We are pleased to provide you the entire series of "I Believe To My Soul" radio shows unedited, in their entirety. Simply click to select a show, presented in order of original appearance, in the box to the right and relive these great moments.
John Cowan to participate in the 3rd Annual Atlanta's Holiday Hootenanny; A Benefit for Habitat for Humanity
Atlanta, I am coming back soon but this time solo as part of something much bigger and very important to me.
Join me along with Jeff Autry, Randall Bramblett, Col. Bruce Hampton, The Mosier Bros., Grant Green, Jr, Caroline Aiken, Count M'Butu, Donna Hopkins, Jeff Sipe Trio, Yonrico Scott, Mark Van Allen, Bobby Miller, Diane Durrett, Gaurav Malhotra, Leah Calvert, Ralph Roddenbery and may more.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
887 W Marietta St., Studio C
Atlanta, GA 30318
Doors at 6, show at 7
404-876-5566 for details
JOHN COWAN WELCOMES MUSICAL LEGEND BONNIE BRAMLETT TO HIS "I BELIEVE TO MY SOUL" RADIO SHOW ON 11/14/14
Tune in to Nashville's legend, 650-AM WSM or stream the show from anywhere in the world at wsmonline.com starting at 2:00 pm CST (3:00 pm EST) and spend an incredible hour with John and one the most soulful voices ever heard.
Bonnie and John have been friends for many years and he am such a huge fan of her work both with her late husband when they toured as Delaney & Bonnie but also of her amazing solo work. But music isn't her only outlet. She has starred in numerous major motion pictures as well as enjoyed a recurring role on the hit television series "Rosanne". The list of things she has done and artist she has performed with is like the "Who's Who" of the rock & blues world. Bonnie is simply put a "force"!
John can't wait for you to hear this show and the music he culled to play for you from her remarkable career.
Bonnie Bramlett is an R&B/rock singer. She moved to Memphis in the early '60s and became a session and backup singer for R&B and blues performers such as Fontella Bass and Albert King. She then became a member of the Ikettes, the backup singers for Ike & Tina Turner. That brought her to Los Angeles in 1967, where she met Delaney Bramlett, who had been a member of the Shindogs, the resident group on the TV show Shindig; they married within five days and formed a musical act, Delaney and Bonnie.
Delaney and Bonnie cut an album for Stax Records in Memphis, backed by Booker T. and the MG's, but it was not released at first. They then formed a group called Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, who featured Leon Russell among others, and cut Accept No Substitute (1969). After Delaney and Bonnie and Friends toured opening for Blind Faith, Eric Clapton left that group and joined them along with such notables as George Harrison and Dave Mason. This resulted in the On Tour album, after which members of the Friends band worked with Clapton and Harrison, and on Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Delaney and Bonnie made several more albums before divorcing.
Bramlett then formed the Bonnie Bramlett Band and released her debut solo album, Sweet Bonnie Bramlett, backed by the Average White Band, in 1973. She then signed to Capricorn Records and made It's Time (1975), Lady's Choice (1976), and Memories (1978).
She later became a born-again Christian and began singing gospel music. She turned to acting in 1987, under the name Bonnie Sheridan, and has since appeared in the film The Doors and the TV series Rosanne.
In 2002 Bramlett returned to the music world with the release of her first album in over twenty years, I'm Still the Same on Audium. The record features Bramlett singing a variety of styles like jazz, blues, and adult contemporary in a voice that has lost little of its power.
Americana’s Pavarotti - An Appreciation of John Cowan
They say you can tell a lot about a man from his choice of friends, and anyone lucky enough to be at 3rd & Lindsley on Aug. 27, knows one thing about John Cowan - the guy sure likes a lot of different music. The folks who gathered to celebrate his birthday represented the best of just about every roots-related genre played in Nashville.
The fast-paced five-hour-long show (a phrase I have never used in more than 30 years of writing about music) included the first-ever duet by two legendary women - Bonnie Bramlett and Tracy Nelson. Singer-songwriter Rodney Crowell covered three of his idols - Lightnin’ Hopkins, Hank Williams and Townes Van Zandt. Two more of Nashville’s most soulful songwriters were also onstage, Gary Nicholson and Danny Flowers, the latter of whom stayed around to play hot lead guitar on other people’s sets, as did guitar-legend-in-the-making Guthrie Trapp.
There was Diamond Rio, ignoring their huge catalog of hits to put a newgrass spin on ‘70s rock; The Kentucky Headhunters doing their Jukes of Hazzard hillbilly-blues; and two of Nashville’s most musical couples - Matraca Berg and Jeff Hanna and Jessi Alexander and Jon Randall. The latter fronted Guthrie Trapp’s regular band, the all-star 18 South, which had Byron House sitting in on bass, as he did for most of the night (at least when the birthday boy wasn’t working his signature Fender Jazz); and the always celestial Maura O’Connell, backed by Jerry Douglas. Also on hand, longtime Cowan associate Michael Kelsh and, showing John’s wide appeal, performers ranged from 22-year-old singer-songwriter Lacy Green, who held her own on that stage full of headliners, along with veteran singer-songwriter Billy Henson, 75, writer of the progressive bluegrass classic “Lonesome Feeling.”
Douglas and the rest of the night’s backup musicians alone were worth the price of admission (all of which went to Our Kids, the local organization caring for sexually abused children). That ‘A’ list also featured fiddler-singer Andrea Zonn, fiddler Barbara Lamb, and criminally underrated banjo player Scott Vestal. John’s Doobie Brothers band mate John McFee (who’s producing Cowan’s next solo album) played bluesy pedal steel; Larry Attamanuik, who just might be the first drummer in the Bluegrass Hall of Fame, played with multiple artists as well as his band 18 South. Doobie drummer Ed Toth shared percussion duties, while Double Trouble keyboardist Reese Wynans was his usual, impeccably bluesy self. And speaking of blues, John’s fellow genre-busting bluegrassers Josh Williams and Mountain Heart’s Jim Van Cleve and Josh Shilling rocked out on an electric “Statesboro Blues.” Joe Wooten, part of one of Nashville’s great musical families, did a couple songs, including a duet with Mike Farris on Sly Stone’s “Everybody is a Star.” Farris’s own stripped-down performance reminded us just what a vocal powerhouse he is.
And of course, there was John, beaming at his friends from the side of the stage, more often than not jumping to a microphone, tenoring Bill Lloyd on “Crazy over You” or fronting the Headhunters on the Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland classic “Farther Up the Road,” or bringing on his John Cowan Band to sing a double quartet with Diamond Rio on The Soul Stirrer’s “Jesus Gave Me Water,” a showstopper even on a night that was full of them.
The most amazing part of the evening - other than John’s 99-year-old mom Cleo hanging in for the entire 5 hours - was that all that music, from delicate acoustic folk to overdriven blues-rock, from Bill Monroe to Sly Stone, is all part of who John Cowan is - one of the best, most versatile singers performing today. The broad amount of territory covered by the term “Americana” will be all over town in a few weeks, as the Americana Festival & Conference takes over. And you can see it every Wednesday night at the Loveless Barn in the eclectic lineups presented by Music City Roots (MCR host Jim Lauderdale also rendered a couple at Tuesday’s John-aroo).
But no one can do it all like John Cowan does it. With his operatic range, tempered by the taste and restraint of a master musician and a true artist’s rare ability to express deep emotion, Cowan is “The Voice” of Americana, its Pavarotti.
I’ve been listening to John for almost 40 years. I was a New Grass Revival fan from the day in 1972 at my college radio station (WOSR at Ohio State), when I opened a package from Starday Records and found that first LP. But it was the cool and unusual choice of songs and Sam Bush’s amazing mandolin and fiddle that got my attention. The vocals were almost an afterthought.
And then, in 1974, along came John. NGR needed a bass player and John, who’d only played rock up to that point, auditioned. As Sam told me in a Bluegrass Unlimited interview a few years back: “We played some tunes, asked him to join the band, and he says, ‘Well, you mind if I sing?’ And I says, ‘Well, yeah. I’m the lead singer, but go ahead.’ So he sang a couple songs and I said , ‘Well, I used to be the lead singer.’”
John does have a a way of shaking things up and he kept shaking, helping take NGR from festival favorite to mainstream country radio staple on songs like “Can’t Stop Now” and “Calling Baton Rouge.”
Today, he freely talks about the drug problems that plagued him back then, but he stayed through to the end of the band, as Bela Fleck left to form his Flecktones and Sam and Pat Flynn went on to session work and other projects.
John recorded his classic R&B album Soul’d Out and went on to form The Sky Kings, a progressive country supergroup with Poco’s Rusty Young, Bill Lloyd and, in the early days, Doobie Brother Pat Simmons, who brought him in to play bass with the Doobies, which, with a few breaks in between, is still a steady gig for him.
Soul’d Out may have seemed like a departure to some, but everything John Cowan does is soulful. He started his closing set with his bluegrass trademark - that jaw-dropping reinvention of Monroe’s “A Good Woman’s Love.” After 5 hours of talking, singing and shouting encouragement to his friends, that miraculous voice was very much intact.
As remarkable as his Aug. 27 birthday party was, the night before was just as surprising in its own way. As a journalist and filmmaker, I’ve interviewed hundreds of people from Bill Monroe to James Brown, John Kennedy Jr. to a then-incarcerated Johnny Paycheck. When you interview any “celebrity”, there are always stock answers, responses they’ve given hundreds of times in other interviews. Occasionally, if you have the time and they are willing, you can work through that to get at some real truth, but sometimes you just get stuck behind the wall of fame. I’ve interviewed John on several occasions and he has always been completely real, completely present. As he spoke with Eddie Stubbs at the Country Music Hall of Fame Aug. 26, he was that same way, despite the crowd at the Ford Theater, despite the world-wide internet radio WSM audience. He talked about being sexually molested as a child as the reason he chose to work with the Our Kids organization, and he freely brought up his past drug use. He really put the “intimate” into that “Intimate Evening With Eddie Stubbs,” with the sort of candor that’s as rare as his multi-octave voice.
But what makes that important to anyone who really cares about music is that he brings that same honesty and realness to the stage. He has come though his personal hells and emerged healthy and vital. Despite all he’s been through, he’s a ridiculously youthful 60-year-old. And seeing how vital his mom is, it looks like he’ll be singing for many years to come. Which makes John Cowan’s 60th a very happy birthday for all of us.
So thanks for the last 39 years, John, and here’s to the next 39.
Larry Nager is a journalist and documentary filmmaker based in Nashville. He’s the author of Memphis Beat (St. Martin’s Press) and writer co-producer of the film, Bill Monroe Father of Bluegrass Music. He has written for Rolling Stone, Guitar Player Publications, Bluegrass Unlimited, Living Blues and Nashville Arts & Entertainment, among other publications. His profile of Nashville guitar ace Colin Linden appears in the premiere issue of Blues Music Magazine, out now. Larry is also the announcer and interviewer for Bluegrass Underground at McMinnville’s Cumberland Caverns, heard Saturdays at 5 p.m. on WSM 650.
Nov. 16, The John Cowan Band returns to Bluegrass Underground with the Hillbenders opening the 1 p.m. show (www.bluegrassunderground.com).
JOHN COWAN’S 60th BIRTHDAY BASH TO BENEFIT OUR KIDS
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
7:00 pm (doors at 6:00pm/dinner menu available)
3rd and Lindsley, Nashville, TN
Join John and a host of superstar musical friends as they light up the stage in one unforgettable evening of music celebrating Cow’s 60th birthday, all to benefit Our Kids.
And it’s John Cowan, so you know the musical guests will be amazing. Artist list will be updated here as they are confirmed.
It will be a “once in a lifetime” night of musical surprises celebrating this incredible man and his milestone birthday – and benefiting a cause dear to his heart – that you won’t want to miss!!
There are two types of tickets available:
$20.00 General Admission
$40.00 Gold Circle – includes one limited edition Hatch Show Print poster commemorating John’s birthday, and a reserved seat for the show. There is a limited number of Gold Circle tickets available. (You will receive the poster when you arrive the night of the show.)
Please do not think of this as a ticket price – it truly will be a donation to Our Kids. THAT is your gift to John. All net proceeds will go to Our Kids in John Cowan’s name.
A quick sellout is assured so act fast while you still can.
Message from the event organizers: We encourage folks to arrive early and have dinner. 3rd and Lindsley has a delicious menu of very affordable dinner options, and their service is quick. And you don’t want to miss the birthday cake!
3rd and Lindsley, 818 3rd Ave. S, Nashville, TN 37210
phone: 615.259.9891 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Our Kids mission is to provide expert medical evaluations and crisis counseling services in response to concerns of child sexual abuse, and to increase community awareness, conduct research and offer education and training about child maltreatment.
EAGLES CO-FOUNDER BERNIE LEADON JOINS JOHN COWAN ON HIS JUNE 13 EDITION OF "I BELIEVE TO MY SOUL" ON NASHVILLE'S 650-AM WSM
I am proud to announce that my very special guest on the June 13th edition of "I Believe To My Soul" on Nashville's legend, 650-AM WSM is none other than my dear friend Bernie Leadon.
Bernie is an acclaimed American musician and songwriter, best known as a founding member of the Eagles. Prior to the Eagles, he was a member of two pioneering and highly influential country rock bands, Dillard & Clark and The Flying Burrito Brothers. Bernie is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar, banjo, mandolin, steel guitar, dobro) coming from a bluegrass backgroound. he introduced elements of this music to a mainstream audience during his tenure with the Eagles.
Leadon's music career since leaving the Eagles has been decidely low-key, resulting in two solo albums with a gap of 27 years in between. Bernie largely stayed behind the scenes, contributing to others' albums or taking a lower profile in other bands. he played a stint with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, produced bands such as Restless Heart and their smash hit "I'll Still Be Loving You", and in the 90's formed a group called Run C&W that spoofed "modern" music by recording it with a country/bluegrass sound.
He has wonderful stories to tell and of course superb songs he has written, co-written, played on and produced and I can't wait to share all of it with you!
Tune in on Thursday, June 13th from 2:00 - 3:00 pm CST (3:00 - 4:00 pm EST) to 650-AM WSM or stream the show live from anywhere around the globe at www.wsmonline.com