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Bloomington Record Store Finds Live Music Niche

Howlin Rain
Kristy Walker
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Howlin' Rain plays in Bloomington on Monday, July 16.

John Anderson has filled a record store niche in the Twin Cities with an eclectic mix of genres at Reverberation Vinyl, his store on Main Street across from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

Anderson focuses his store around psychedelic and underground rock, free-jazz, folk, international, and what he characterizes as "outsider music."

He also occasionally hosts live shows from some of those bands, including the San Francisco-based psychedelic, Blues-rock band Howlin' Rain, which plays the store Monday, July 16

“It’s a situation where I get lucky getting bands that are ‘above my station’ to put it mildly,” Anderson said self-effacingly. “They’re playing bigger venues in other cities and festivals, bands from abroad and things of that nature. That’s certainly the case for this show with Howlin’ Rain.”

Anderson recalls that it was “five or six years ago” that he first heard a Howlin’ Rain song.

“I think it was on a CD-R, it’s from their first album. The song is ‘Death Prayer in Heaven’s Orchard,’” said Anderson of the band he said has a sound that can be compared to mid to late 80s Crazy Horse (sans Neil Young) or even Grand Funk.

He was excited to learn the band was a project of Ethan Miller, who Anderson knew from other bands including Comets on Fire.

Hear Anderson play cuts and give background on the first and most recent album from Howlin’ Rain.

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Jon Norton is the audio director at WGLT and WCBU. He also is host of All Things Considered every weekday.