When Pillars Fall

Final Viewing
Final Viewing

A month ago I lost one of the pillars of my life. A person who was a huge part of the foundation that made me who I am.

Many years ago as a young boy the sun rose and set in my dad. I went to him for advice and just for guidance and confirmation for my plans. Anytime I had a flat tired, he was my first call. I guess the last time he brought out the shop jack to help me fix a flat was nearly 20 years ago. About 8 or 10 years ago I did call him for a flat and he was getting dressed to come out when I finally figured out the combination to my spare tire. I remember this occasion so well because I was parked in a steep paved lot across from our favorite Chinese place in Salisbury and it was raining. It was raining hard. That was the last time I really had to call on him for help. After that I knew he was getting up there in years and I didn’t just want to bother them.

After the terrible accident where my mom was badly injured and a small child from the neighborhood was killed, things were never really the same. Truly that was the day I lost my dad. By the time I got to the scene, Dad was shattered and he was never the same man again.

After that day I was recast in the role of the pillar and the adviser. I think I gave sound advice and if Dad could have followed it, he might have seen more good years. During this time I had dreams about Dad’s grief literally drowning him. I talked to my pastor at the time who did go out to visit Dad once, but later seemed to just want to make it a prayer over the phone. I certainly did my share of praying and I also sought to get him grief counseling, but was essentially stonewalled by the fact that Dad wasn’t really willing to go. Read more “When Pillars Fall”

D.A.T.S. Comes to NC

So, I’ve been following this folk singer on Youtube for a while now. This past week she came to NC for a show.

We had a great time at the Danielle Ate The Sandwich show in Carrboro last night. Summer fussed about going with us on such a long trip, but in the end she was glad she did. Most importantly my Mom had a great time! THAT was officially the first concert of any kind I’ve ever gotten her to go to, except of course the ones I played. We stopped at a pretty decent seafood place near Carrboro and had a nice meal, then arrived at the coffee shop just about 2 minutes early.

D.A.T.S., apart from being a really nice lady is really an awesome artist. She’s maybe the 2nd totally pitch perfect singer I’ve ever heard in person. The other was Elvis Costello and don’t even get me started on his genius. Danielle has a phenomenal voice paired with a quirky sense of humor and fantastic songs. My only gripe is that the crowd that showed up was quite small (we’ve all been there.) I felt they should have given her a place of some esteem inside and you know at least have shared her event invite on their fan page. When I see establishments not supporting acts who obviously work so hard to entertain patrons at their establishment – (often for free,) I die a little inside. 🙁 For crying out loud. She has over 41k following her on Youtube. If that doesn’t garner some respect, then a venue just doesn’t care about providing their patrons quality entertainment and I guess that is the case with Looking Glass, sadly.

The D.A.T.S. show was a bright spot in an otherwise bleak start to 2016, loosing Dad and a whole slew of entertainers, not that I knew any of them personally, but it just feels like constantly having the familiar ripped away, over and over again.

Purple Rain – Prince Cover from Brent Bowers on Vimeo.

On April 23rd I was engaged to perform my monthly date at a local establishment. Coming on the heels of the loss of yet another musical titan passing away in 2016, the peerless Prince. I knew there would be a lot of requests for his music, despite my being firmly rooted in acoustic Americana, I decided to offer up this improvisational rendition of my favorite Prince song, “Purple Rain.” I transposed it to a sympathetic key for my harmonica and also changed the timing a bit to make it easy for the drummer and I to stay together on it. What can you say about Prince? He was amazing!

We wound up doing Purple Rain 4 times that evening. One guy told me that his wife said, “I hope he plays Purple Rain,” as they were walking in. Sometimes, things just work out I guess because that’s literally the first time I’ve included a Prince song in my set. The whole night went by in a flash, which usually means I’m having fun. Got a decent amount of tips too, so that is always welcomed. Sold a few more copies of Faster, so that always helps with making the next record.

Sunday was an interesting one for the praise band at church. 8:00 am practice as per usual, but this time we played sort of at the end of the service instead of the start. The blues were on me. Felt good to me and sounded good as well. Afterwards we stayed up to practice for next week while everyone else went off to eat lunch.  So Practice | Service | Practice. I worked primarily with the vocalists this time and I think we are making some good strides with arrangements which suit the singers we have a bit more.

Branches Video Concept from Brent Bowers on Vimeo. By the way, this is the first original I’ve written for the group. This is really just an unfinished work tape recording to help the band learn it. Wasn’t going to share it just yet but the bass player Jeff shared it and tagged me so…oppps. LOL!