John Bowman has been a bluegrass guy most of his life, and because of his particular talents as a singer and multi-instrumentalist, we’s been able to ply his trade at the highest levels of our music. He played guitar with both Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Alison Krauss & Union Station, fiddle with J.D. Crowe & the New South, banjo and fiddle with The Isaacs, and currently banjo, fiddle and guitar with The Boxcars. Talk about starting at the top!
But since 1997, when he was confirmed as a minister, Bowman has also had a passion for preaching and sharing the message of his faith. He married into The Isaacs, one of the first families of Gospel music, and all of his solo projects have been songs of faith. So it’s no surprise that his newest album, Worship Him, follows the same path.
What’s different this time is that the record features just John and his guitar, with no backing band or harmony singers.
When we caught up with him this morning, Bowman explained that this new format was inspired by the opportunities he’s had this past year to preach on his own when he has off days, or along the way to and from Boxcars shows.
“I’ve been going out doing some preaching, and when I’ve been preaching and singing it was usually just me and a guitar. I’ve always wanted to do a record like that, so I decided to recreate on CD what I’ve been doing at these revivals and preaching dates.
The theme is always about worshipping God, so I titled the album, Worship Him. There are some new songs that people haven’t heard, several of them are pretty obscure, and I’ll bet 90% will be new to bluegrass listeners.
The Boxcars have been kind enough to let me do songs like this on our shows, and the crowds have been very appreciative.
I love bluegrass music – always have and always will. I’ve tried to walk away from it a couple of times, but I can’t stay gone for long. But I believe God has somehow used bluegrass as a way to let me reach people who may not have heard this message before.
I want to introduce more of this music to bluegrass audiences. It’s a little bit different from what I’ve done before, but there are elements of bluegrass in anything I do. I guess this is worship and praise music the way I do things.”
Worship Him is expected June 17 on Pisgah Ridge Records, a division of Crossroads Entertinment. John expects to have pre-release copies available from his web site by mid-May, and at Boxcars shows.