STL Musician Kevin Bowers to Release New Album Aug. 9
STL musician and composer, Kevin Bowers (you may know him from The Feed, Street Fighting Band, Big Mike & the Blu City All-Stars, The Incurables, or Petty Cash Junction), is set to release a Brazilian music album, “Nova,” on August 9. The songs–masterminded by Bowers–are performed by a number of top musicians in St. Louis including Michael Aguirre, Kevin Bachmann, Tony Barbata, Zebadiah Briskovich, Paige Brubeck, Erminie Cannon, Aaron Chandler, Andy Coco, David Grelle, Jimmy Griffin, Jordan Heimburger, Nathan Hershey, Adam Hucke, Ben Reece and Andy Shadburne
Learn more about Bowers and his new music venture in the Q+A below. The “Nova” CD release performance will take place on Aug. 11 at Off Broadway Music Venue. Doors are at 7pm, and Cafe Danza kicks off the night at 8pm.
Where did you get your start in music?
From the time I was 4 years old, I knew that music was what I was going to do. I was always making up songs as a kid. At the age of 6, I started lessons at Drum Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri and was playing in bands with my brother almost immediately. It wasn’t until high school where I began to focus more on proper technique, writing music in different genres, reading big band charts, and trying to become a better listener as a musician. My interest and knowledge of Brazilian music and other styles expanded tremendously when I reached Musicians Institute (MI) in Hollywood, California.
What are some past albums you have put out? How do they differ from Nova?
On “Nova,” I was fixated on arranging material for others to sing (unlike my previous two solo releases, “My Love Is Yours” and “Nine Story Building,” where I was the lead vocalist). I had a taste for genre-hopping on the first two albums, whereas “Nova” has a consistent sound throughout its entirety. One of my goals while writing this music was to generate the feeling of being transported to a better and exciting place; or if you turned it off after the first song, you’d feel like you were missing out on a story.
What is a memorable moment you’ve had playing music out in STL?
I would have to say it was when The Feed performed as Wham! for An Under Cover Weekend show at The Firebird in St. Louis, Missouri.
You produced the album, too. Where do you record? What does the process look like for you?
The album was recorded at Sawhorse Studios by Jason McEntire. There was ample time spent on pre-production. I met with the musicians individually to work on their parts and explain the overall vision of each song on the album. This helped get everyone on the same page. The band recorded live on several of the tunes. Horns, auxiliary percussion and lead vocals were completed during the final stages of the recording process. It was serious teamwork, but we all came together and made something very special.
What are you looking forward to most about your CD release at Off Broadway?
I am excited that this is a seated show, which means it will be more of a listening room. I feel this music will translate well in a jazz-type club. I am also looking forward to performing on stage with all these incredible musicians who are like a family to me, and engaging and connecting with the audience.
Is there anything you want to say to your audience before the show? Anything they can get excited about?
It’s going to be a party. You should expect lots of percussion, a mixture of Brazilian, African, Cuban, Spanish, and psychedelic-influenced songs, male and female duets, and samba dancers. Make sure you get there when doors open at 7:30pm and do not miss Cafe Danza. They will set the mood with their blend of Latin Jazz and Middle Eastern music.