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 new label, Little Village Foundation.
“These days it’s a crowded field of rock guitar-driven blues and there sits Howell Devine 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,” says Little Village Foundations’s Jim Pugh.
“HowellDevine is more than pleased to sign with Jim Pugh’s new label, Little Village Foundation,” says 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 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).