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new music from Howie Epstein!

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Looks like Howie's brother unearthed some tapes of Howie from back in the day and is releasing a volume two of Howies music on Amazon. 



article posted below.


Late Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers bassist Howie Epstein's early songs emerge on new album

Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal SentinelPublished 6:01 a.m. CT Aug. 27, 2019 | Updated 7:32 a.m. CT Aug. 27, 2019

Milwaukee native Howie Epstein, left, pictured here with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in a 1983 press photo, played bass for the band for 20 years. Epstein, who died in 2003, is celebrated on a new album of '70s demos, "The Music of Howie Epstein Vol. 2," released by his brother Craig. (Photo: Aaron Rapoport)

Before he recorded albums with Tom Petty as bassist for the Heartbreakers, the late Howie Epstein was making songs in Milwaukee, songs that have never been heard — until now. 

Buried in boxes and unheard for decades, recordings Epstein made in the 1970s before his Heartbreakers days have been unearthed for "The Music of Howie Epstein Vol. 2," a new album available on Amazon and CD Baby. The album was released by Epstein's younger brother, Craig. 

"It was a pleasure for me to do this, out of the sadness," Craig said.

Howie Epstein died in 2003 from a heroin overdose, a year after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"When Howie passed away, my children were still all living at home, and I would never listen to his songs with my kids around. I just didn't want them to see their dad get choked up," Craig said. "Hearing his music was a way to mourn. It made me feel happy and sad at the same time."

Fans likely will have those same reactions.

The album validates how Epstein earned the right to play by Petty's side for 20 years, and illustrates the diversity of his talents, as a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. The songs range from the toe-tapping, swooning power pop of "Everything That I Want" — recorded in his Fox Point home in 1973, the same year he graduated from Nicolet High School — to the tender "Becomes a Memory," a listen more bittersweet in light of Epstein's death. 

Among the many bands Howie Epstein (left) performed with in Milwaukee in the '70s was the Winks, pictured here in a 1975 press photo.

Among the many bands Howie Epstein (left) performed with in Milwaukee in the '70s was the Winks, pictured here in a 1975 press photo. (Photo: Erwin Gebhard / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)


Unlike the stripped-down and acoustic "Vol. 1" collection Craig released in 2010, the demos on "Vol. 2" are full band arrangements, recorded between 1973 and '77, when Howie was trying to land a recording contract. There also are covers of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb" and "I Wanna Be Your Man," the Dave Clark Five's "Glad All Over" and Gerry and the Pacemakers' "I Like It," all recorded with the Craze, Howie's last Milwaukee band. 

"He was playing guitar from the time he was 5 years old," Craig said, inspired by their father, Sam, who managed some local bands. "I remember watching the Beatles on 'Ed Sullivan' on my grandmother's TV upstairs with him, and he was in a band the following week. He was 9 years old."

When their father died, Howie, then 14, became even more passionate about music, Craig said. He was in a variety of local bands in the '70s, including punk group Forearm Smash and the Winks, and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for two years before heading to Los Angeles, where he successfully auditioned to be in John Hiatt's touring band.

Epstein also briefly toured with Leslie West's rock band Mountain and toured and recorded with Del Shannon, producing one of his last albums, before Petty recruited him for the Heartbreakers in '82. 

He appeared on six Heartbreakers albums — from 1982's "Long After Dark" to 1999's "Echo" — and his bass and backing vocals can be heard on such song staples as "Learning to Fly" and "You Got Lucky." He recorded two Petty solo albums, and with Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks and Warren Zevon, in the '80s, and got a Grammy producing John Prine's 1991 comeback album "The Missing Years." He also produced the follow-up, "Lost Dogs and Mixed Blessings," released in 1995, and produced two albums for one-time girlfriend Carlene Carter.

"He took two years out of his life and dedicated his undivided attention to the making of two of my records," Prine told Rolling Stone in 2003. "Those records changed my life thanks to Howie."

But Epstein struggled with drug addiction in the later years of his life, and was replaced by original Heartbreakers bassist Ron Blair two months after the Rock Hall induction. Epstein died the following February. He was 47.

"He was all you could ask for in a good friend," Heartbreakers drummer Stan Lynch told the Journal Sentinel in 2003. Along with Benmont Tench, he attended Epstein's funeral in Milwaukee.

"Tom Petty was lucky to have him," Lynch said. "He really was."



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Sounds much better than Volume 1 seeing as they have an actual band with it. However, if it's not the long awaited planned solo Howie album: I Go On Living, I'm not interested. That album which they use to have on MySpace back in the day songs for it like, "I Go On Living", "She's Still Fooling", and "When I Paint My Masterpiece" were great songs and I still eagerly await them to get officially released. If anyone actually has them booted here, feel free to share lol

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On September 3, 2019 at 3:19 AM, Shelter said:

Also here:

Wow what a voice! Sounds like a frontman's voice.

Didn't listen to all of it but from what I heard, musically it's all right, not really my cup o' tea but some of it seems like pop-song hit singles. Sounds like a mix of the 60s, Beach Boys and Buddy Holly. Close To You sounds like it would have girls dancing to it around the country.

Rest in peace Mr. Epstein. 

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