Eliza Gilkyson to Release New CD on Howlin' Dog

September 28, 2021

Stay tuned for details about the January release and preorders!

Eliza Gilkyson’s latest release “Songs from the River Wind” is what she calls her “love letter to the Old West”-snapshots of the people and places, lives and loves lost and found over her years of wandering the West as a musical minstrel searching for her heart’s home.

Feeling the need to take a little break from the socio-political music she felt compelled to write for her last 6 releases, including her critically acclaimed political masterpiece "2020", and concurrent with the hair-raising 2020 election cycle and the haphazard handling of COVID19 in Texas, the twice Grammy-nominated artist moved her base from Austin to Taos and gathered together this collection of songs written over the past 40 years that chronicle her travels and memories of characters and events that birthed her enduring love affair with the West, culminating in her recent decision to relocate permanently to Taos, where she is sinking down deep roots at long last.

With a nod to her dad, folksinger Terry Gilkyson and his folk group “The Easy Riders”, who recorded original and traditional folk songs in the 50's with a distinctive western flavor, Eliza has joined forces with her old friend Don Richmond to produce the record as well as enlisting Don’s much loved Southwest band “the Rifters” to sing backup harmonies. “The ‘Rifters’ are like the twenty-first century version of the ‘Easy Riders’…my dad would have loved them, and to have them sing and play on this record with me is icing on the cake…it’s all part of bringing these disparate parts of myself together and bringing my past into my present as a songwriter and as a whole person. It has been a fruitful adventure for me.”

With cameos from Warren Hood on fiddle, Kym Warner on mandolin, and Michael Hearne on vocals, some old and new originals, some covers that fit the theme, and a few adaptations of several venerable old cowboy tunes, Don and Eliza went for the kind of Western/Folk sound that highlights her love of storytelling and true blue characters, her love of the rivers and the mountains, and her joyful return to the high desert plateau “at the foot of the Mountain” she now calls home.

The Irish poet George Moore said ‘a man travels the world over in search of what he needs  and returns home to find it.’ The same can be said for this woman, a wanderer who loved the road and the music life but who was always hoping to find her true home in the world. This record is the story of that quest, the lives and loves, the people and places in her beloved West, and the river of longing that brought her to the place where she could finally rest her bones and feel with certainty that she was home.”

Don Richmond Releases "All That I Hold Dear"

August 27, 2021

Howlin' Dog Records is proud to release HDR producer Don Richmond new double CD, “All That I Hold Dear”. It's available at the website here on either CD or digital downloads, and on all the usual streaming platforms and portals too.

The new CD focuses on a group of new songs Richmond wrote during the lockdown period of 2020, plus a few songs that have been collecting in the past few years. “When I put all these songs in a pile, there were just a few too many to really fit on one disc,” remarked Richmond. “So I decided to throw in a few earlier tunes that had never been released, as well as some new recordings of a few old favorites, and even a couple of instrumentals that I think folks will enjoy, to fill out the second disc,” he continued.

There's a wide range of material on the new double album, from love songs like “Love Me Like the Morning” and “Another Language” to landscape songs like “When Silence Speaks” to social explorations like “My Friend Who Disagrees With Me”, “Trying to Get This Right”, and “Do We Believe”. As usual with Don, there are many thoughtful explorations and realizations about all that life brings, like “Why Be So Sure”, “At the Beginning” and “Is This the Last Time”. And there's some tunes that are just fun, like “The Fact That You Are Here” and “It Was Just Like That Last Night”. There's also a new recording of Don's classic “Welcome”, the title cut from Tumbleweed's third album way back in the 80s, featuring his old Tumbleweed bandmates. The collection also includes his homage to Chuck Pyle, “A Tree Fell in the Forest”, and a co-write with his friends Chris and Deb Mitguard, “No Uniform”.

Co-producer Michael Hearne is featured prominently throughout the album, on both guitars and vocals. Other musical guests include Eliza Gilkyson on a lovely duet (“Why Be So Sure”), Taos's Jimmy Stadler on keyboards, Austin via Santa Fe drummer Paul Pearcy, Don's brother “Diamond” Jim Richmond on various instruments and vocals, brother Ed Richmond on vocals, pianist Matt Schildt, percussionist Creed de Avanzar, and vocalist Robin James. The Shinyribs “Shiny Soul Sisters” Kelley Mickwee and Alice Spencer even make an appearance on “It Was Just Like That Last Night”.

For those who don't know Don, he has been a professional performing musician for more than fifty years. He regularly performs and records on more than a dozen instruments including electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, violin, viola, dobro, pedal steel guitar, banjo, harmonica, accordion, trumpet and percussion and is an award-winning songwriter. He has now released 7 solo CDs, 4 other albums with the Colorado band Tumbleweed earlier in his career, 3 with the Taos, New Mexico based group Hired Hands, 6 with the New Mexico based group The Rifters, 2 as a duo with David Clemmer, and 2 with his older brothers as the Richmond Brothers. He is also the main producer and engineer here at Howlin' Dog, and has recorded and helped produce hundreds of other recordings by many local, regional, and national artists.

Mandy Rowden Launches Her "Parachute"

August 27, 2021

Parachute is the new album from Mandy Rowden, her fourth, and the second on the Howlin’ Dog Records label.

Mandy is a musical dynamo, who has not only followed her muse as a full-time singer-songwriter and bandleader, but also started the hugely successful Girl Guitar school of music, helping hundreds of other women to find their voice and expression through music.

All of her rich background of life and musical experience has come to full bloom in this tour de force latest release "Parachute", where she masterfully plays all the instruments (other than the bass and drums rhythm section) and covers all the vocals throughout the album, in arrangements that range from beautiful acoustic ballads to driving rockabilly to Beatle-esque layering of complex vocals and intertwined violin, guitar and keyboard textures. "With Parachute, Mandy has really stepped fully into her own place of power as a songwriter, co-producer, vocalist, instrumentalist and arranger, and as a force to be reckoned with in music overall", says Don Richmond of Howlin' Dog.

Michael Hearne Looks Forward to "Better Days"

August 24, 2021

“Better Days” is the new CD release from Michael Hearne, one of the originators of the “Southwestern Americana” sound that seems to float over his two homelands of the hill country of Texas and the mountains of northern New Mexico. His instantly recognizable “whiskey-velvet voice”, as friend Eliza Gilkyson describes it, combined
with his impeccable musical instincts, inspired songwriting, and instrumental virtuosity form as complete a musical assemblage as you will find in any country/folk/Americana artist today.

The song list for Better Days had been taking shape long before the multiple turmoils of 2020, and yet the music seems to be perfectly designed to guide us all back to a better place, and give good company on the journey. Opener “Except You” is a catchy good time tune, with the great steel and guitar work of Lloyd Maines, followed by the home-spun wisdom of “I’ll Choose Love”, in some ways the theme song of the whole collection. Michael has a great flat picking treatment of the Tim Hardin classic “Reason to Believe”, followed by Hearne’s humorous ode to “maturity” in “I’m a Senior.” Michael has sung friend Eliza Gilkyson’s great song about Elvis “Tennessee Road” for decades and includes his superb rendition here (with a guest vocal from Eliza), followed by the hope and promise of new love in “An Easy Thing to Do”. Like so many musicians, Michael was hit hard by the passing of John Prine and so wrote “A Song for John Prine”, a sweet tribute to his music, followed by the infectious good time “Uno Mas, Por Favor.” Michael and Austin-based vocalist Kelley Mickwee (Shinyribs, The Trishas) join together next for a fabulous take on the Boudeleaux  Bryant hit “Devoted to You”, followed by the wistful love song “Texas Snow”. The album closes with first the tender and hopeful warmth of “Better Days”, followed by Michael’s anthem to the planet, “Mother Nature”, co-written with Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines, who contributes several tracks to the beautiful tapestry of the arrangement.

“Better Days” is a gem of an album by a veteran artist at the top of his game. We’re thrilled with it, and we’re pretty sure you will be too!