Kevin Fowler

Fowler Fest

Kevin Fowler

Zane Williams, Josh Ward

Sat, August 5, 2017

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

$17.50 - $22.00

This event is 18 and over

Outdoors - Standing Room Only. All Minors Will Be Charged an Additional $5 At the Door. Rain or Shine Show. General Admission. 17 & Under Admitted with Parent or Guardian Only. $17.50 Advance/$22 Day of Show

Kevin Fowler
Kevin Fowler
Reflection is the catalyst to coming full circle.

Texas country singer-songwriter Kevin Fowler took a couple of years to take stock of his artistic career, launch his own record label, then write and record How Country Are Ya? the old-fashioned way.

How Country Are Ya? – Fowler’s seventh studio album and his first for Kevin Fowler Records in a joint venture with Nashville’s Thirty Tigers - is the goodtiming, tradition-steeped and honky-tonk-stomping Amarillo native’s return to basics effort. A year in the making, the album features 15 fresh tunes (he wrote
all of them except for the raucous instrumental “Mousturdonus“) and was produced by Ken Tondre, Fowler’s drummer, at Tondre’s The Compound Recording Studio in Austin.

One of the most potent songs on How Country Are Ya? is “Panhandle Poorboy,” a completely autobiographical piece that’s clearly the centerpiece of Fowler’s mindset during the creation of the disc. Simply put, he wanted to come back home.

“The last couple of records have been on Nashville record labels,” Fowler said, referring to 2007’s Bring It On, released on Equity Music Group, and 2011’s Chippin’ Away, released on Average Joe’s Entertainment.

“But this one is on my own label with my buddies like we used to make records. I wanted to feel right at home, go back to the well, and not get into any outside influences. I really felt like I wanted to make music closer to all my anthems that people scream along to at shows.”

Plus, How Country Are Ya? is chock full of Texas-centric collaborations. Earl Dibbles Jr., the alter-ego of Dallas-bred Granger Smith, provides the disc’s nononsense intro. Amy Rankin, one half of Austin’s The Rankin Twins, croons with Fowler on the emotionally evocative number “Before Somebody Gets Hurt.” San Antonio’s Grammy winners Los Texmaniacs crank up the South-of-the-border ambiance of “Borracho Grande.” Kingwood, Texas’ rebel-rouser Davin James
lends his big personality to the hilarious “Chicken Wing.” And Huntsville, Texas newcomer Cody Johnson stirs straight-up country action on “Guitars and Guns.”

See? Told ya Fowler threw a studio party with his good friends and turned it into a record. But of course the first single, “How Country Are Ya?,” is quintessential Fowler. The song crackles with all the beer joint energy that characterizes every
creative fiber in Kevin Fowler’s body.

The point behind each lyric, each guitar lick, and each twanging-rocking melody is the live show. Fowler has earned his reputation as one of the most amped-up concert performers to emerge from the modern day Texas country movement.
For those that have experienced Fowler onstage, then you know he brings unbridled musical muscle to the platform. Backed by his trusty band he’s a dynamo – cracking jokes, hitting high notes, strumming his guitar and putting each of his fans in two-stepping mode.

“From day one I realized I couldn’t control what radio played and what video channels played, but the one thing I could control every night was the live show,”Fowler said. “The musicians want to be there, the fans want to be there and I want to be there. People can listen to the CDs at home. But if they come to the
shows they are ready to have a good time for an hour-and-a-half, forget about their problems and forget about work on Monday.”

Pretty much any city in Texas belongs to Fowler, but he will immediately point out that he is quickly growing in Oklahoma and throughout the Midwest, all the way up to Chicago.

“I get a big kick out of seeing the way it has spread now across the country. It’s really cool how we’ve come so far. I remember a time when Texas country music didn’t have as long a reach.”

Enter social media. Fowler boasts more than 270,000 Facebook likes and 34,000-plus cool Twitter followers. But, most importantly, the percentage of those people who engage Kevin online is higher than nearly any country artist anywhere. For an independent artist like him, that’s crucial to career growth and
sustainment. He knows full well that social media puts bodies in concert seats and creates an imperative rapport with his fans. It is the technological age way for artists to connect with admirers.

“Social media is the biggest part,” Fowler said. “Social media is king. It has impacted my career as significantly as radio. Twenty years ago the only tool you really had was Kinkos to make flyers. This is the biggest piece of the puzzle especially for us now since we don’t have a lot of radio airplay. I can reach my
target audience big time now.”

But naturally even the fiercest honky-tonker needs a little down time. Or should we say outdoors time? Fowler comes from a long line of hunters and fishermen. And if you ask him how often he gets to the hunting grounds and the fishing hole he quickly replies, “Anytime I can!”

How thick is the hunting and fishing blood coursing through Fowler’s veins? You could say it’s totally innate.

“I was born in May and in September of that year I went on my first hunting trip. My dad was a huge bowhunter. I still go bowhunting. That is what we did as a family. We also went on fishing trips every spring break. That made me who I am. It was camping in Colorado, bow hunting in the fall and fishing every spring break. Now it’s all about the camaraderie of friends, getting away, and the freedom of the outdoors.”

“I would have never in a million years thought the Texas music scene would grow to what it is now,” a proud Fowler said. “I was lucky enough to have been there since the inception. I feel proud to have played a part in establishing the scene,in making it what it is. We fought a lot of battles and kicked a lot of doors down.We broke those barriers down back then. And now we are having fun spreading it town by town outside of Texas, just the way we did inside the home state.”

Reflection brought Kevin Fowler full circle.
Zane Williams
Zane Williams
“Bringin’ Country Back” is more than a catchphrase for Zane Williams. It is a rallying cry for a return to authenticity and substance in mainstream country music, and a fitting title for his sixth studio album. “I think of country music as poetry for the common man,” he says reflectively.
“The stories that draw you in, the simple truth stated in a way you wish you could’ve said…there’s an honesty to country music that totally grabbed me the first time I heard it.”
That plain-spoken, down-home honesty has now become the calling card for Zane’s own career, landing him four #1 songs on the Texas radio charts, opening gigs with heroes like George Jones and Alan Jackson, and even an invitation to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in 2015. The genuine quality of his music is no fluke. In a world where most popular music is created by committee, Zane writes the vast majority of his songs alone, whenever the inspiration strikes. “I get a lot of ideas while I’m busy doing other tasks,” he says, “say driving down the road, or doing dishes, or mowing the yard. My wife can always tell when I’m working on a song because my toe is tapping, my lips are moving, and I can’t hear a word she’s saying.”
Taking the reins for the first time as sole producer on this project, Williams says that being an independent artist has its advantages. “We didn’t have any hoops to jump through for this
record, and no one to please but ourselves. I just went into the studio with my favorite players, most of whom play with me on the road, and I did my best to create a record that sounds like the music I love.” For Zane, that means lots of harmonies, fiddle, and steel guitar wrapped around songs that, while carefully crafted, lean more toward good-natured showmanship than gloomy introspection.
Unsurprisingly, most of the subject matter draws its inspiration from Zane’s current life experiences. He offers the listener some road-tested dancehall advice in the rollicking Honkytonk Situation,” while “Slow Roller” and “That’s Just Me” celebrate his traditional values against a backdrop of easy-going, mid-tempo grooves. Only twice on the record does Zane break from his real life situation to play a character role…first as a cowboy down on love in “I Don’t Have the Heart,” and second as a recent divorcé in the heartbroken “Goodbye Love.” He closes with an homage to country music legend Willie Nelson, whose discovery of musical independence in Texas has many parallels with Zane’s own.
Early on, neither Zane nor his family would’ve guessed he one day would become the standard-bearer for traditional country music that he is today. Born in Abilene, TX, to a pair of college professors, Zane was moved as a child first to Kentucky, then West Virginia, and then California as his parents pursued their academic careers. While he enjoyed singing harmony in church and composing his own instrumental pieces on the family piano, it wasn’t until he turned sixteen and got the car keys (and control of the radio inside) that he had his first transformative experience with country music.
“I’m flipping stations and I land on Bob Kingsley’s Country Countdown one Sunday morning after church, and I hear this guy Garth Brooks singing “The Dance.” I had just broken up with my first girlfriend, and that song wrecked me; it cut right through me like no song ever had.” Not long after, his parents bought him a used guitar as a reward for good test scores, and Zane began trying his hand at writing his own songs. He was as surprised as anyone to find he had a knack for turning a phrase and telling a story in song. Still, a career in country music seemed far-fetched, so he followed his parents’ advice and enrolled as a math major at Abilene Christian University. By the time he walked across the stage four years later to accept his diploma, his hobby had blossomed into a passion, and he moved to Nashville in 1999 to pursue music full time.
Music City, where co-writing was like shaking hands and pop influences dominated the trends, proved to be a poor fit for a tradition-loving young man who did his best work independently. In 2006, Zane released his first studio album Hurry Home, the title track of which later became a top-20 Billboard hit for then-Sony artist Jason Michael Carroll. Despite this success, his nine years in Nashville left Zane disillusioned with the state of the country music industry and dissatisfied with simply writing songs for other artists. So in 2008 Zane left a staffwriter publishing deal to move back to his wife’s hometown of McKinney, TX, start a family, and start his career over as an independent artist. “I remember turning my office keys in to my publisher, sitting there in the car, and feeling so frustrated. They liked my music, but they just didn’t know what to do with it. It felt like I was giving up on my dream.”
However it didn’t take long for that dream to be reborn, as he quickly found in Texas a welcome home for his brand of honest, traditional country music. “In Texas, all the middlemen standing between me and the fans were gone. I could just make records, play shows, and be myself. I found out it didn’t have to be complicated.” Four more independent records followed, each attracting a wider audience than the last. When Zane put together his first band at age 33, he was a decade older than most of the new artists on the scene, and much more experienced as a songwriter, yet his obvious love of performing and connecting with his fans infused his shows with a youthful passion. Bringin’ Country Back melds that passion with his hard-earned experience as a performer and producer to create his most confident work yet. “I just love country music, and I don’t want to see it fall by the wayside,” he says. “I wanted to create a laidback, old-school country album that folks could listen to on the back porch with the sun going down. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s real.” And isn’t that what country music should be?
Josh Ward
Josh Ward
Country Music traditionalist Josh Ward has a unique, almost untouchable voice that grabs your attention. Just a few songs into a set and you will see just why Josh turns heads everywhere he performs. Josh Ward's influences stretch back to some of the founding fathers of country music like Hank and Lefty, and to the outlaws like Waylon and Willie. Josh Ward's live show leaves no one disappointed, and everyone asking for more!

A Houston native, Josh's earliest musical exposure was to old gospel hymns he sang in church. As a teenager riding in the high school Rodeo Circuit he discovered the likes of Willie, Waylon, Merle, Jones and Strait. Those musical legends inspired him to pick up a guitar and start singing in the parking lots of his rodeo events. Encouraged by his reception at the rodeos, he put his first band together and began paying his dues at the local honky-tonks in 2003. Through tenacity and hard work Josh has grown into one of the most respected and appreciated musicians in the state. His honest and emotive delivery of every song compels audiences to feel his lyrics with him as he takes them on his musical journey. Fellow songwriter Mike Ethan Messick once said of Josh, "Josh Ward sings like Mike Tyson hits. Hard."

Josh Ward released his 2nd album "Promises" in June 2012. The first single "Get Away" reached #18 on the Texas Regional Radio Chart – almost unheard of for a debut artist. Josh's second single "Rainout Hangout" quickly moved up the Texas and Regional Radio charts – reaching Top 5 status. The third single "Sent Me You", a ballad written by Scott Brown (Scooter Brown Band), gave Ward his very first Number 1 on both the Texas Regional Radio Report & The Texas Music Chart in April 2013. He followed with another #1 on his 4th single, "Promises" in Sept 2013. "Hard Whiskey" was released in November 2013 and reached #1 on the Texas Regional Radio Report and #3 on the Texas Music Chart. Following the success of "Promises", Josh Ward, released his third studio album "Holding Me Together" October 30, 2015. Produced by Grammy Award Winning producer, Greg Hunt, at Rosewood Studios in Tyler, TX. Ward's latest album features 10 new tracks from the 2013 Texas Regional Radio New Male Vocalist of the Year. Josh Ward has stayed true to his country roots with his most current project. Ward's 3rd album has already seen three number one singles with "Highway", "Whiskey & Whitley", and "Somewhere Between Right & Wrong" bringing his record to six consecutive number one hits. His current single, "Broken Heart" is rising faster than another other single he's previously released to radio, sitting in the Top 20 in the first 4 weeks of release to the Texas and Regional Radio markets. Josh Ward recently brought home the Texas Regional Radio Music Awards Song of the Year 2016 for "Whiskey & Whitley".

Josh Ward's live show and his music is composed of true Honky-Tonkin', Lovin' & Leavin' songs, which is sure to dominate airwaves and dance-halls for years to come.
Venue Information:
John T. Floore Country Store
14492 Old Bandera Rd.
Helotes, TX, 78023