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'Cornbread'By Cornbread

Omar and The Howlers – Muddy Springs Road
{2005 | Ruf Records}

The Texas-based bluesman, Kent “Omar” Dykes has re-released Muddy Springs Road (originally 1995).

Now resident of Houston, Omar is from McComb, Mississippi (as is Bo Diddley and Britney Spears). Omar started playing guitar at seven, has hanging out in juke joints at 12 and joined his first band at 13.

For this CD the Howlers are; Omar Dykes (vocals & guitar), Jerry 'Phareaux' Felton (bass), George Rains (drums), Gary Primich (harmonica), Nick Connolly (piano & organ), Bradley Kopp (acoustic guitar) and Mark Hallman (percussion).

Umm mm I love Texas Blues. These eleven original tracks are good, with my favorite being “Black Bottom” and “Life Without You”.

1. Muddy Springs Road – slow soulful blues with organ and harp about growin’ up in Mississippi “used to spend my days down across the tracks where the whiskey was white and the blues was black.”

2. Black Bottom – excellent song, raspy blues vocals, very cool bass. This song is on my iPod.

3. Midnight Ramblin’ Man
– it’s a combination of John Lee Hooker and Howlin’ Wolf feel to it, but even better.

4. Hoo Doo Ball
– kind of a Bo Diddley meets Howlin’ Wolf sound.

5. Life Is Just A Circle
– this tune is a southern swamp song that’s mighty pleasing.

6. Life Without You – while this song was released ten years prior, it could easily be a tribute to his wife, Lyn Dykes, who passed away at age 44 on December 13, 2004. It’s an excellent, excellent song, also added to my iPod. The slow guitar and rich, soulful guitar are great.

7. Exactly What I Thought She’d Do
– more country than the other tracks.

8. Everywhere I Go
– blues, blues, blues. An old-school traditional blues song.

9. Get Hip – a piano boogie, Johnnie Johnson like song.

10. Hurry, Hurry – both musically and vocally a gem of blues song that I found myself dancing in my chair too.

11. Dangerous Man – bit of a rockabilly swing with harmonica.

Also check out Omar’s newest release Boogie Man as well as Omar’s home on the web. Omar tours the world – make sure you see him when you can and add his CD’s to your collection. I look forward to getting them all.

Ciao' for now, peace.
Peter 'Cornbread' Cohen, CBP
~ Cornbread@STLBlues.net ~

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