flocked to see the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Paul Ray & the Cobras, they had loyal fans and in 1980, released their first album, Big Leg Beat. Tours of Europe found the act a huge draw, especially on the festival circuit, and their enormous popularity continues there. Over the years, the Howlers’ recordings have been excellent, yet Dykes yearned to return closer to his roots, so 2007 found him releasing a Jimmy Reed tribute, On the Jimmy Reed Highway, with kindred spirit Jimmie Vaughan. The two also taped an Austin City Limits episode together.
By Margaret Moser.
**
If you like electrified blues-rock with masculine rough vocals, I advise you to check out Omar & The Howlers. The fact is that this band sound very similar on their albums (with exception of “Swingland”), but I guess “World wide open” is their best effort. The music bare connection to Tony Joe White’s Swamp Blues style. The approach is raw but the songs usually have an attractive hook or melody. The only, or in fact the main problem is that music in this genre have a tendency to be very boring in the long run, but I believe Omar & The Howlers are better than others in avoiding this trap since their much more original
than say Walter Trout.
By  L. B. Ivarsson.
**
01. Mystery Walk 3:49
02. Hey Joe 3:37
03. Sugar Ditch 4:59
04. Mail Order Mojo 2:42
05. Got My Heart Set on You 2:56
06. Low Down Dirty Blues 4:26
07. Highway 49 4:25
08. Fire in the House 4:09
09. Red River 3:36
10. No More Cane 3:35
11. Enough Is Enough 3:38
12. World of Trouble 3:21
**


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