Country music isn’t my main music, but it’s definitely in the mix. Amarillo native Kevin Fowler is one of the reasons. He writes songs with an awesome twist that all the best country songs have. Great wordplay, stories and humor. “Don’t Touch My Willie,” a song about not letting a girl play his Willie Nelson CD on the first date, is just classic. I have heard he also puts on a great, high energy show. I’m about to find out for myself on Saturday. I interviewed him for an article in the Dec. 8 Elgin Courier, and he comped me a couple of tickets. I can’t wait. Details on the blog afterward of course.
Courier article is posted below:
Country singer Kevin Fowler to rock Coupland Dance Hall, Dec. 11
Country singer Kevin Fowler has played his share of big venues, but it was the small dance hall that kickstarted his career. Fowler will perform at the Old Coupland Dancehall on Saturday, Dec. 11 as part of his Deck the Dance Halls holiday tour. Doors open at 8 p.m.
“That’s one of the bars we started out at,” he said in a Friday interview. “Coupland was one of the first places to give me a chance. For the holidays, we wanted to go to all the dance halls where we started.
“When I was a kid growing up in Amarillo, my dad listened to Buck Owens and we watched Hee Haw on Saturday nights on TV,” Fowler said. “I grew up in a country household.”
Fowler, who played with the Austin-based heavy metal band Dangerous Toys for a while in the ’90s, is known for his rockin’ attitude as well as his knack for a clever turn of a phrase, with such hits as “Don’t Touch My Willie,” “Ain’t Drinkin’ Anymore,” and “Cheaper to Keep Her.”
As he grew up, Kevin started playing in bands and began looking for his own music. He was drawn to rock bands like AC/DC and Van Halen.
He still loves rock ‘n’ roll and says he went to see Judas Priest perform twice in recent years. “When I go to a concert, I want to see a show,” he said. “Rock bands know how to put on a live show.”
For that reason, Fowler wanted his country band “to have a really rockin’ edge to it. Into that soup, throw a little country.”
At the same time, he can’t resist the urge to write songs with stories and wordplay — the kind of songs country is known for. “Country music is really about the lyrics,” he said. “Rock is more about the melody. A lot of times you can’t really understand the words.”
As he started out his career, Fowler became a guitar player for hire and performed both country and rock. “I became dedicated to becoming a songwriter,” he said. “It was a slow evolution to try and find my own thing.” Fowler said the high energy country that he became known for “just turned out to be the songs I wrote.” Fowler likes the diversity he finds in today’s country music scene.
“Nowadays, country is kind of a catch-all for different kinds of music. It’s changed. You don’t have to be Merle Haggard. Anything goes in country music nowadays. That’s kind of cool.”Fowler said he loves the Texas music scene. “It’s all about the fans in Texas. Going to a show, it’s a very one-on-one relationship with the fans and musicians. The fans get to hang around and get autographs,” he said. “You don’t really do that with a lot of the national country artists.”
Texas also lets him put out the kind of music he wants to make. “You can do your own thing down here,” he said. “Anything goes as long as it’s good.”
Fowler released a collection called Best of… So Far on Dec. 7. It features 18 tracks, including four previously unreleased songs. He also has a studio album in the can, which will be released sometime next spring.
Edit: I see a lot of people searching their way into this article and they might want to know how the show was. Here’s my follow-up from after the show.