JOHN COWAN, WITH DARIN & BROOKE ALDRIDGE – Tickets – McGlohon Theatre – Charlotte, NC – March 5th, 2017


Blumenthal PAC & MaxxMusic Present:




Sun 3/5

Doors: 6:30 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

McGlohon Theatre


This event is all ages

John Cowan, also known as the “Voice of Newgrass,” has been singing his heart out for thirty-five years, and his soaring vocals have only improved with time. A true innovator, John applies his powerful pipes to genres from country, bluegrass, and gospel to soul, jazz, and rock-and-roll – often within the space of a single concert. His ability to move fluidly through multiple styles, and carry mesmerized audiences on the journey with him, has set him apart as one of the most loved and admired vocal artists of his generation, not just by fans and critics but among fellow musicians as well.

Cowan’s rise to fame began in 1974 when he auditioned as the bassist for the then up-and-coming New Grass Revival. Needless to say, John was offered the gig, but it wasn’t until he’d accepted the job that the shy 22-year-old casually mentioned that he could sing. With his distinctive, rock-tinged tenor vocal and heart-thumping electric bass, John, along with fellow New Grass Revival band mates Sam Bush, Courtney Johnson, and Curtis Burch, and later Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn, introduced a new generation of music fans to an explosive, experimental and ultimately, eponymous brand of bluegrass. The “newgrass” sound spawned popular jam bands such as Leftover Salmon and Yonder Mountain String Band in addition to shaping the sensibilities of country megastars Garth Brooks, the Dixie Chicks, the Zac Brown Band, and Darius Rucker.

After New Grass Revival disbanded in 1990, John went on to record a series of critically acclaimed solo albums in addition to laying down guest bass and vocal parts on some 120 recordings for artists including Steve Earle, Bela Fleck, Alison Krauss, and John Prine. A few years later, John teamed up with Rusty Young of Poco, Bill Lloyd of Foster & Lloyd, and Pat Simmons of the Doobie Brothers in The Sky Kings, a widely successful country rock band. John’s newfound alliance with Pat Simmons gained him the role of bassist for the Doobie Brothers from 1992 through 1995, as well as a songwriting credit for “Can’t Stand to Lose” on the Doobie Brothers 2000 release Sibling Rivalry.

Not content to remain a sideman, however, John left the Doobie Brothers to follow his creative muse in pursuit of a solo career that, at the dawn of the 21st century, found him circling back to his acoustic “newgrass” roots. “What we did back in the New Grass Revival days was unique,” he says. “Our vision was to take acoustic music somewhere new. What I’ve done with the John Cowan Band is try to recapture the magic of that ground-breaking experimentation and take it to the next level.”

John is a fixture and a favorite at major festivals like the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado and Wilkesboro, North Carolina’s “traditional-plus” MerleFest. Stints in his band have helped launch the careers of Noam Pikelny (Punch Brothers), Luke Bulla (Lyle Lovett), and Scott Vestal, among others. John again found himself the bassist of the Doobie Brothers in 2010, and currently tours around the world with the Doobies, laying down the low notes and singing the high ones as they perform various hits.

In 2014 John signed to Nashville-based Compass Records for the release of SIXTY, a career retrospective of sorts that is the singer’s most ambitious project to date. “I love my ‘job’,” Cowan says. “I love playing music for people every night. I’m very grateful for every opportunity I have to play my music with my own band for the fans that have been so loyal to me over the years. I don’t ever want to stop sharing my music with them.”
Husband and wife duo Darin & Brooke Aldridge draw on the traditions of their native North Carolina, the savvy of a young, gifted band and their own dedication to ingenuity to create the most mature release of their career with their latest release, Flying.

The duo has placed at the top of the charts on Americana/Roots, SiriusXM, Bluegrass and Gospel charts. They have received multiple nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America (SPGBMA) and Inspirational Country Music (ICM). The music video “Wildflower” is being featured on CMT and CMT Edge and GAC. Their TV appearances include PBS, Great American Gospel, The Bluegrass Road, Presley’s Country Jubilee, RFD-TV, Rural-TV, Daystar Network, Blue Highways TV, Song of the Mountains and Music City Roots.
Both highly acclaimed vocalists in their own right, Darin and Brooke combine rich harmonies with impeccable musicianship to create the unmistakable sound that has made them one of the hottest young acts in acoustic music and they’ve surrounded themselves with a band of equally amazing pickers. Darin spent 6 years as a member of the acclaimed County Gentleman and is a highly sought-after multi-instrumentalist. Brooke has been lauded for having one of the most powerful voices in music of any genre.

Brooke asserts herself as one of the more powerful female vocalists in the scene…” ~Relix Magazine

Snapshots is their 6th album and debuted on the Billboard bluegrass charts in February. The new project is rooted in the stellar musicianship of Darin and Brooke’s bluegrass and gospel background but brings a new edge to their sound as they explore the music and artists that have influenced their careers and sound. The new album is available on Mountain Home Records and showcases Darin and Brooke Aldridge’s versatility as they add new dimensions to their sound.

“Husband and wife duo Darin & Brooke Aldridge have carved out one of the fastest rising careers on the acoustic music scene today.” ~Billboard Magazine

Darin and Brooke were among the artists honored to appear at the recent grand opening of the Earl Scruggs Center in Shelby, NC. The cultural center is dedicated to the legend who inspired generations of musicians and artists.

The Aldridge’s are mainstays on radio charts with singles lingering in top positions well after their release.
Americana music encompasses a number of broad categories these days, but in the case of Chuck Johnson and Charlyhorse, there’s only one defining factor -- and that is that it remain honest and authentic. Consequently, Charlyhorse deserve credit for creating a sound that shows a reverence for timeless tradition, while still managing to come across as fresh, vital and engaging. It’s an inherent ability that reflects their credence, skills, talent and dedication.

Granted, Americana is a crowded field, and it’s sometimes difficult separating the would-be contenders from those whose instincts are mostly second nature. Chuck Johnson and Charlyhorse find a fit in the latter category, not only because their music sounds so authentic and
familiar on first hearing, but also because their creative talents seem borne from the honesty and integrity synonymous with the heartland. They spin tales of rural environs, populated by fiery evangelists and homespun philosophers, the people that populate small Southern towns and places where optimism is often in short supply. They find resilience and resolve in the most unlikely circumstances, imparting lessons cobbled from tattered designs. Then again, the band’s commitment to craft has to do with more than simply making music. Their’s is a fiery mix of passion and purpose, a steadfast devotion to shared sentiments and an unshakeable bond with both their audiences and each other.

It’s little surprise then that the North Carolina-based band’s new album, Barb Wire, factors in several seminal sources. It echoes with the sound of Americana’s original musical mainstays and all the usual sources -- the Byrds, the Band, the Burritos, the Eagles, the Allmans, Johnny Cash, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, John Prine and all those others who transformed a rugged sensibility into music with infinite appeal, making it feel universally human and humane in the process.

It’s little wonder then that both their individual and collective efforts have reaped a fair amount of recognition, including such accolades as the Charlotte Music Award (Singer/Songwriter of the Year, Americana Artist of the Year), a pair of Music Guild Award nominations (Best Duo, Song of the Year), and supporting slots for a number of like-minded headliners (Keb’ Mo’, John Cowan, Reckless Kelly, Marty Stuart, Eric Taylor, Jonathan Byrd and Randal Bramblett among them). They’re also drawing audiences on their own in increasing numbers up and down the East Coast, from North Carolina to Washington D.C. to New York, New Jersey, New England and beyond.

The band’s origins can be traced back to Johnson’s initial efforts to establish his own niche as a singer and songwriter. “I was making a little bit of noise,” he recalls. “Not a lot, but enough to be noticed. I never had a regular band, other than the occasional makeshift group when a particular situation called for it. I had no idea what a true band was. So when I got a call to open for Keb’ Mo’, I knew the duo I had at the time with bassist Tom Kuhn wasn’t going to make the kind of impact that the occasion demanded. Tom knew this exceptional guitarist and dobro player named Dale Meyer who he has played with in a band called Red Rocking Chair. Dale was in heavy demand and so I didn’t know if he was willing and available, but he agreed to take part regardless.”When the three convened at a small rehearsal studio, it was clear almost immediately that they had struck an instant rapport. “You know what you know what you know,” Johnson remembers of that first meeting.

“It all kind of came together naturally,” Meyer recalls. “And when we played that first gig opening for Keb’ Mo’, the reaction from the audience was absolutely incredible.”

That was January 2014. It was at that moment that the three decided to continue their collaboration and go about the task of assembling a permanent band. They went through various configurations, but never fully felt right in terms of personality and ability. When the group finally fully connected after the addition of keyboardist Dennis Johnson, and ultimately drummer Jamie Brock, Johnson was convinced they had found the right musical mix of influences and intuition. “I learned how cool it is to be in a band where you have five guys all focusing on the same intent,” Johnson says now. “There’s a bonding process that takes place, and it’s that bond that allows all the pieces to come together.”
“We cover a wide range of material and it seems to work well,”

Meyers adds. “At this point, all we need is an audience, and then the rest flows naturally from there. Chuck’s songs have these immediate hooks, and the stories he spins are about everyday life. And for me personally, I just love being in a position to share those songs.”
“We tend to sing to people and not at them,” Johnson maintains. “The crowds are as much a part of our performance as we are. If people relate to the material, it becomes this intimate atmosphere where the walls between the artist and the audience comes down completely. It’s instantly comfortable and I think that’s what people gravitate to.”
“There ‘s no pretense in this band,” Meyer insists. “There are no divas, nobody seeking to upstage the others. We’re one unit bound together for a common purpose and it’s obvious that we’re having fun in the process.”

For his part, Johnson couldn’t be happier with all that’s transpired. “I’m really proud of this band and proud of this new album,” he declares. “We went in to the studio, put our nose to the grindstone and came up with something that I consider absolutely extraordinary. It’s a reflection of what makes this band so exceptional and I’m honored and privileged to be a part of it.”
Venue Information:
McGlohon Theatre
345 North College Street
Charlotte, NC, 28202

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