He releases his debut solo single “Don’t Be Sayin Goodbye” to radio this week, but have you ever met Howie Combrink?
Better yet, do you know who Howie Combrink is? You need to be into drummers to know that he’s played for some great local bands such as New Academics, Mel-Funktion, Gang of Instrumentals, Chili and Lime, Soil 7t7 and One Day Remains. Early in 2012, Howie joined multi-platinum selling band, Watershed, as their new drummer and two years later he still plays in the band, as well as performing as part of Craig Hinds’ solo line-up.
As the likes of Dave Grohl and Phil Collins have proven, some drummers can sing and write songs as well they play the drums. Thus the birth of Howie Combrink the soloist.
It was on his first trip to the Seychelles that Howie found his own sound. “I have been writing songs for many years but I just could not pinpoint what genre I wanted to do. Being on the island was such a life-changing experience. It totally inspired me to get writing on the acoustic guitar and played a part in me wanting my first album to have a bounce and a good feeling.”
The inspiration is evident on “Don’t Be Sayin Goodbye“, the first single from his forthcoming debut album “Eat It While It’s Hot”.
“Howie Combrink’s music combines a whole bunch of genres to make a super catchy debut single that plays over in your head, long after you’ve pressed stop” – Catherine Grenfell, 5FM
“As an accomplished drummer and guitarist, Combrink is no stranger to the SA music scene and his debut solo release is a seamlessly crafted, easy-going, folk-infused gem. ‘Don’t Be Sayin Goodbye’ smacks of a good, foot-tapping, Jack Johnson melody guaranteed to leave you with conjured imageries of long, open stretches of road.” – Tecla Ciolfi, texxandthecity.co.za
“Imagine a world where all things uncomplicated, wondfully engaging and easy to commit to exist. Then pop Howie Combrick’s bitter sweet love song “Don’t Be Sayin Goodbye” on, and all a sudden matters of the heart simply sound better. If you’re looking to make friends with benefits, Combrink’s upcoming debut disc offers sonic salvation, the kind which unravels with acoustic ease and aptitude.” – Jason Curtis
Have a listen and lose yourself in this Feel-Good debut single:
“Don’t Be Sayin Goodbye” SoundCloud link: https://soundcloud.com/howiecombrink/dont-be-sayin-goodbye-official
“Don’t Be Sayin Goodbye” Youtube Lyric video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgtTitBx7QE
Like Howie Combrink on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HowieCombrink
and follow him on Twitter @HowieCombrink
For any additional information and Interview enquiries, contact:
TEL: (+2711) 438 7000
Direct: (+2711) 438 7047
CELL: (+2783) 601 0487
About Howie Combrink – Biog:
Written by Diane Coetzer
Ask Howie Combrink to describe the music on his debut solo record, Eat It While It’s Hot, and he laughs.
“Acoustic funk reggae folk?” the multi-instrumentalist offers. You can tell that Combrink reaches for this wide-ranging description only when pressed because really, for him, it’s just music, the thing he’s loved doing since he began playing the drums as an eight-year-old kid.
But listen to the 10 songs on the album, released early in 2014, and you’ll not come up with better catch-all for Combrink’s long-awaited debut.
From the gently exhorting “Colours” (“we’ve got to change the world today”) to the uncomplicated love song “Don’t Be Saying Goodbye” and the irresistibly optimistic “Take It Easy”, Combrink effortlessly grabs from a range of genres to create a sound that’s distinctly his own.
The result is an album that – like much of say Jack Johnson’s output – is the perfect antidote for a bad day; the kind-of record you can slip into your car’s sound system after a crushingly awful day at the office and know everything will feel ok when you finally get home.
Which is not to say that Eat It While Its Hot is a throwaway pop record.
As you might expect from one of South Africa’s most accomplished and hard-working musicians, the production is world-class, serving Combrink’s mature songwriting with intuition and flair (he cites The John Butler Trio, Matt Corby, The Dave Matthews Band and Ben Howard as influences).
In fact, Combrink went all the way with Eat It While It’s Hot – producing, recording and playing all the instruments on the album during a stint at The Hit Lab, co-owned by Prime Circle’s Dale Schnettler.
“It was important for me to define my sound by myself and sit in studio alone and let my ears, emotions and thoughts go wild without any outside influence,” Combrink says of this 360-degree solo approach. But, like his free-ranging feel for genres and instruments, self-producing isn’t set in stone for the artist. “The next album I think I will approach a producer and see how it goes,” he says, looking ahead to the future of his solo career.
Until now, Combrink has been one of South African music’s best-kept insider secrets.
Since mastering the drums as a youngster and the guitar as a teenager, Combrink has played with many different bands, starting with Mel-Funktion and including Gang of Instrumentals, Chili and Lime, Soil 7t7 and One Day Remains. He was also a member of the SAMA-nominated The New Academics and still works with former member David Baudains. At the end of 2009 Combrink broadened his performing experience, playing drums and tuned percussion for several theatre shows including The Boys in the Photograph, Dreamgirls.
Early in 2012, Combrink joined multi-platinum selling band, Watershed – and two years later, he still works and plays in the band as well as performing as part of Craig Hinds’ solo line-up.
“I am still very much a part of Watershed,” confirms Combrink. “It’s an absolute honour to be a part of the band and the new album we are currently busy writing. Craig and the guys have been so supportive of this project, which I will release and tour while still being actively part of Watershed. In fact the album’s title came during a car trip to White River with Craig and James (Sunney). We were discussing songwriting and somehow that name popped up as an album title.”
Still, Eat It While it’s Hot is very much Combrink’s solo affair.
“It’s the voice of one person entirely,” he acknowledges. “I recorded and produced it myself so it’s literally an extension of me as a person and it shows a lot of who I am as a person and my personality. I believe many years of being a drummer backing all kinds of artists locally and now being a frontman is what gives this album a story and the emotion it has. It’s a touch out there but so worthwhile, knowing I have the opportunity to work as hard as I can to get it out there. I never want fans to feel like they have not being given the experience they deserve. It’s a happy album and hopefully it sparks all the right happy hormones in everybody that listens to it.”
It’s not surprising that there’s a carefree, happy, summery feel running through Eat It While Its Hot’s slate of songs: it was on his first trip to the Seychelles that Combrink found his own sound. “I have been writing songs for many years but I just could not pinpoint what genre I wanted to do. Being on the island was such a life-changing experience. It totally inspired me to get writing on the acoustic guitar and played a part in me wanting my first album to have a bounce and a good feeling.”
Whether it’s singing about South Africa (“Crazy Minds” and “Colours”) or affairs of the heart or even life, Combrink’s melodic material – his own brand of “acoustic funk reggae folk” – is absolutely all about good feelings. Check it out.