John Cowan with Darrin & Brooke

John Cowan with Darin & Brooke Aldridge - photo by Bill BostIt might not seem like an obvious pairing, but the more John Cowan described his upcoming tour with Darin & Brooke Aldridge, the more sense it made.

We spoke to the former New Grass Revival vocalist/bassist and current Doobie Brother earlier today, and his delight in performing with bluegrass music’s singing sweethearts was readily apparent.

Cowan said he had been a fan of the Aldridge’s for several years, and had enjoyed their Snapshots album very much. But he had never met the couple until they attended one of his shows not long ago.

Darin Aldridge, John Cowan, Brooke Aldridge, Tyler Collins - photo by Leadership Artists“I met them through Jeff Autry and Shad Cobb, who were in my John Cowan Band, when they came out to see me in Hickory, NC, near where they live. They were kind enough to join me on stage to sing a couple, and we all had a great time.

Now that I’m with Doobie Brothers full time, Shad and Jeff aren’t available to me when I want to play some shows on my own, and when I realized that Darin was a big New Grass Revival fan we started talking about that music. He has a really in-depth knowledge of the New Grass catalog, and I’ve had an urge to sing some of that material again, so I asked my manager, Brian Smith – who also manages Darin & Brooke – if they might want to do a tour with me.

Once they were on board, we started looking for songs we could do. Our first two were Christmas shows, so we did a lot of songs from their Christmas album and mine, and then we pulled together ones from both of our repertoires.”

John said that he has dusted off a number of New Grass Revival classics, like This Heart of Mine, You Plant Your Fields, Lila, Do What You’ve Gotta Do, and Angel Eyes. Add those to a sampling of Darin & Brooke’s top numbers and you’ve got a pretty strong set.

Here’s a few snippets from their recent show together in Floyd, VA, captured by photographer and videographer Doug Thompson.

And another from the Don Gibson Theater in Shelby, NC…


Notoriously among the warmest and most generous musicians in bluegrass, John speaks quite highly of his new, short-term touring partners.

“Darin is so good on both mandolin and guitar that it’s hard to know what he should be playing, and Brooke has such a gorgeous voice.

The Doobie Brothers are inactive until May, so we are booking as many shows as we can around Darin & Brooke’s schedule. Tyler Collins from their band will be playing banjo, and Shad Cobb will be on fiddle.”

Upcoming shows include several stops in the southeast, with more dates to be added in the near future.

  • January 8 – Barking Legs Theatre; Chattanooga, TN
  • January 9 – Eddie’s Attic; Decatur, GA
  • January 10 – City Winery; Nashville, TN (with other special guests)
  • March 11-12 – Acoustic Stage; Hickory, NC
  • March 13 – South Stokes High School; Walnut Cove, NC

Inquiries about additional shows can be directed to Leadership Artists, LLC.

Share this:

About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.