Barna Howard sounds like Bob Dylan. There, that’s out the way.
Now, this Portland-based singer-songwriter grew up in a number of –
Well, I mean, it’s not though, is it? You can’t just compare someone to Dylan and leave it to lie. It’s bugging me, so it must be bugging you. Let me try and elucidate: What I mean when I say that he sounds like Bob Dylan is that HE SOUNDS JUST LIKE BOB DYLAN. I don’t know how he’d feel about the comparison, given that his promo material lists Bert Jansch, Townes Van Zandt and Neil Young as his major influences and, sure, there’s shades of Young in his intonations and Van Zandt in the gently rolling style of his guitar playing (not sure about the Jansch, though) but you will always hear that slight nasal snarl, the muted delivery of poetic, personal lyrics and then YOU WILL HEAR BOB DYLAN.
Luckily, it’s not quite an impression – there’s enough of an unfamiliar accent in the vocals, enough individualistic beauty in the words to realise that this isn’t someone simply trading off of an image, some component piece of a legend. Actually, when you can, finally, remove yourself from the reality that BARNA HOWARD SOUNDS JUST LIKE BOB DYLAN, this is fucking excellent. Really, really good stripped back Americana stuff that should get you very excited about his forthcoming debut album (out on 21st February through Mama Bird Recording Company). Especially if you like Bob Dylan.