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Omar & The Howlers

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A gritty, veteran boogie-blues band from Texas, Omar and the Howlers have been delivering their soulful, original songs to dedicated fans in Europe and the U.S. South for more than a generation.

Austin, besides being the Texas state capital, is home to much of the best in American roots music. Since the 1970s, ballsy blues players, renegade country pickers, and raw-voiced rockers have mixed & matched their musical styles in Austin’s thriving club scene. And that’s where Kent “Omar” Dykes holds court too. And it’s also where he’s recorded his latest Ruf album, Boogie Man, working with some of his adopted hometown’s most famous songwriters and musicians.

He hails from McComb, Miss., a town with the curious distinction of being home turf for both Bo Diddley and Britney Spears. It’s well established that Omar started playing guitar at seven, took to hanging out in edge-of-town juke joints at 12, joined his first band at 13 – the next youngest player being 50 – and played the sort of music where somebody bustin’ a cap at somebody else was just added percussion.

He was still Kent Dykes in those days, but by the time he hit 20 he had hooked up with a crazy-assed party band, called the Howlers, who specialized in playing frat parties. Looking back, he says, “We had two saxophone players on baritone and tenor who wore Henry Kissinger masks. They were called the Kissinger brothers. Not on every song, mind you.

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