Kete Bowers is a singer/songwriter who now resides in Essex,England via his birthplace of gritty Liverpool. His music and storytelling are not only timely, but truly reflect today’s feelings of loss and abandonment of the average industrial working man in today’s automated world.
By: Rise Levy
Blessed with an exceptional singing voice, and a knack for writing songs that touch the heart and soul, Bowers is sure to turn heads with his yet untitled debut country/rock album release in early 2019, recently produced by Michael Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies at his Latent Recording Studio in Toronto.
HOLR: It seems rather strange that a talented U.K. artist such as yourself ended up being signed by a Canadian independent record
label, Current Records. How did that come about?
KETE BOWERS: I was initially contacted by some guy from Toronto who for now will remain nameless, who wanted to take on an executive producer role, i.e. finance the making of my planned new album, so via email, many discussions took place. After looking into various producers and studios I made the decision to contact Mike Timmins of The Cowboy Junkies and check out if he’d be interested in working with me. I sent him the demos for the album and he liked them. There where many reasons for me choosing Mike to produce my album, one being that I connected with his view that when capturing a song, ultimately performance is king.
So he who will be named and shamed later, booked the studio with Mike, and I geared up for a few weeks in Toronto. Just three weeks or so from the project starting, the so-called executive producer went missing. He did not answer any emails from either Mike or myself and paid out nothing whatsoever. Over a year later he has not contacted us at all, no apology no nothing…A waste of a year’s time.
I told this story to Gerry Young from Current Records in Canada. He hadheard my songs via a Bandcamp link I sent him. He then contacted me and after several emails and telephone conversations he told me he would see if he could sort out the recording of my album with Mike as producer, and find the money to make it happen. A week or so later I signed an album deal with his label Current Records and they funded the project.
H: Coming from Liverpool England, your music is very soulful, and definitely from the heart. How would you describe your music? Folk? Roots? Blues? Alt-Country? Something else? Also, how does your music relate to Liverpool?
KB: Although I’ve been compared to a “Liverpudlian Neil Young” by Chris Farlie of W21,Music in London, and other people people like Tom Waits and John Prine, I don’t put myself as being in one particular genre; I write songs that cross many genres – i.e. Rock, Folk, Blues
and Americana, etc. This album is about the place I was born and grew up, and finally left when I was in my early twenties.
H: Was this your first trip to Canada,and what we’re your impressions if any of the people and Toronto? Anything strange or funny happen while in T.O.?
KB: Yes this was my first trip to Canada, and I think Toronto is a great city. I was made very welcome by everyone, and I worked with some really talented musicians, like Tom Juhas on electric guitar, Aaron Goldstein on pedal steel guitar and dobro, Michael Johnston on keyboards and accordion, Josh Finlayson from The Skydiggers on bass, and producer Michael Timmins’ brother Peter from The Cowboy Junkies on drums.
H: Do you play live acoustically a lot in England, and is it tough to make a living there as a musician?
KB: I haven’t played many gigs in the UK. I have spent the past three years working on the songs for my album. It’s like anywhere else I suppose. It’s tough to make a decent living being a professional musician.
H: What are your musical plans and\ hopes for the future following the release of the album in early 2019?
KB: I am hoping my album does well enough that I can start writing the next album without having to worry about paying
rent and eating, etc. I’m also looking forward to gigging as much, and in as many places as possible in 2019.
H: Thank you Kete.
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