One Less Reason~Deep, Meaningful Hard rock "One Less Reason songs are more lyrically heavy than musically heavy, and there's always a message. It's all based around those four letter words - love, hate, pain, hope."

A Blueprint For Writhing was reviewed here on Bluebirdreviews and the stunning collection of music lead us to inquire about an interview with lead vocalist and songwriter, Cris Brown. Mr. Brown was honest, eloquent and decidedly bold, in his comments on the recording industry, songwriting, the creation of Blueprint and how his new love of being a Dad has affected his artistry. You think you know anything about Psychology? Read Cris Brown's insights here and learn more than a book can ever tell you.

Keith Moody- On Dreaming Out Loud, Listening and "Laying It Down Easy" Blues.

An Interview.

Nashville singer-songwriter, Keith Moody, gave us some time to talk about his new record, Dreaming Out Loud, and the music business in general. This is the first of a three part series of Moody's wise narratives on listening, blues and the future of the music industry.

kevinbowewithalisonscottAfter reviewing the record, Natchez Trace, I discovered the wealth of talent and songwriting experience of Kevin Bowe. Cutting across rock, folk, indie punk and blues, Kevin's style as a performer, songwriter and musician, has resulted in collaborative works with Etta James, Lynard Skynard, Paul Westerberg, Wilco and many others. Uncovering the gems of the session world, has yielded music fans from many genres to have a keen interest in Kevin Bowe's work. This Includes those who truly appreciate how music is created from the roots to the leaves ~ The Boston Blues Society

Bluebird: What do you think is important in making a 'blues' song? Some have said it is the off-notes. Others have said it is the guitar work? I think with Etta James it was her deep voice that carried the blues spirit right along with her (Cigarettes and Coffee). What do you think?

Kevin Bowe: I think that the fact so many people think it's the guitar work that "makes" a blues song, or any song for that matter is a huge misconception. The SONG exists in thin air, separate from the performance of the song. A song is lyric, melody, harmony and beat. nothing more and sometimes less if it's an instrumental for example. I think the thing that makes great blues SONGWRITING is the same thing for any style of music. A strong memorable hooky lyric like "I LIVE THE LIFE I LOVE AND I LOVE THE LIFE I LIVE" for example. With the internal rhyme and alliteration and MEANING... HOW  on earth could you even write a bad song with a title that good???? Now, what makes a great PERFORMANCE of a blues song, that's different, that has to do with the vocal, the instruments, the groove, the passion and intensity. But there are great performances of not-so-great songs and vice versa so it's 2 different things in my mind.

Photos from the Songs For Slim website, unless otherwise specified.
 
February 14, 2013:
 
 
The Replacements' guitarist, Slim Dunlap will be hearing some of his favorite songs, cut on a modern day vintage vinyl, by his bandmates, Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson. There are a limited number of copies on vinyl available and they are being auctioned off, as we wait for the fan release next month. Kevin Bowe, (Okemah Prophets, solo artist, songwriter, (Etta James), Westerberg's touring guitarist) and Kevin's bandmate, drummer, Peter Anderson, joined Westerberg and Stinson, to pull together a commemorative set that will benefit Slim's family to assist with his healthcare following a massive stroke that he suffered last Feb 2012.
 
In advance of the release of Songs for Slim, Kevin Bowe was kind enough to give Bluebirdreviews some time in an interview. Kevin's wide range of songwriting, performing and touring with many legendary artists, makes for a great conversation about music in general. Bowe's appearance on the Songs For Slim album is a huge honor. Kevin toured with Westerberg and carries with him, an understated humility, that lets the music take the spotlight. He is also a major Replacements fan. I could only imagine the stories he'd have after it was cut. I couldn't wait to talk with him about it all.

This interview was inspired by a phone conversation with Kevin Bowe, as we discussed his new album, Natchez Trace. In the course of reviewing the record, he named so many great artists with whom he has written and recorded, that I had to schedule more time to discuss these experiences as well. We are still not done, but here is his take on the music of the blues and his songwriting work with Etta James.

This article was re-published with The Boston Blues Society. Keep The Blues Alive!

Photos Courtesy of Kevin Bowe.

Bluebird:

In addition to your recent album, with the Okemah Prophets, Natchez Trace, which was supported by a long list of talented guest musicians, you have written songs for a wide range of blues masters, one of them Etta James.

Which songs did you write and record with her? What was she like to work with? Did you tour with Etta as well?

Kevin Bowe:

I got a call one day from a producer, I barely knew the guy, but we had talked on the phone before and I liked him. He said he was doing a record with Etta James and I should send him some songs for it, so I did. As a songwriter, you get calls like that all the time and it usually comes to nothing so I forgot about it. A few weeks later he called me back and said "I have a friend who wants to talk to you"..... and Etta comes on the phone.

First words out of her mouth... "Are you Kevin? Are you Kevin Bowe? Did you write these songs? Man you bringin' it all back home boy, just like the Rolling Stones!"kboweandetta

What I remember is that she put the accent on the ROLLING instead of the Stones and I thought that was really cool. I said "Yes ma'am, yes I did."

Her next question was "Are you a white boy?????" and I told her "not any more, ma'am, not any more".

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