Powerpop fanzine Audities out of Austin, TX called Eric's music "equal parts Paul McCartney and Paul Simon backed by R.E.M. on a truly great Wings tune" and WXRT morning radio host Lin Brehmer praises the song "Thrill" as "a garage rock classic".
A musician for over 25 years Eric has played every gig imaginable, cutting his teeth in the dank clubs of Carbondale, Illinois at S.I.U. in his strictly original music band The Reform. From there he moved to Chicago to play solo acoustic "pass the hat" gigs at coffee houses, advancing to the sports pub and grille variety to full band gigs, playing his original material in renowned music venues like Chicago's Metro, Cubby Bear and Double Door. To pay his dues (and bills) over the years Eric has played any and every gig that came his way. He once played in the city subways for a while, but the Chicago police felt Eric was apparently overqualified for the underground gig. "I went down there with my act fully formed, belting out songs on an acoustic guitar with all the passion I could muster. The cops were like, 'there's another guy down the tunnel beating on a bucket just to survive. Get outta here'. "
Howell emerged from the subways in the mid 1990's with some self-produced demos to shop to record labels. But he soon decided shopping his songs to lables wasn't what it was cracked up to be. "Everywhere I looked, bands were getting eaten up and spit out by the labels that signed them. I decided that wasn't going to happen to me. No matter what. " He deliberately took his time making recordings that would eventually wind up on his own label (Soothing Throat Discs) and released 'Greatest Hitch! Vol One', a collection of twelve original melody driven songs that took fifteen years to produce. The album features ad hoc musicians Steve Gillis (drummer on Filter's platinum selling single "Take A Picture") Tony Kidonakis (horn arranger/sax player/The Redwalls), Chicago musical savant Casey McDonough and backbeat king Mike Zelenko (drummer in the 90's power pop trio Material Issue), all of whom helped bring Howell's fifteen year "Greatest Hitch" odyssey into sonic focus. Greatest Hitch VOL 2 is slated for release in 2012, with a new single released free online, every month, from now until the album's release.