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HOWLIN RAIN

Howlin Rain

The Dharma Wheel

    Presenting Howlin Rain’s grand-scale new studio album: The Dharma Wheel, a six-track, 52-minute dive into a joyous fantasy realm. A sonic travelogue of prog funk, psychedelia, bygone West Coast jam music and watermelon rock. The triumph of a working band!

    Limited edition 45 RPM gatefold 2xLP audiophile pressing on 180g black or coloured vinyl.

    Over nearly 20 years, Howlin Rain may have become the quintessential independent American rock ’n roll band: a steam-spitting Hydra of cranked guitars, kicking asphalt dust through a kaleidoscoping travelogue of desert motels and dives, volleying forth transmissions of sci-fi poetry from the blacktop veins of this cracked and aching country.

    Now, in America 2021, capping these strangest and sorest of times, the band returns with The Dharma Wheel, a six-track, 52-minute dive into a joyous fantasy realm of exaggerated present.

    “I wanted The Dharma Wheel to be a portal from our everyday world, the one from which you stand on hard ground and hold the album in your hands and peer into the artwork, and into another universe,” says songwriter, guitarist and vocalist, Ethan Miller. “You enter into that universe with your eyes and ears and mind and take a ride through free-form meditation on these ideas — from big, fundamental concepts about our existence right down to the grease that rolls down the arm of a pulp novel killer as he eats a gas station hot dog in an old Dodge in an alleyway.”

    Lyrically, Miller has completed his evolution into a mushroom-plucking Whitman of the West, singing outlandish tales in a topographic blend of Humbead’s Revised Map of the World and an inverted U.S. where downtrodden bodhisattvas roam the back streets and moonless country roads.

    “Down in Florida swamps, run by nature’s law, standing in the water, Eden gone. Two men loading rifles, beasts making time, they shot a boy from an orange tree and watched the colored birds take flight, watch the colors as they soar and dive.” — ‘Under the Wheels.’

    The band, Jeff McElroy (bass, backing vocals), Justin Smith (drums/percussion, backing vocals) and Dan Cervantes (guitar, backing vocals), again sounds hardwired into Miller’s vision, building tracks that swagger and sway in response to his verse. Lending a hand this time around is the legendary Scarlet Rivera (Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue) on violin, and the endlessly inventive Adam MacDougall (Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Circles Around the Sun) on keys.

    Songs were shaped via the blast furnace of endless gigs, then recorded often mere hours after the band slipped the stage.

    “The captured sonic fact about this record is that it’s the sound of a band that rehearsed this material a lot and put a ton of work into its construction and was on the road a lot and recorded on days off in the tour schedule,” Miller says. “In some cases we were on stage on Saturday night playing these songs at quarter-to-2 in the morning and by Noon the next day we were sipping coffee in the studio playing them for the machine.”

    Rivera’s violin is the first sound heard as the album dawns on the instrumental “Prelude.” Soon, the band joins, twirling the theme into a psychedelicized awakening. “Don’t Let the Tears” brings the boogie, with MacDougall’s madcap synth work and wah-wah guitars showering 70’s glitter upon a parquet dance floor of the mind. “Under the Wheels” and “Rotoscope” center the album with taut, compositional epics populated by murdering drifters and fuzz pedal explosions. The blue hour comedown of “Annabelle” meditates upon the weariness of lost love, with Rivera again amping the heartache via her violin strings.

    “In the evening the trains go by, and shake the dust from dirty walls, sometimes I feel like a spider in an old mason jar, who threatens only convex light from down the hall. I’ve been lost to the world since the photos of the black hole, landed on my desktop screaming, perhaps the all and nothing all-in-one is just too much to take, for particles and matter that never found their way.” — ‘Annabelle’

    The record closes with the 16-minute title track, a multi-movement suite which cycles from Crazy Horse-meets-Traffic jams through colossal, mass-moving funk stomp, eventually cresting and washing into a sing-along gospel lament.

    The Dharma Wheel is an album of great depth, and one steeped in good vibes: a rich, glistening world of the ultra-vivid. As illustrated in Arik Roper’s cover art, the grand dharmachakra has been set in motion, churning off the California coast.

    “We were trying to build a world big enough that the imagination won’t go soft on you after just a few listens and where our love for this music, and music in general — along with a good dose of audacity — create a magic carpet ride through the world of The Dharma Wheel,” Miller continues. “In pursuing that I think we also managed to make a record that has a lot of joy in it: the joy of playing music, the joy of experiencing music, the joy of storytelling and poetry, the kind of singular joy and extended ecstatic moment that only a real ‘band’ can express in just that way.”

    And it’s this joy, this exuberance and dedication to the lines of cosmic expression — all centered in the exalted art of the everyday — that constructs the heart of the record. At its core, The Dharma Wheel is the triumph of a working band, a transmission from a never-paused before arriving for our strange, bruised, spectacular now.”

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Prelude
    2. Don’t Let The Tears
    3. Under The Wheels
    4. Rotoscope
    5. Annabelle
    6. Dharma Wheel

    Howlin Rain

    Alligator Bride

      On June 8, Oakland, California’s Howlin Rain return with The Alligator Bride, their fourth album of swampy, ragged, unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll. Led by Ethan Miller (co-founder of psych rockers Comets On Fire and Heron Oblivion), the band recorded the album with Eric “King Riff” Bauer at the Mansion in San Francisco, direct to tape, in one or two takes. It’s their first release on Silver Current Records, the artist-run label owned by Miller, and gleefully indebted to classic rock formations like the Grateful Dead’s Europe ‘72 and Free’s masterpiece of atmospheric, minimalist blues, 1969’s Fire And Water. “The guiding principle for The Alligator Bride was to create ‘Neal Cassady Rock,’” says Miller. “Which is to say, high energy, good-times adventure music, driving the hippie bus, shirtless and stoned, up for four days straight, and extremely fuzzy around the edges.” It’s a fitting vision for the band: torn between eras, fuzzed out but full of soul, an epic perspective on what’s come before and what lies ahead, woven into a cosmic tapestry of riffs, rhymes, and resonant frequencies.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Rainbow Trout
      2. Missouri
      3. Speed
      4. The Wild Boys
      5. Alligator Bride
      6. In The Evening
      7. Coming Down

      Howlin Rain

      Under The Wheels Vol. 2

        On Under The Wheels, Vol. 2, Howlin Rain’s trademark rock ’n’ roll bombast and intricately woven, extended improv passages swirl into a distinct form of storytelling, expressed through spiraling energy and a near constant flow of form and melody. As a companion to its Vol. 1 predecessor, this latest offering is also drawn from North American coastal tours in 2018 and 2019 that came in support of the band’s most recent studio album, The Alligator Bride. Curated by Howlin Rain founder Ethan Miller, it presents favorite song performances selected from different shows along the way.

        “The last time I saw Howlin’ Rain ignite a stage - at New York’s Brooklyn Bowl in the summer of 2018 - I could never have imagined the profound silence that surrounds me two years later. In a world without the sustenance and sacrament of live music, my long, loud memories from that night - Howlin’ Rain bringing The Alligator Bride to life in a rush of joy and cascading guitars - have been big medicine, keeping me sane and psychedelicized. Now there is a record from that tour to prove I wasn’t dreaming - and spread this band’s cleansing might until we can all meet again in true, electric communion.” - David Fricke (MOJO / Sirius XM Radio / Rolling Stone).

        TRACK LISTING

        1. Firefly Drone
        2. Rainbow Trout
        3. Calling Lightning Pt. 2
        4. Wild Boys
        5. Coliseum
        6. Alligator Bride

        Howlin Rain

        Under The Wheels: Live From The Coasts Vol.1

          Under The Wheels Vol 1 is the first in a new series of limited edition Howlin Rain live albums, intended to be a direct exchange / conversation with fans. A no-rules, anything goes series culled from multi-track live recordings made on the road. Volume 1, Live From The Coasts, leans heavily to the bands more expansive and improvisational side and is the first of a two-part curation of the band’s personal favorites of East Coast and West Coast performances in 2018-19 (Volume 2 and second Live From The Coasts LP due out in Fall 2019.)

          “My intention with the live series is to open a spigot between the fans and these captured live adventures and to leave it open as an ongoing conversation about our spiritual dance together.” - Ethan Miller. 

          TRACK LISTING

          1. To The Wind
          2. Missouri
          3. Death Prayer In Heaven's Orchard
          4. Goodbye Ruby
          5. Coming Down

          Howlin Rain

          Live Rain

            LIVE RAIN, the first-ever official live album by Howlin Rain, is released via Agitated Records.

            "A great rock guitarist needs a signature affectation. Ethan Miller's happens to be an abrupt upstrum that, combined with a backward stagger, probably makes him something of an onstage hazard to his bandmates. When he really gets into it, as he does with elemental regularity, the Howlin Rain leader resembles a spasmodic marionette under the influence of a power greater than himself - call it the power of rawk. With his long thinning hair and big black beard, Miller also sometimes resembles a defrocked rabbi on the run. And when he opens his mouth, the history of classic arena-rock vocals passes before your ears in a full-throated wail, embracing the combined spirits of Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Leslie West, Greg Rolie and the ghost of Freddy Mercury." - the Village Voice.

            Recorded live in various locations on the 2012 worldwide tour for The Russian Wilds, the live 2XLP features vintage Howlin Rain originals including "Roll On The Rusted Days," "Dancers At The End Of Time" and "Hung Out In The Rain" plus The Russian Wilds' "Phantom In The Valley" and an 11-minute plus version of "Self Made Man."

            Live Rain features the most honed and bombastic Howlin Rain line-up to date; songwriter Ethan Miller (lead vocals / guitars), Earthless' Isaiah Mitchell (guitars / backing vocals), Drunk Horse's Cyrus Comiskey (bass/ backing vocals) and Raj Ojha (drums).

            Live Rain was recorded by David Streit, mixed by Tim Green and produced by Ethan P. Miller.

            TRACK LISTING

            Side 1:
            Phantom In The Valley (8:45)
            Self Made Man (11:04)

            Side 2:
            Can't Satisfy Me Now (6:34)
            Beneath Wild Wings (4:19)
            Lord Have Mercy (7:50)

            Side 3:
            Hung Out In The Rain (6:07)
            Calling Lightning Pt 2 (8:16)
            Dancers At The End Of Time (5:53)

            Side 4:
            Roll On The Rusted Days (7:49)

            Howlin Rain

            Till The Morning Comes

              Limited edition tour only 7" for the upcoming Howlin Rain tour, a-side is a great cover of the Grateful Dead song "Till The Morning Comes", b-side is demo version of the album track "Collage", itself a cover of a classic James Gang track..

              1000 only being made, 500 clear blue vinyl, 500 clear vinyl...




              Howlin Rain

              The Russian Wilds

                Howlin Rain emerged in 2004 from the incendiary embers of San Francisco's underground noise-psych legends Comets on Fire. A rag-tag trio of soulful chooglin' and fuzz-box triumph, the band forged their own trails into the Cosmic California sound with their 2006 self-titled debut on Birdman Records. Within a year, just before the release of their second album, Magnificent Fiend, producer Rick Rubin signed them to his American Recordings label. Between 2006 and 2009, the group toured the US and Europe extensively with The Black Crowes, Queens of The Stone Age, Black Mountain and Mudhoney-not to mention legends and Howlin Rain faves Terry Reid and Roky Erickson. Under Rubin's guidance, The Russian Wilds took nearly three years to complete, and the long, strange trip is engrained in every moment of its 61-minute rock 'n' roll journey.

                Frontman Ethan Miller delivers literary-lyrical meditations on loss, sorrow and redemption above a dynamic din of deep grooves, soaring harmonies and blazing fuzz guitars, and the album's breadth and scope recalls great, sprawling albums of the late '60s and '70s like The Allmans' Live at the Fillmore East, Hendrix's Electric Ladyland, Santana's Lotus and Love's Forever Changes. At once bombastic and ethereal, The Russian Wilds stands on its own dark mountain in today's musical landscape.


                TRACK LISTING

                1. Self Made Man
                2. Phantom In The Valley
                3. Can't Satisfy Me Now
                4. Cherokee Werewolf
                5. Strange Thunder
                6. Plex Reception
                7. Dark Side
                8. Beneath Wild Wings
                9. Collage
                10. Walking Through Stone
                11. ...Still Walking, Still Stone


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