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Howlin Rain

Idioma disponible: inglés
Unapologetically influenced by the strong but easygoing grooves of West Coast '70s rock, Howlin Rain represented something of a change of pace for guitarist and singer Ethan Miller, who previously fronted the psychedelic noise rock ensemble Comets on Fire. Informed by classic rock of the 1960s and '70s, vintage prog rock, and the Grateful Dead, Howlin Rain has won a loyal audience for their powerfully trippy sound and the exploratory lyrical bent of Miller's songs. Howlin Rain made a splash with their second album, 2008's Magnificent Fiend, the group delivered the first in a trio of LPs intended to chart a creative arc with 2015's Mansion Songs, and completed the cycle with 2021's ambitious The Dharma Wheel. After the recording of Comets on Fire's final album, Avatar, in 2006, Miller was eager to explore the more melodic direction the group had begun pursuing, and with bassist Ian Gradek (who had known Miller since high school) and drummer John Moloney (a member of the like-minded band Sunburned Hand of the Man), he formed a new band, Howlin Rain. Since then, they have recorded sporadically with a constantly evolving lineup. Miller is also a member of Heron Oblivion, Feral Ohms, and the Odyssey Cult. The independent Birdman Records signed Howlin Rain and released their self-titled debut in 2006, while the band hit the road, touring as an opening act for Queens of the Stone Age, with guitarist Mike Jackson beefing up their lineup on-stage. After touring behind the group's album, Moloney returned to Sunburned Hand of the Man, and while writing material for the second Howlin Rain album, Miller assembled a new version of the band. Jackson joined Miller and Gradek as a full-time member, alongside new recruits Joel Robinow (ex-Drunk Horse) on keyboards, horns, guitar, and backing vocals; Eli Eckert (also of Drunk Horse) on guitar and bass; and Garrett Goddard (of Cuts and Colossal Yes) on drums. Rick Rubin, a noted fan of classic '70s rock, was impressed with the material for Howlin Rain's second album, and 2008's Magnificent Fiend was jointly released by Birdman and Rubin's American Recordings imprint. The band released the digital-only 12" "The Good Life" in 2010, followed by a limited vinyl release the following year. Also in 2010, Belle & Sebastian selected them to perform at the second Bowlie Weekender in the U.K. (produced and presented by All Tomorrow's Parties). Howlin Rain subsequently recorded their third full-length, The Russian Wilds, which was co-produced by the band and Tim Green and released by American Recordings/Birdman in early 2012. Concert recordings from the tour were later collected and released in 2014 as Live Rain. Miller had been working on a trilogy in the studio at the time of its release. The first part of that project, Mansion Songs, appeared in January of 2015. After incessant touring for the better part of two years, Miller assembled another incarnation of the band--Daniel Cervantes, bottleneck slide guitar; Jeff McElroy, bass and Justin Smith, drums--for the second installment in the Mansion Songs trilogy, The Alligator Bride. Recorded by Eric "King Riff" Bauer, the band cut everything live to tape in first or second takes with no overdubs. Their attempt was to capture the spirit and vibe of recordings such as the Grateful Dead's Europe '72, Mountain Bus' Sundance, and Free's 1969 classic Fire and Water. Miller categorized the sound of the record as "Neal Casady Rock," in honor of the inspiration of the unofficial patron saint of the Beat Generation writers. The Alligator Bride was issued in June of 2018 on Miller's Silver Current Records label. Between 2019 and 2021, the group brought out several archival releases as fans awaited the final installment of the Mansion Songs series. 2019's Under the Wheels: Live from the Coasts, Vol. 1 and 2020's Under the Wheels, Vol. 2 were both compiled from live recordings and other material captured on the road, 2020's Lost at Sea gathered rare and unreleased studio takes, and 2021's S/T Demos resurrected Miller's original cassette demos for the songs from the first Howlin Rain LP. In November 2021, the Mansion Songs trilogy was finally completed with the release of The Dharma Wheel.
© Mark Deming /TiVo
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