Howlin’ Alan is a singer songwriter who doesn’t believe in musical boundaries. Although his melodies often have a blues lean, he often refers to his melting pot creations as “Country Rock Americana Pop” (acronym not indicative).
Born and raised six hours away in Little Rock, Nashville has been home for well over twenty years. As a youngster, he was absorbed by the musical explosion of the 60’s and steeped in the rock of the 70’s as a teenager. “We (Boomers) were blessed to grow up during the greatest era of music in the history of the world”, says Howlin’. Years passed with ears wide open, in a constant search to find “the good stuff” in various genres and eras. Today’s personal playlists range from Hank Williams, Robert Johnson and George Gershwin to Alabama Shakes, Lucinda Williams and Frank Zappa.
He started playing harmonica and guitar at age 14 and piano soon after, later studying two years of advanced harmony in college, while playing solo gigs all around The Rock.
A few of his major influences are Bob Dylan, Rodney Crowell and Tom Petty (whose song titles largely comprise the lyrics of “Tom Petty and The Highway” from the Back to Plan A). Howlin’ Alan rarely mentions that he was greatly influenced by The Beatles, treating it as a no-brainer with, “Wasn’t everybody?” Ditto for Zeppelin.
Howlin’ Alan has a passion for writing songs with alternate tunings. DADGAD, Drop C, Drop D, cut capo. Open C, etc … In fact, his first LP release, Back to Plan A, contained only one song (“Everything”) in standard tuning. He blames all of this on Jimmy Page and a Led Zeppelin songbook a friend loaned him back in the day.
For years, Howlin’ Alan has continued quietly writing songs, sometimes with co-writers, always choosing quality over quantity and steadily building an impressive catalog for Howlin’ Alan Music Publishing (BMI). Other than 1996, when a large group of country music superstars recorded “In the Shade of The Family Tree” for the book Chicken Soup for The Country Soul, he has been secretively hoarding his songs.
What’s the sense in that? Well, before becoming a focused songwriter, Howlin’ Alan was a solo performer with guitar/harp/vocals doing lots of Dylan, Neil Young, The Beatles, Hank Williams, acoustic Zeppelin, John Prine, Jackson Browne and just a handful of originals. Now, as he returns to the stage, he wants to flip that formula, sharing Howlin’ Alan Music, while tossing in a few classic covers.
Operating under the assumption that, “a great song now will still be a great song in years to come”, he believed his time would arrive. He would have the opportunity to perform and record his songs himself. Fortunately, that time has come. With a fresh focus on sharing real life through his songs, Howlin’ Alan is back onstage. It is ALIVE! Come and see the show!