Hold Back The Dawn
IBMA 2022 Momentum Instrumentalist of the Year Nominee Anthony Howell from Mississippi is one of those versatile artists who can fulfill a variety of roles in a bluegrass setting. He released an independent recording in March 2023, which contains fourteen tracks. He plays all the instruments and wrote three instrumentals. If that isn’t enough, he also produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered the project, and contributed to the graphic design.
Howell has previous recordings with Alan Sibley (Magnolia Ramblers), as well as Williamson Branch. He now holds the banjo position with the Edgar Loudermilk Band.
Hold Back the Dawn is a fine recording, and Anthony enhances his work with several guests, including Zack Autry (Loudermilk band), Kevin and Kadence Williamson, Alan Sibley, Shawn Lane, and Robert Montgomery. In addition to his penned instrumentals and third part harmony vocals, Anthony steps up to handle the lead vocals on “Tis Sweet To Be Remembered.”
Other enjoyable covers include “Midnight On The Stormy Deep,” “When It’s Lamp Lighting Time In the Valley,” “Gold Watch and Chain,” and “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” Howell provides a place for his current employer, Edgar Loudermilk, to take the lead on “Mathew 24.” Howell also shines with his own style of picking lead guitar on his instrumental “Michael’s Prayer.” He drives the banjo on “Wilson County Breakdown” and features some unique mandolin and guitar work. You’ll hear a completely different style of banjo playing on the appropriately named intrumental “Serenity.”
Listeners will be hard pressed to find a weak spot on this recording, which reflects Anthony’s continued hard work during the COVID 19 period. You’ll want to see him performing in person after listening to this impressive recording from a young artist who has already matured into an all around solid performer and a true professional. Nice work Anthony!