Musicprovides a voice for generations as well as an audio history of pop culture. Aschildren, we learned about life and love from the music our parents played. TheBeatles, Frank Sinatra and U2 rang through our houses, embedding harmonies andcatchy lyrics in our brains. Songs like “Ohio” by Crosby, Stills, Nashand Young, “Bloody Sunday” by U2, and “Bangladesh” by GeorgeHarrison preached the lessons and tragedies of war. Songs like”Yesterday” by The Beatles and “Alison” by Elvis Costelloexpressed the woes of love. Music can be powerful.
Like the musicalgeniuses before him, emerging artist Howie Day writes with raw emotion, talentand passionately layered lyrics. If his talent continues to dazzle audiences, heis sure to be the successor to the musical throne, superseding his owninspirations: Richard Ashcroft, Jeff Buckley and John Lennon.
A Mainenative, Howie Day has slowly but surely paved a path to the mainstream airwavesthrough years of indulging his emotions and investing his own pocket change.
In1999, cursed with the budget of a typical 18-year-old, Day periodically rentedstudio time in Boston and eventually financed “Australia.” This albumwas self-released on Daze Records and touring became Howie’s way of life. Heperformed constantly for three years, doing as many as 300 shows a year at smallbars and college campuses.
Howie’s devotion to his passion was embracedby thousands of these college students. He’s developed a strong following,perhaps due to his cover-boy good looks and the fact that teens easily relate tohis fresh-from-high-school lyrics. We know Howie understands the pains of highschool. While still in the dungeons of public high school, he skipped 45 days tomaintain a tedious touring schedule, resulting in an English teacher almostfailing him.
His talent is that of a singer/ songwriter mature farbeyond his 21 years, thus he appeals to older generations as well. Day has agenuine appreciation and understanding of musical innovators like The Beatles andhis grasp of the past secured his interpretation of The Beatles’ hit”Help” on the certified gold “I Am Sam” soundtrack.
Gradually, through word of mouth and the support of TV shows like”Dawson’s Creek,” “Real World” and “Passions,”Howie’s music has infected listeners. He gained a slot on the “MTV2:Handpicked” CD, continuous rotation on campus radio, and video rotation onMUCH Music.
Since its release, “Australia” has sold anastonishing 24,000 copies and picked up a major label (Epic), which re-releasedit and plans to market fresh material. Now Day is touring Europe with Tori Amos,expanding his musical influence and inspiration beyond America.
What thefuture holds for this ambitious musician depends on our generation. The powerlies with the public. Perhaps generations old and new will unite to sift throughthe mediocre radio fluff and find emotionally and harmonically stimulating musicin more significant artists like Howie Day.
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