By Martin Halo
Ethan Miller is a man that I have come to know and respect since first being turned onto his cosmic combustions back in 2006. He was fronting Comets On Fire, a Sub Pop musical gem. A native of Eureka, California and lurker of the Bay Area’s artistic network, Miller has come to bridge the 60s psychedelic gap.
Kicking up dirt with Emerald Triangle swagger, his music is soaked in vintage cool. Spacey, aggressive, loose, dirty, and sonically neurotic, he is a lone wolf conquistador of the coast.
It has always been an adventurous nature that forged Miller’s path through Six Organs of Admittance, Comets, and his most successful, a little side project by the name of, Howlin’ Rain. Musicians are characters, always fronting a persona, but in Miller’s case, his vibe is one of ease. He is one of the single most down to earth individuals you will ever meet, and that is just one compliment in a heavy bag when thinking about his craft.
“Its about making it to El Rey,” he says frequently. For those who missed their college refresher course in 50s crime novels, El Rey is the mythical refuge from the long arm of the law where gangsters would retreat to after they made their weight in gold. “It was a place where the women and wine flow free.”
If the last Howlin’ Rain LP (Columbia Records) didn’t lather your musical buds enough, there is hope for you. Search the Internet or the vinyl retail bin (good luck there) for Howlin’ Rain’s Wild Life EP.
Joined together in an improvisational jam session on a single evening in 2007, Miller alongside Ben Chasney from Comets and Ian Gradek and Joel Robinow who are still part of Howlin Rain, made a recording.
“Wild Life,” is an earth-based psychedelic take on the original Paul McCartney composition, and “Black Sangria” is a moment off the cuff telepathy.
“Wild Life” EP
Three Lobed Recordings
TheWaster.com | El Rey