Omar And The Howlers review October 17, 2012…

OMAR AND THE HOWLERS

FEATURING GARY PRIMICH

TOO MUCH IS NOT ENOUGH

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TOO MUCH–GOTTA LET YOU GO–HONEST I DO–I AIN’T GOT YOU–HIGH AND LONESOME–GOING TO NEW YORK–ROLL IN RHUMBA–TAKE OUT SOME INSURANCE–I’M GONNA MOVE TO THE OUTSKIRTS OF TOWN–I’M GONNA RUIN YOU–SHAME SHAME SHAME–YOU DON’T HAVE TO GO

 

In the liner notes for Omar and the Howlers’ latest album, there is a clever disclaimer from Omar, who lets us all know that, where tributes to Jimmy Reed are concerned, “Too Much Is Not Enough.”  And, we wholeheartedly agree!  Most fans are familiar with the highly-acclaimed “On The Jimmy Reed Highway” from a few years back, but this latest batch of twelve cuts fulfills Omar’s vision of having a Howlers  tribute album for Jimmy Reed that also sadly, includes the last recordings of harpman and good friend Gary Primich, and this set serves as a fitting farewell to this great musical genius.

 

“Too Much Is Not Enough” is every bit as good as the “Jimmy Reed Highway” set.  The songs that aren’t Jimmy’s originals are done in that loping, inimitable style, and Omar’s gravelly, Howlin-Wolf-ish delivery breathes life into all of ’em.  These songs are so well done that we halfway expected the voice of the immortal Hossman Allen to bust in at any time “from deep in the heart of Dixie” to sell some baby chicks, as these songs are reminiscent of Allen’s playlists from the glory days of WLAC, and of our youth.

 

Aside from Omar and Gary on this set, also featured are Derek O’Brien on guitar as wll as rising star Gary Clark, Jr., on harp and slide on a few cuts.  Every song is a classic, and Omar is in full stride on the vocals.  Gary adds the call-and-response harp to the leadoff “Too Much,” and blows some mean upper-register notes on “Going To New York” and “Honest I Do.”  Gary Clark, Jr., is a pleasant addition, on slide on “You Don’t Have To Go,” and “I Gotta Let you Go,” and on harp on “I Ain’t Got You” and the rather-obscure “I’m Gonna Ruin You.”  Favorites were impossible to pick, because everything is gold, but we loved the slow-drag of “High And Lonesome” and Omar’s good-timey plea to his lover to “Take Out Some Insurance on me baby!”

 

These cuts are raw, primal, and powerful, just the way Jimmy would’ve wanted.  And the talents of the musicians herein allow this great music to stand on its own merits.  Thanks, Omar, for sharing this one with all your fans, and for remembering Gary Primich so fondly.  Truly, “Too Much Is Not Enough.”   Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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One response to this post.

  1. Thank you, Sheryl and Don, for the kind words about Too Much! Omar is so glad you like the music and he really appreciates you guys a lot. Howlin’ Wolf is coming out next in early 2013!

    Reply

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