Omar and the Howlers is a Blues band hailing from Austin, Texas. The band has existed for almost 30 years, and are from what I've gathered quite famous and popular. They've gained a pretty big audience in Europe.


It all started out back in the early 70's, in McComb, Mississippi. Kent Dykes, at an age of about 20 years, joined with a party band calling themselves the Howlers. The band wasn't yet a blues band, and played a good selection of different styles. In 1976, the band relocated to Austin, Texas, hoping to get a breakthrough. This didn't happen, though. After a year, enough band members had split and moved back home that the band was in tatters.

Kent, however, wasn't going to quit. Restyling the band Omar and the Howlers, after his own nickname, Omar Overtone (a name given to him for his tendency to let his guitar feed back while he made spontanous dancemoves), he gathered a new lineup and started playing the blues he had always wanted to. Luck would change for the Howlers.

That took many years, though, and probably a whole load of work. Omar and the Howlers released their first album, Big Leg Beat, in 1980, but didn't really break through until their next release, in 1984. The band were awarded the Austin band of the year award for the next two years, and followed the year after that with a new release, Hard Times in the Land of Plenty. From there on and forward, Omar and his Howlers has managed to release quality record upon quality record, between the time spent upon the road. And they spend a lot of time there, with about 150 shows a year, touring both America and Europe.


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 Paradisio (1992) Courts of Lulu (1992) Born on the Bayou (1992) (EP) World Wide Open (1995) Southern Style (1996) SwingLand (1998) Live at the Opera House (2000) The Screamin' Cat (2000) Big Delta (2001) Boogie Man (2003)

In addition, it's probably worth noting that 'Omar' Kent Dykes has released a couple of solo albums, and just this summer released On the Jimmy Reed Highway with Jimmie Vaughan.

The Rest

I'm not a big blues expert. Truth be told, Omar and the Howlers is the only blues band to be found in any quantity in my collection, though I belive this will be remedied in the future. The raw singing of Omar, and the bands electric blues, or blues-rock, or whatever, makes for a great soundtrack for just chilling, for having a good time. It makes me feel good. It almost makes me want to dance. And that's not common.

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