Sound Advice: Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons with Wonky Tonk

Saturday • MOTR Pub

click to enlarge Angela Perley
Angela Perley

A friend of mine who is both a musician and a fellow journalist turned me onto Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons a few weeks ago. What turned his head around about the group was its live performance at the Huntington Music and Arts Festival that was held this past summer in West Virginia.

Once I gave Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons a listen, I was on board with the first song. Yep, they are from Columbus, Ohio, and I do admit to rooting for bands from the Buckeye State, wanting them to be successful. But I would be equally impressed with this group if they were from Banner Elk, N.C., or came up near the ancient unexplained ruins in Poverty Point, La.

Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons are a band on the rise. I can feel it in my bones and by the binaural sounds they make that fork their way onto my eardrums. At the heart of the group’s groove is the lead vocals and songwriting of Perley, brought to life by the lead guitar work of Chris Connor. Underneath the Howlin’ Moons’ sound and holding the rhythm are bassist Billy Zehnal and a network of Ohio-based drummers.

When I interviewed Perley last week, she said this of her band’s musical flavor: “We don’t really know what our sound is.” This is a good thing, because it means that Perley and the band are truly following their muse. They are fans of both Blues music (going back to Lead Belly) and AltCountry. Recently, however, their muse has taken them into the realm of ’60s and ’70s Psychedelic Rock, especially on their latest album, appropriately named Homemade Visions. The band doesn’t throw random strange noises into the mix to make it psychedelic, but instead lets the lyrical flow and atmospheric guitar work take you into a dreamy yet rockin’ place.




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