REVIEW: Tomas Doncker Band – Howlin’ Wolf EP


Artist: Tomas Doncker Band
Album: Howlin’ Wolf EP
Genre: Blues Rock, Global Soul

When my dad was 13 years old, he tried to run away from home and hitchhike to New York. It was the Summer of ’69, destination Woodstock. My grandmother caught him, however, and he never made it to the iconic three-day (actually four-day) event.

I was recently given this Howlin’ Wolf EP by Brooklyn, NY’s Tomas Doncker Band which consists of music that will help shape the score of a show called Diablo Love that re-imagines songs made famous by American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, Howlin’ Wolf. I feel that if I didn’t know any better, these six tracks would have been ones that my father was trekking across the country as a child to see and hear live.

The EP opens with a Hendrix-esque vibe in “Spoonful” (the effort’s strongest track), before breaking into a soulful, full barrage of instrumentation consisting of harmonica, drums, and more. Donckers bluesy vocals, much like that of John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters, really bring the vibe together in a full, cohesive effort. This rings true throughout Howlin’ Wolf as Doncker’s vocals meld perfectly with the impressive instrumentation from David Barnes (Harmonica), Nick Rolfe (Organ,Keyboards), James Dellatacoma (Guitar), Josh David (Bass), and Damon Duewhite (Drums), while nearly all of those musicians contribute vocals as well.

Apart from the brief intermission, “Blind Melon Morpheus (missed the train),” which kind of interrupts the flow of the EP, Howlin’ Wolf is an impressively soulful and fun effort with five great jams for any that are into bluesy rock and similar sub-genres. Doncker has been involved with the music scene for over 20 years so by now he knows exactly what he’s doing and exactly what he wants to create. He has his sound on lock and it shows.

Quick distraction that just caught my eye — Apart from this EP being an ode to the late Howlin’ Wolf, I can’t help but notice that there may be some form of inspiration derived from The Black Keys’ Brothers album as there is a track entitled “Howlin’ For You” on it and the cover art is similarly specific in stating what the album is. This could of course be a pure coincidence involving two blues rock bands.


SCORE: 7.5/10
Review written by: Brian Lion – Follow him on Twitter

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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