Brandon “BB” Bowles, a well-known face in the North Carolina/Virginia bluegrass scene, died Sunday, October 19, in a car accident in Davie County, North Carolina. Bowles, 32, of Rural Hall, NC, was returning home from a friend’s house about 1:00 a.m. when he was struck by another driver traveling on Interstate 40. Both Bowles and the other driver were killed instantly.
Bowles was a bass player and guitarist who was a mainstay at the numerous festivals and fiddlers conventions along the Virginia and North Carolina border. He had performed with several local and regional bands, but was often happiest just jamming with good friends. He was a world record holder in jamming (at least as far as I know), having once spent 43 days in a row attending jam sessions. One of his favorite times of year was the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention, where it always seemed that he was known and loved by everyone in attendance. He was also an avid hunter who enjoyed spending time outdoors.
Jeff Michael, a fellow musician and close friend of Bowles’, offers these words in remembrance:
“Traditional bluegrass lost one of its most ardent supporters. Brandon never met a stranger and was a friend to all. I’ve had the pleasure of working beside him in many different bands, and most recently we became partners in The New High Country Boys. When the time came to pick you didn’t have to mention it twice. He was right in there pulling tone and perfect time, and tearing that tenor line up. Like everybody that ever met him, I will miss him dearly, especially any time we strike up a tune.”
A memorial service for Bowles will be held at Poplar Springs Church of Christ in King, NC at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday (10/25).
R.I.P., Brandon Bowles.