Howlin’ Rain: Soulful, Psychedelic, Arena-rock

Pilgrim Profiles: Your guide to the freshest faces in grass-roots music

By: Tim Newby

Band: Howlin’ Rain (Official Webpage)

Hometown: San Francisco, California

Members:  Ethan Miller  (vocals, guitar),  Jeff Mcelroy (bass), Dan Cervantes (guitar),  Justin Smith (drums)

Sounds Like: Smoking a joint as you speed down the highway with the windows open and the radio blasting your favorite rock station.

For Fans Of: Neil Young & Crazy Horse, The Black Keys, Chris Robinson Brotherhood

Bio:  Following the end of Howlin’ Rain’s tenure with Rick Rubin’s American Recordings, Ethan Miller regrouped with a new line-up and set out about resurrecting the band.   Howlin’ Rain was first formed in 2004, and was a one of a number of bands that prolific songwriter Miller fronted.  The band started seeing immediate success in their Bay Area home and were soon signed to Rubin’s American Recordings.  For Miller it was a an experience he says, “Altered the course of my life.”  He was on a major label, with a big name producer, and able to quit his day job.  But, the time of the band’s signing was at a time that Miller calls, “the crumbling of the cliffs on the old major label industry paradigm.”  The relationship produced one album, 2012’s The Russian Wilds..  It was an album that failed to capture the true essence of Howlin’ Rain.  After leaving American Recordings, the band released a live album, Live Rain that served as an exorcism and found the band rediscovering their roots.  Since then the band has rediscovered their soulful, psychedelic, arena-rock sound and crafted two albums 2015’s Mansion Songs and their latest 2018’s The Alligator Bride, signaling a rebirth for Howlin’ Rain.

Albums:   Howlin’ Rain (2006), Magnificent Fiend (2008), Wild Life EP (2008), The Good Life EP (2010), The Russian Wilds (2012), Live Rain (2014), Mansion Songs (2015), The Alligator Bride (2018)

Key Tracks:

What They Do Live: