Omar & The Howlers
Big Guitar Music
Omar and the Howlers I'm Gone is Omar's 50th anniversary CD and represents the first Omar & the Howlers release with all new material since his Boogie Man album in 2004. After working on his last two projects, On the Jimmy Reed Highway and Big Town Playboy, Omar was ready to return to the studio with Omar and Howlers to complete an original CD like none other in his career. As a result of playing music for 50 years, and being heavily influenced by genres like rockabilly, country, and blues, Omar Kent Dykes decided to release his new CD, which is a collection of music to commemorate his 50th year. He makes the statement "I wanted to put out a CD with everything I like on it. It includes rockabilly, country, and blues, which are genres of music that I grew up with." Joining him on the CD are Casper Rawls and Derek O'Brien on guitar, Wes Starr and Mike Buck on drums, and Bruce Jones and Ronnie James on bass.
I'm Gone opens with the heart pounding rockabilly title track "I'm Gone" with fretwork from Dykes and Casper Rawls matching legends like Scotty Moore and Brian Setzer complete with the raw vocals typical of Omar Kent Dykes. "All About The Money" is a tune that could be right from the Jimmy Reed songbook. For the Johnny Cash fans, the country western gem "Drunkard’s Paradise" will meet your needs. "Wild And Free" will keep you tapping your feet to that Bo Diddley beat reminiscent to a tune on Omar and The Howlers Muddy Springs Road. "Down To The Station," a typical guitar-driven Texas shuffle, featuring the Texas guitar veteran Derek O'brien, is instrumentally one the best cuts on the CD. Omar's superb solo guitar work is delivered on the instrumentals "Lone Star Blues" and "Omar's Boogie." Dyke's longing for the Lone Star State can be heard on the song "Goin' Back To Texas." The slow ballad "Let Me Hold You" will surprise Omar and The Howlers fans with something a little different for this blues based group. Omar returns to the rockabilly side once again with the tune "Move Up To Memphis." Dykes finishes the collection with a slow steady groove on the blues original "I'm Mad Again" and the swamp vocals synonymous with the name of Omar Kent Dykes. The final song "Take Me Back" is a recollection of going back to Mississippi with a perfect blend of all the influential music genres incorporated into one final tune.
This long awaited studio CD has something for everyone. Omar and his band take a trip down memory lane, capturing 50 years of musical experience that remains as the Omar Kent Dykes legacy. Hopefully this legacy will continue for years to come!
Reviewed by Rick Davis