FAME Review: Omar & the Howlers - Too Much is not Enough
Omar & the Howlers - Too Much is not Enough

Too Much is not Enough

Omar & the Howlers

Available from Amazon.com.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

Omar Kent Dykes, he of the thankfully long-lived Howlers, is at pains to make sure people understand he's a tad concerned that he might be overdosing us on Jimmy Reed materials just the leetlest bit. After all, he already released the homage On the Jimmy Reed Highway with Jimmie Vaughn, but, hellfire Jeeter, that was way back in '07, and that's practically forever ago! 'Sides, he needn't have worried, 'cause this new disc's title is exactly right: when it comes to Reed, Too Much is not Enough, not by several country miles.

Interestingly, to that premise, this material was actually recorded before Reed Highway and thus features the late Gary Prmich, one of Omar's favorite dudes, on dang near every cut, and that alone further ameliorates whatever qualms Dykes may have been feeling. Too, the cuts here are so simple, raw boned, and earthy while delivered with immense raw backwoods soul that even the mostly obstreperous will be forced to swallow nascent objections and order a beer 'n whiskey while cinching up the belt, snuggin' on the boots, and getting ready to boogie to I Ain't got You, a cross between Howling Wolf, Capt. Beefheart, and an amped-down ZZ Top. That trademark rough and wailing voice of Omar's just can't help but set up a dinosaur stomp at the back of the hall 'n yer gonna find yourself rootin' around like a razorback once High and Lonesome opens up into the middle eight (two sets, no less!—one of 'em closing the cut out).

The instrumental Roll in Rhumba yields a gold mine of Primich's primal harp playing, full bodied and unapologetic…and speaking of coming up from the Dark Ages, Dykes' intro scream to I'm Gonna Ruin Ya, Baby heralds a geyser of frustration and revenge. He lets loose more than once, sending shivers up the spine, so someone better hide that two-timing hoochy mama or thar's a-gonna be trouble! Of course no Reed trib is complete without Shame, Shame, Shame, a swingin' Robillardy version of which is offered here, so you can rest easy, Hezekiah, all is right in Heaven and Earth. And if'n Omar decides he wants to compile him up a third Reed 'do sometime in the near future, thet'll be jes' fine to these hungry ears. Too much is never enuff!

Track List:

  • Too Much (Oscar Boyd)
  • I Gotta Let You Go (Dykes / Callif)
  • Honest I Do (Reed / Eward)
  • I Ain't Got You (Calvin Carter)
  • High and Lonesome (Reed / Bracken)
  • Going to New York (Reed / Reed)
  • Roll in Rhumba (Jimmy Reed)
  • Take Out Some Insurance (Stone / Kinsey)
  • I'm Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town (Weldon / Jordan)
  • I'm Gonna Ruin You (Reed / Carter)
  • Shame, Shame, Shame (Jimmy Reed)
  • You Don't Have to Go (Jimmy Reed)

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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