Howard Bomar - I, Who Have Nothing LP

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Howard Bomar - I, Who Have Nothing LP

Howard Bomar - I, Who Have Nothing LP (Sundazed/USA)

They Say:

Howard “Youngblood” Bomar’s long overdue debut album finally makes landfall!

Howard Bomar was a man who slipped through everybody’s fingers. But his artistry escapes that fate thanks to I, Who Have Nothing, the first full-length Bomar release! This collection features his early '60s 45 soul sides and largely unissued R&B recordings, including a cover of Prince's "Purple Rain." Mixing explosive renditions of familiar favorites with outtasite originals, Bomar's music makes you wonder why his music never surfaced in the first place.

Born in St. Louis on August 28, 1943, Bomar fell in love with the sounds of James Brown and Sam Cooke. When his mother got a job in Denver, she brought her teenage son west. Before long, he began making his name as a dynamic young performer who could shout like his pants were on fire or croon intensely enough to set someone else’s pants on fire.

Bomar’s talent can be heard on his rendition of “I’ll Be There,” a soul-soaked recasting of The Everly Brothers’ 1955 classic “Let It Be Me.” He also cut a surging, organ-fueled take on Junior Walker’s explosive R&B milestone “Shotgun,” and a version of “What Love Has Joined Together” that adds some serious hip-swinging potential to the Smokey Robinson/Bobby Rogers-penned ballad. Bomar brings both grit and grace to “I’m Gonna Love You,” a jumping, James Brown-indebted tune A-side he wrote with organist Al Moore.

Previously unheard recordings like a revamped “I Who Have Nothing,” the saucy soul-blues “She’s a 911,” and a transcendent take on Prince’s “Purple Rain” offer a glimpse of the lion’s later years. With the gravitas of maturity, Bomar could generate even more pathos than in his youth, even if the setting bore the sheen of a new digital era.

Jim Allen