Guitar hero: Portugal. The Man’s Eric Howk is a rock star with a cause

Guitarist Eric Howk, who grew up in Wasilla, was sunbathing earlier than a present at The Orange Peel in North Carolina, when a fan of his band Portugal. The Man noticed him and began shouting.

“A center-aged gentleman was leaning out the window of a minivan yelling a request to me for the present tonight. He needed us to play ‘Youngsters,’ ” Howk, 36, stated by way of telephone from Asheville, North Carolina. “I do not know if we’ll get to that. I am going to put within the hat. I am going to make a mild suggestion.”

Howk has develop into more and more recognizable since Alaska-rooted indie rock band Portugal. The Man scored a worldwide hit this yr with their nouveau social protest music “Really feel It Nonetheless.”

Hailed by Hoda Kotb on nationwide TV, co-opted for Vitamin Water and iPad commercials, and just lately carried out by the band on “Conan” and “Jimmy Fallon,” the licensed gold single has reworked the band from a cult favourite to a serious musical drive.

Portugal.The Man guitarist Eric Howk had an accident 10 years in the past that made him paraplegic. Howk simply recorded a PSA for the Nationwide Telecommuting Institute, a corporation that helps People with disabilities discover employment. (Courtesy Maclay Heriot)

“The band has made some noise prior to now however by no means had a track that obtained as far-flung as ‘Really feel it Nonetheless.’ It is simply taken on a lifetime of its personal in a very cool means,” stated Howk, who at present lives in Seattle. “I could not ask for a greater group of buddies to do that with. I’ve received two guys within the band that I grew up with. You possibly can’t invent that kind of familiarity. We’re all going by means of this insane type of second collectively collectively and doing our greatest to maintain one another in examine and maintain perspective.”

The 2 guys to whom Howk refers are Portugal co-founders and fellow Wasillians John Gourley (guitar and lead vocals) and Zach Carothers (bass), who shaped the band in Wasilla in 2004.

The band, which is now based mostly in Portland, Oregon, and has launched eight studio albums, has gone by way of many member modifications because the starting.

Howk, an alum of Snowshoe Elementary, Wasilla Center Faculty and Wasilla Excessive Faculty, did not be a part of Portugal till 2015.

Within the midst of the “Really feel It Nonetheless” second, Howk, who suffered an damage 10 years in the past that left him paraplegic, is utilizing his expertise and affect to advocate for fellow People with disabilities.

Final week, he and Carothers met with youngsters on the March of Dimes in Toronto, Howk stated.

And earlier this yr Howk was requested to…

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