Peter Rowan

(guitar - 10/1964-3/1/1967)
Newport Folk Festival, July 1965. Photo by Mark Sukoenig. Click for full version.

Born: 7/4/1942

As a Blue Grass Boy: Peter Rowan, Bill Monroe's first lead singer to hail from outside the South, was a Blue Grass Boy for over two years. Although the personnel was relatively stable during Rowan's tenure, this lineup is relatively underrepresented on record; they did not record until late 1966, and then Monroe mostly sang duets with his son James. Some of the duets that Monroe and Rowan sang in concert have since been released on the "Off the Record, vol. 1" live recording.

Recording Sessions: 10/14/1966, 11/3/1966, 12/6/1966, 12/16/1966, 1/23/1967

Before and After: Since leaving the Blue Grass Boys, Peter Rowan has found success in a wide range of musical endeavors. He formed the folk-rock band Earth Opera with David Grisman, then joined Seatrain, a rock fusion band than also included Richard Greene. In 1972 he recorded the best-selling "Old And In The Way" album with Jerry Garcia and Vassar Clements. In the mid-70s he began recording solo albums, with backing bands including the Free Mexican Airforce, the Panama Red Riders, and Crucial Reggae. Though his music has incorporated rock, Tex-Mex and reggae as well as bluegrass, Bill Monroe's music has remained a touchstone thoughout his career. He has paid tribute to Monroe with the album "The First Whippoorwill", featuring Bill Keith and Richard Greene, as well as the title track from his album "Bluegrass Boy".

Links: Peter Rowan's official website


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