Power-pop aficionado Kenny Howes is known for his ability to write concise, catchy songs, and his long-awaited new album Tornadoes Here and Past, has them in spades. It doesn’t hurt that The Smithereens‘ lead singer Pat DiNizio and The Church’s guitarist Marty Willson-Piper, make guest appearances on the album as well. Howes has a fine sense of melody and honed lyrical style that make for music that’s substantial yet instantly likeable.
Howes began his musical endeavors at the age of ten, and is not only an accomplished singer and guitarist, but also an avid songwriter. His love for The Beatles sparked a ferocity that led him to quickly become an experienced musician. By his teens, Howes was performing regularly with many local garage cover bands in a variety of styles, including punk, new wave, folk/acoustic, and rock/heavy metal.
In 1996, Howes and drummer Kelly Shane moved to the Atlanta, GA area, and began working on the CD Back To You Today! which was released in 1998. The disc’s cover art was an unintentional nod to Grand Funk Railroad’s “Pointing Finger” logo. Later Howes joined the psychedelic pop band Orange Hat (playing the Vox Continental organ), with whom he recorded the CD Pufferfish, than stabilized a line-up for his new group, Kenny Howes & the Yeah!, comprising Howes, Shane, guitarist Jason NeSmith (of Orange Hat, later of Casper and the Cookies) and bassist Kyle Harris (later of The Diamond Center). The group was a popular draw in both the Atlanta and Athens, GA indie rock scenes.
The combination of Howes’ Rickenbacker and Vox, and the way he voices his chords and harmonies gives him a sound that is uniquely his own. Kenny Howes’ first three albums — Nothing Wrong With That, Kenny Howes’ Second Album, and Back to You Today! — were some of the most talked-about releases of the mid-’90s power pop underground. Having written over six full-length discs over the last 10 years, this year (2013) marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Kenny Howes first EP, and rumor has it that a 20th Anniversary reissue campaign is being discussed. He has recently finished a summer tour opening for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, playing bass with The Smithereens.
His original band Kenny Howes & The Wow will be in Atlanta on September 29 as part of the International Pop Overthrow Festival.
For more info on Kenny Howes visit him on Facebook and http://kennyhowes.bandcamp.com