Omar & the Howlers
I'm Gone (Big Guitar Music)
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., Sept. 7, 2012
Omar & the HowlersI'm Gone (Big Guitar Music)
When Omar Dykes moved to Austin in the Seventies, he imported the earthy grit and Delta hoodoo of his home state Mississippi, qualities distinguishing his sound from Lone Star contemporaries like the Fabulous Thunderbirds and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble. I'm Gone celebrates a half-century since Dykes starting playing music as a boy in McComb, Miss., and true to his roots, the music still reflects the influence of Magnolia State bluesmen including Robert Johnson ("All About the Money"), John Lee Hooker ("I'm Mad Again"), Elmore James ("Down to the Station"), Jimmy Reed ("Move Up to Memphis"), and McComb native Bo Diddley ("Wild and Free"). There's even a nod to Elvis' Sun sound on "Take Me Back." With help from seasoned Austin veterans like Derek O'Brien, Casper Rawls, and Mike Buck, Omar gives blues lovers some real comfort food.