Bowe and the Okemah Prophets: "Restoration"
POP SENSE RECORDS (1999)
the world of Kevin Bowe: echoing, ringing, twanging guitars (a semi-solid
Guild, right?), beautiful melodies, sometimes on the country fringe, sometimes
bringing you back to the sounds of the British Invasion in the sixties.
And then his voice: intense, slightly hoarse, simply compelling. As for
his credentials, he's currently a songwriter with Leiber & Stoller
Music, which can't be bad in itself.
"Sault Ste. Marie" opens the album with mouthharp and a single acoustic guitar, throwing me right back to the prime Eagles album, "Desperado". Then a twangy guitar - and that voice - and then the steel enters and "...the angels on the freeway speak to me".
"The Horrible Truth About Anne" has that British feeling, complete with some throwaway "oh yeah"s.
"Sweeter World": those neat Brits again, "I wanna live in a sweeter world" - nice thought - and a nice steel break.
"Leaving To Stay" is a slow one, giving us a most elegant guitar intro (Jonny Lang is on this track), gorgeous steel, and some harmony vocals from young Shannon Curfman.
"Sadly Mistaken": going much faster, rolling into real rock complete with power chords and a distorted guitar solo.
"The Heart Of Everything" echoes along, gutsy guitar break, a bit on the Stones side - and then a suggestive mandolin changes the mood in the Irish direction.
Getting more acoustic in "Lonesome Angel": "I saw an angel in the garden late last night": guitar, steel and a swamp (?) rhythm.
"Little Miss Rain" is back to Britain, repeated melodic riffs on the heaviest guitar strings and a "Yellow Submarine" ending.
"Dead Letters": "dead letters sent to myself, dead letters is all I got left, lock 'em in a box on the top of a shelf...". Moody stuff, nice fiddle, great melody.
"Jefferson Davis Parish" is manylayered with guitar, fiddle, mandolin and those intense vocals repeating "I've come to steal your daughter, set her free at last" and you can almost hear Kevin sneaking deviously through the bushes in the blackest of night.
"Which Way The Wind Blows" is a sixteenyear-old "waiting for a ride and somewhere to go", getting away from family troubles. Acoustic guitar and fiddle, beautifully done.
"Living Proof": Great echoing, ringing guitar intro, fiddle and jingle-jangle. Buffalo Springfield would've loved this one!
"Rest Of The World" is a toughie, with a row of stomp box guitar breaks underpinned by relentless rhythms. And "Goodbye Annabella" is a slowie in a vintage Dylan setting, complete with impressive steel solo. Makes me think of Alimony, a band of our own fair city!
And at last the hidden track: the immensely soulwrenching "I've Lost My Music" (what a terrible thought!), rambling into "Tight Fittin Jeans", a glorious sing-a-long. Poetry in motion.
All in all, truly great stuff, as you already gathered. Only one complaint: why no lyrics in the booklet? Please?
I got a mail from Kevin Bowe on March 10, 2000, speaking of this very CD:
Best of luck, I sincerely say! This guy deserves success. I only hope, dear reader, that you can find this CD in your part of the world. If not: do not hesitate to contact Kevin through his website quoted above!
|We've had a run
of very good luck with it in the last few weeks. Many reviews
from around the world are posted at www.kevinbowe.com.
Two of the songs on the CD have just been cut by 3 Dog Night,
believe it or not. I have other songs out now or coming out in
the next few months with Delbert McClinton, Jonny Lang, Shannon
Curfman, Johnny Winter as well as some film/TV things.