Texas rockin' blues never had a more prodigiously inventive proponent than Kent 'Omar' Dykes and his electric swampy blues and rock! With fourteen releases dotting the discography, Dykes and his power trio, The Howlers, have been kickin' the backside of the blues since 1980. His methane-powered blues growl is clearly powered with the blazing guitar slinging he dispenses at the same time.
Omar's spirited vocals and his electrically-charged axework are supported on this effort by its producers. Yes, the production chair is held by the rockin' pair of Malcolm 'Papa Mali' Melbourne (vocalist/axeman; Killer Bees) and B.E. 'Frosty' Smith (drummer; Steve Miller, Dr, John). They play in a huge way on the platter: Melbourne giving us dobro, slide, bass, baritone guitar, mandotar, and the B-3; and Smith shucking out the drumming, percussion, Fender Rhodes, and helping on the B-3.Howler drummer Rich Chilleri puts down the drumbeat on one track, and Paul Junior lends the Fender bass work on one cut also!
With hard rockin' leads and rhythms and a multi-layered instrumentation, Dykes and friends hone a sharp, yet intricate harmonic balance. A Louisiana shamanic flavor overlays all, like it was conjured from the depths of "The Snake Oil Doctor's" bag. Killer cuts like the lead-off : "When Sugar Cane Was King," "Bad Ol' Man," "Party Girl," and the title tune "The Screamin' Cat," make this another hit for Omar. Like the usual Texas grandiosity, Omar & The Howlers have come up big one more time!
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This review is copyright © 2001 by Mark A. Cole, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.