Frontman, songwriter and guitarist Ethan Miller first caught attention for his work in the Northern California-based psych rock band Comets on Fire. Originally, Howlin’ Rain started off in 2004 as a side project – the sort of side project in which he could experiment with sounds and musicians. In fact, at the time, Miller viewed it as a “very earthy, rootsy thing for fun,” and in a way it was the antithesis to the nihilism and bombast of his work with Comets on Fire.
The end result was a sound that was generally much more melodic and harmony based, and managed to bear a resemblance to 70s AM rock – i.e., Neil Young, Jackson Browne, etc. And during the recording of Howlin’ Rain’s sophomore effort, Miller received a phone call from Rick Rubin, who had wanted to sign Howlin’ Rain to American Recordings. There were shows with Queens of the Stone Age, The Black Crowes, Mudhoney and Roky Erikcson.
But with all of that success, Miller decided to seek out something different and as you’ll hear on “Wild Bush,” the latest single off the band’s forthcoming Mansion Songs, the material is damp and swampy, full of lament and regret mixed with hope and possibility. And as you’ll hear the song, it may remind you a bit of The Band, Neil Young and others – in fact, it has a similar ragged, bunch of folks jamming and vining off each other feel.