Howlin’ Blues is an established 5 piece Eastbourne (East Sussex) based band having got together in 2009 and performed somewhere in the region of 300 gigs up to mid 2015.

Whilst blues is their preferred thing, they have a broader repertoire including songs by Etta James, B B King, Peter Green, Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, Otis Reading, Bill Withers, Van Morrison, Amy Winehouse and more.

Howlin’ initially sought to play their music of Blues, Soul and Light Rock to local audiences, but their popularity over the years, has taken them as far as Ireland and India. They enjoy performing at pubs, parties, festivals/fetes, regattas, beer festivals and weddings plus the odd charity event for worthy causes.

They are well known for their high spirited, high energy performances with the occasional bit of banter to get audiences involved. They pride themselves on return invitations to almost all venues played.

They can adapt to the mood of any occasion to provide music for fast and slow dances with the aim of keeping the ‘party’ alive. Alternatively, they can entertain audiences wishing to sit and listen to the soulful musical vocals/harmonies expressed with extreme emotion.

Howlin’ differs to other five piece bands by offering variety in their instrumental line up. This consists of the two lively guitarist/singers; Dave Dowling on rhythm and slide guitar and harmonica & Mike Smith on rhythm and lead guitar.  Dave & Mike are supported by the energetic back line rhythm section with the low notes coming from Stewart Grimes on bass guitar and upright bass & the energy driven drumming of James Asher. Completing the line up with her beautiful soulful vocals is Denise Roberts so all in all, you have the magical chemistry of ‘Howlin Blues.’

This is a must see band, so don’t miss out and go to the ‘Gig’ page for upcoming events.

‘Get Your kicks on Route 22’ !!


As with most bands, changes are inevitable and Howlin’ experienced changes in early 2018 initially with the departure of Stuart Grimes, a founder member, who was replaced by Steve Roberts on Bass Guitar.

Steve was formerly a founder member along with Mike Smith of the original Blues Kings with Tony Bell on Guitar/Vocals and Ron McMillan on drums. Subsequently, the opportunity to add keyboards to the band played by the very talented Adrian Smith (No Relation to Mike ) who was a former member of Fifth Avenue which disbanded following the sad loss of their drummer Pete Billings who was also a ‘Dep’ drummer for Howlin’ along with Terry Mabey and James Chapman.  The addition of Adrian, has enabled the band to expand it’s repertoire beyond Blues into light Rock, Rock & Roll, etc., and we are now able to support a number of alternative events such as parties weddings etc.,

A further blow to the band was with the subsequent departure of the fabulous Denise Roberts who was forced to retire from singing on health grounds. Although we had to review and adjust our song list,  it has also demonstrated the strength of the band by not replacing Denise but by sharing vocals and harmonies between Dave and Mike and near doubling our Song List.


With the imminent departure of Dave Dowling due to his intended proposal to emigrate to France and the resignation of drummer James to follow a different path in music, the band has replaced James with Terry Mabey formerly with the Southern Blues Kings and the band has been joined by Linda Francis, a professional singer and former actress  with the many years of singing experience.

With the addition of Linda, the band are in the process of significantly changing their repertoire moving gradually away from Blues but more towards Soul, Motown and well known 50’s and 60’s songs and beyond.