By Adam Lovinus
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Gabriel San Roman
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By Nate Jackson
By Mike Seeley
Photo by Bill Warshaw PhotographyOpening for the Flatlanders, Thurs., Aug. 5
Self-employed loan broker and family man by day, wonderfully noisy roots rocker when he clocks out, Kelly Bowlin—with his eponymous band, which presently featuring ex-Hunns guitarist Nate Shaw, keyboardist Russell Berkley, drummer Jim Moreland and bassist Christ De Jusus—plays a richly textured mix of rock, folk, country and bluegrass that sounds a little like the Band, Steve Earle, Ralph Stanley and even the Stones.
Released in 2002 on Coach House Records, the band's debut, Williamsburg, offers a winning mix of acoustic Americana music (think mandolin, fiddle, accordion and lap steel) and hard-driving rock & roll (think Les Pauls and Marshall half-stacks), with songs tending toward street-wise tales of survival, with the darker, troubling "Falling" and "Paper Wings" lingering the longest. The Kelly Bowlin Band garnered much-deserved recognition when they were named Best Roots Rock Band at this year's Orange County Music Awards, but the Fullerton-based Bowlin is more excited about the 10-track Dancing in a Hurricane, the band's just-released new album.
"The fun thing about this journey we're on is that we're all in our early 40s with kids," he says. "But instead of our creative dreams going out the window, we've kept them alive while enjoying some relatively amazing success. We're not rock stars, and we're not quitting our day jobs . . . but we are recording and performing music we're proud of that fans are responding to."