Peter Rowan (2018)

Grammy winning Bluegrass icon Peter Rowan is a singer and songwriter who's career spans five decades. From his early years playing under the tutelage of Bluegrass god Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way (with Jerry Garcia & David Grisman) and four decades as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted, international fan base through a solid stream of beloved original songs, collaborative projects and recordings.

Born in Wayland, Massachusetts, Rowan learned guitar from his uncle. He enrolled in college, but left academia to pursue a life in music. In 1963 he joined Bluegrass founder Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys, as singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter. "One thing I started to like about the Monroe style was that there was a lot more blues in it than other styles of bluegrass," reflects Rowan. "It was darker. It had more of an edge to it. And yet it still had the ballad tradition in it, and I loved that."
The late '60s and early 70's saw Rowan involved in a number of rock, folk and bluegrass projects, including Earth Opera, Muleskinner, and alongside brothers Chris and Lorin Rowan. He then joined David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements and John Kahn to form legendary bluegrass band Old & In the Way. It was during this incarnation that Rowan made his mark on The Stone's Wild Horses, and penned songs that include Land of the Navajo, Midnight Moonlight, and Panama Red, a subsequent hit for the New Riders of the Purple Sage and a classic ever since.
Rowan embarked on a well-received solo career in the late '70s, releasing critically acclaimed records such as Dustbowl Children (a Woody-Guthrie style song cycle about the Great Depression), Yonder (old-time country music with dobro ace Jerry Douglas) and two extraordinarily fine bluegrass albums, The First Whippoorwill and Bluegrass Boy, as well as High Lonesome Cowboy, a recording of traditional and old-time mountain music with Don Edwards, Tony Rice, and Norman Blake. More recent releases include Quartet, (a collaboration with Tony Rice) and Legacy with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band (feat. Jody Stecher & Keith Little). Rowan also appears with Big Twang Theory and its Texas cousin Twang n Groove, as well as rock band The Free Mexican Air Force.

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