Tuesday, June 8, 2010
The Danny Cowan Group - Driving Back To Texas
Footnotes also memorialize a person’s fifteen minutes of fame in and about great events or amongst historical figures. Those asterisked, margin-numbered, individuals occasionally have stories as compelling as the historical figures to which their stars are appended. Yet, the paths of those lives are harder to research and more difficult to follow.
In 2001, I downloaded a free album from download.com called Driving Back To Texas by The Danny Cowan Group. I knew nothing about Danny Cowan or his “Group.” I was playing “spin the musical wheel” with the download.com search engine for decent electric guitar blues. The pointer had ended up at Danny Cowan Group album so I downloaded it.
The music is original - written by Danny Cowan and, his then-wife, Tracey Cowan. On this release Tracey sings. She has a deep-throated sexy voice that perfectly compliments Texas-style electric blues. Danny plays guitar and also sings. The remainder of the “Group” is comprised of Craig Ricks on bass and Hector Gonzalez on drums. The album was produced by Marius Perron of TAZ Productions, San Antonio, TX. That is all I could find out about the band at the time I downloaded the album.
The music is hot blues. Danny is a white blues guitar master with shades of Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys, B. B. King, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan all rolled into one guitarist. The songs are wonderfully written and the band is smoking. Best of all the album was, and still is free!
Recently, I heard Danny Cowan’s name come up in connection with a 1976 appearance on the TV show “Austin City Limits” with an obscure band called Augie Meyers & The Western Headband. It was only thereafter I discovered Danny Cowan was the ultimate rock and blues footnote. He is the man who readies the audience for the headliner.
Danny did shows in the 1970’s with Doug Sahm as the Sir Douglas Quartet and opened for Jimmy Reed, Gatemouth Brown and Willie Nelson. In the mid-1980’s he formed his own band which opened for Chuck Berry, The Supremes, Foghat, Roy Buchanan & many other headliners.
The Danny Cowan Group is no longer together. This album and the group, like Danny, are a footnote to great electric blues guitar music.
Danny has formed a new band - the Danny Cowan Band. His ex-wife is no longer with him (although he still does some of the old material they wrote together). Rick Jackson plays drums. Bass is played by Paul Everett. Ed Fry has taken over the vocal duties. Danny just plays guitar. I don’t think they have released an album but a few new tracks can be heard on their website.
Footnote: The album is still available free at http://music.mp3lizard.com/dogtrax/. A non-compressed pristine version is available directly from DogTrax Records for $10 at http://www.dannycowangroup.com/Bandpage.html where you can also listen to the entire album online.