Globe — The Globe-Miami Community Concert Association presents its final concert of the 2016-17 season with Bryan Bowers on Tuesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at High Desert Middle School.
For more than four decades, Bryan Bowers has been to the autoharp what Earl Scruggs was to the five-string banjo. He presents instrumental virtuosity combined with warmth, eloquence, expression and professionalism.
From his rather unglamorous beginning as a street singer, Bryan Bowers has become a major artist on the traditional music circuit. He has redefined the autoharp and is also well known as a singer-songwriter. Bryan has a dynamic outgoing personality and an uncanny ability to enchant a crowd in practically any situation.
His towering 6-foot-4 frame can be wild and zany on stage while playing a song like `Dixie' and five minutes later he can have the same audience singing `Will The Circle Be Unbroken' in quiet reverence and delight. This is a show you won’t want to miss.
Born in Yorktown, Va., Bryan Bowers was raised in New Bohemia near Petersburg of the Civil War's Battle Of The Crater fame. As a child, Bowers would tag along with the field workers and gandy dancers and learned to sing old call-and-answer songs.
Bowers recalls, “The music I heard while working in the fields was mesmerizing. And, I'd see the gandy dancers coming down the tracks, setting the rails and getting their ties straight. You've heard that song `Whup Boys, Can't you line 'em?, Chack a lack.' Whup Boys, can't you line 'em? was the call the leader would sing. Chack a lack was the bounceback of the hammer after falling on the pin."
In the late '60s, Bowers discovered music when he took up the guitar. It wasn't long before Bowers encountered the autoharp.
Bryan relocated to Seattle in 1971 and played for coins as a street singer and in bars for the right to pass the hat. Once he had polished his technique, he headed east in a 1966 Chevy panel truck he affectionately called "Old Yeller."
"The Dillards heard me in DC when I went to the Cellar Door," recalls Bowers. "I introduced myself and played the `Battle Hymn Of The Republic' to show them how the harp worked. Sam Bush, Curtis Burch and Courtney Johnson of the New Grass Revival were there. I didn't realize how presumptuous I was being. The Dillards took me to a bluegrass festival at Berryville, Virginia and when they got an encore, they put me out there for their second encore, saying `Here's a guy you ought to hear.' The bluegrass community has been real supportive."
Bower's creativity and talent have won him induction into Frets Magazine's First Gallery of the Greats, after five years of winning the stringed instrument open category of the magazine’s readers' poll. This distinction put Bowers alongside other luminaries, such as Chet Atkins, David Grisman, Stephan Grappelli, Itzhak Perlman, Tony Rice, Rob Wasserman and Mark O'Connor, recognized for their personal accomplishments. In 1993, Bryan was the first living member inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame to stand only with Maybelle Carter, Kilby Snow, and Sara Carter.
You can hear a sample of Bryan Bowers’ artistry at http://www.somagency.com/bryan-bowers.
Bryan Bowers is the last concert for this truly diverse season. He will be performing on Tuesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at High Desert Middle School. For anyone who did not purchase a membership for this season, the Association offers this concert free for the purchase of a membership for the new 2017-18 season. Memberships, both new and renewals, can be made at this last concert for $40 for a single membership.
The following is a list of the performers planned for the new season along with their website for those of you interested in looking ahead.
Brothers Four: http://www.brothersfour.com/
New Odyssey: http://newodyssey.net/
Nathan Pacheco: http://nathanpacheco.com/
Run Boy Run: http://www.runboyrunband.com/
Jared Pierce: http://music.byu.edu/team/jared-pierce/
For more information or for anyone wishing to receive a brochure by email, call Sue at 425-9236, Lynne at 425-3666, or email [email protected]. The talented artists making their way to Globe-Miami are inspirational and generous with their time. You won’t want to miss Bryan Bowers or anyone from next season, for that matter.