While traveling through Atlanta this summer, the little lady and I took in the Sonic Youth/Be Your Own Pet show at midtown’s Centerstage theatre. You can read about that here. Post-show we headed straight to The Drunken Unicorn for the aftershow. If memory serves there were three bands on the bill that night, but only one that left an impression. And a serious impression Howlin’ Rain did leave.

Fronted by Comets On Fire’s Ethan Miller, Howlin’ Rain came onto the stage and immediately brought the rock — heavy-like — think ’70s Crazyhorse cross-bred with Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys. With thick blues riffs crunching through the PA, I looked to my left and saw Pavement’s Mark Ibold dancing himself into a frenzy. Yes, this band live is the real deal.

Upon getting back home, I immediately emailed the folks at Birdman for a copy of the record. It’s here, and it doesn’t disappoint, bringing that same thick energy, only harnessing it a bit in the studio setting. If you’re down with ’70s dime-bag rock & roll you need to go see these guys live.

MP3: Howlin’ Rain :: In Sands & Dirt
Amazon: Howlin’ Rain – S/T
+ Howlin’ Rain available through eMusic’s 25 Free MP3 offer.

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