Event Details

Bourbon & Blues: HowellDevine (Oakland, CA)

Momo Sacramento Presents

Bourbon & Blues: HowellDevine (Oakland, CA)

Wed, August 22, 2018

Doors: 5:30 pm / Show: 6:30 pm

$8.00 - $28.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is all ages

"I love country blues and I also love 60s blues/jazz trios (like Jack McDuff) so they could be onto creating a great new sound combining the two approaches. I enjoyed every tune. "
-Charlie Musselwhite

"There is no blues band performing today as different as HowellDevine—nor as delightful."
-Lee Hildebrand, Living Blues

Music reviewers have had a delicious time with the name of this Bay Area-based blues trio ever since their first record came out in 2012. Their “divine howl” is official now with the Oct. 13 release of HOWL, their fourth album and debut release on renowned musician Jim Pugh’s (Robert Cray. Etta James, Tommy Castro) new label, Little Village Foundation.

"These days it’s crowded field of rock guitar-driven blues and there sits HowellDevine singularly offering a refreshing content-laden recording. The ease with which they play is a pleasant change from the relentless need by others to continuously display musical gymnastics. Easier said than done, they have done the near impossible, “ownership” of the idiom that they perform. Propulsive prowess is at play here: this is minimalist juke joint music with a groove so deep that you could grow giant heritage oaks in a year.”
--Jim Pugh, Little Village Foundation
"HowellDevine is more than pleased to sign with Jim Pugh's new label, Little Village Foundation,” say Pete Devine, co-founder, drummer, jug and washboard player. “As fellow players in blues, we love Jim’s wide appreciation of both country blues and the soul blues trios from the 60s. It's an honor to now be a part of the LVF family.”

Recorded at the mecca of blues production on the West Coast these days, Kid Andersen's Greaseland Studios in San Jose, the trio- Joshua Howell (guitar, harmonica, vocals), Pete Devine (drums, washboard, jug) and Joe Kyle, Jr. (upright bass) brought their raw and elegant rhythmic simpatico to a carefully selected repertoire of songs, just as they have in the past with their acclaimed albums on Arhoolie Records, Jumps, Boogies and Wobbles (2013) and Modern Sounds of Ancient Juju (2015), and their self-released debut, Delta Grooves (2012).

Some of their biggest heroes-- Sonny Boy Williamson, R.L. Burnside, Robert Johnson, Hound Dog Taylor and Blind Blake—have been introduced to their Gen X and Millennials audiences by way of these three friends:

Andrew Gilbert writes in his liner notes:

"Much like the iconic blues musicians who provided the bones and marrow for vast stretches of American music, you can’t keep HowellDevine down on the Delta when they feel the need to roam. The elemental Bay Area trio has distinguished itself over the past decade as a startlingly potent roots-based combo steeped in an array of sinewy shuffles and muscular grooves.

On 2012’s Delta Grooves (Sparta), 2013’s Jumps, Boogies, & Wobbles and 2014’s Modern Sounds of Ancient Juju (both on Arhoolie) HowellDevine dexterously paid homage to first generation bluesmen while expertly tailoring their material with an unapologetically contemporary sensibility. But the trio’s fourth album Howl finds the band ranging freely across the soul soundscape, recharging their mojo with an expansive array of material. They’re still tending the roots, like on the incantatory version of R.L. Burnside’s “Going Down South.” But they uncover a particularly rich and untapped corner of the weird, old America with “Boat's Up the River,” a tune that resides at the crossroads where country blues and bluegrass converge.

With Greaseland Studios’ mastermind Christoffer " Kid" Andersen sitting in on B-3, the band offers some early 1960s juke box funk with “Sookie Sookie,” an instrumental they picked up from jazz guitar great Grant Green. On the album’s most surprising track, Andersen returns to the organ for an irresistible take on The Meters’ “Funky Miracle” that transports a piece of foundational New Orleans R&B up the river. Each piece suggests new directions this band can roam, right up to the closing, saxophone-powered “P.M. Blues.” Like the blues itself, the musicians in HowellDevine remake every song they touch with a protean sound designed for celebration, lamentation and soul recalibration."

Andrew Gilbert covers music for the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News and other publications.
Venue Information:
Momo Sacramento
2708 J Street
Sacramento, CA, 95816