Blues fans should start setting aside a few dollars now because beloved Texas bluesman Omar Kent Dykes is preparing to release the second Omar & the Howlers CD this year (third, if you include the band's career-spanning Essential Collection compilation)!
Following up on the June release of the Howlers' I'm Gone album - the band's first new studio disc in almost eight years - on October 16, 2012 Dykes' own Big Guitar Music label will release Too Much is not enough, a tribute album to the great Jimmy Reed featuring the late blues harmonica wizard Gary Primich. Now, I know that you're wondering, "but didn't Dykes already do a Jimmy Reed tribute?" Here's the story on that...Omar had wanted to record an album of Reed songs for 20 years, an idea that culminated in sessions a few years ago that pursued the singer and guitarist's original vision for the album, which was to feature a bunch of guest musicians performing on the time-tested songs.
When guitarist Jimmie Vaughan became involved with the project, however, the original album tracks were put on the backburner and the two artists subsequently recorded their own musical tribute, 2008's acclaimed On The Jimmy Reed Highway. The songs for Too Much is not enough were recorded first, though, and when pulling them out of the archive, Dykes thought about placing the songs on various Howlers' CDs, deciding instead to release them as a single album. Along with the Howlers, the album features the aforementioned Primich on harp as well as guitarists Gary Clark, Jr. (relatively unknown at the time) and Jay Moeller, from the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Dykes includes an important disclaimed in the album's liner notes, saying "...damn the torpedoes, Too Much is not enough is a completely different approach to Jimmy Reed. The common thread between the two releases is the incredible talent featured on the tracks. The most important reason to release these songs is they are the last recordings I did with my good friend Gary Primich. I believe these songs deserve to be shared and appreciated." Omar adds, I imagine with a sly grin, "if you think I've gone overboard with Jimmy Reed, just wait until I release my Howlin' Wolf and Bo Diddley material!"
Photo courtesy Big Guitar Music