Howly Slim

Howly Slim

BandFolk

Biography

Howly Slim came from Southern California and was swept up into the wave of surf music that hit there during the mid 60’s. He was displaced into the Sacramento area in a move by his parents and there the American River began to take the place of the Pacific Ocean as his sanctuary. Blues and Country music began to replace Surf Music at that point and writing songs and playing guitar began to be his passion at about the time he left home and headed for the Northwest. After saving money working in the woods, setting chokers for a logging company on the Olympic peninsula, he came back to California and bought his first ‘real’ guitar out of a pawn shop in Sacramento. A 1961 Martin D-18, which he still is married to today.

Heading back to the Northwest, and looking for work in a Portland newspaper, he found his Labor of Love, reforestation. The ad said, “Ardous labor in steep mountain terrain, bring raingear and rubber boots.” He managed to struggle through the breaking in period and get to the 1000 trees a day mark of the “professional’ treeplanter over the next few months, hangin out with the tramps and winos who at that time were the main workforce of the occupation, and were a rich source of inspiration, through misadventures and calamities of an unsober lifestyle. There was always something that seemed worth writing about in the skidrow flophouses and slopshoots where these sad clowns congregated and spent all their money on days off. They traveled all over Oregon, Idaho and Washington. They planted hundreds of acres on the slopes of Mt. St. Helens, both before and after she blew.

Howly got married after his third season of treeplanting and settled down to family life, becoming a reforestation contractor, on and off for the next dozen years. Writing songs all this time, his main focus became ‘bringin’ home the bacon’ and his music stayed on the back burner.

He moved to Maui in 1985 and became the glad Father of his 2nd and 3rd children during the next four years. He got a job managing a small Macadamia nut farm near Hana and his music continued to be a driving force. Two years ago the family came apart and Howly, but then long past his prime as far as the music biz goes, decided to take a stab at it, and came back to the mainland and has been living in his van ever since, traveling from LA, San Diego, to Austin, and ack trying to find some way to get a song out there. He made a CD during the last year on Maui, wih accompaniment of some fine local musicians there, and has relied on the selling of these and playing his all original sets anywhere and everywhere he gets the chance. He has written somewhere in the vicinity of 300 in the past 30 years and in his most optimistic state of mind, still believes he has a few million dollar songs in there somewhere.

While grovelilng in the open mic scene in LA, he met some respectable musicians who told him to check out Folk Alliance, and the conference near Sacramento this year. Being as that is still as close to what he might be able to call “home turf”, here is his effort. Any 3 songs on the CD would do, but I guess we will go with the most ‘folky’ of the 13 songs. He has currently recorded 12 more songs with David Blonski of Timeless Productions.com, Garden Valley, which hopefully might evolve into another CD.