Gritty, down-to-earth, and about as independent as they get, Roger Cowan steps out of his good-natured, happily-married day jobber persona now and then to hit the studio or stage and growl out raucous tunes about hard living, hard liquor, and hard-headed outlaws making their way in the world. Having earned a bit of a following via the fan-friendly Radio Free Texas’ embrace of his material, he’s on the cusp of putting out what may be his best work yet thanks to a collaboration with producer/multi-instrumentalist Bob “Slim Bawb” Pearce. Here’s more on all of that, from Cowan himself.
In your own words, describe your sound.
I guess I would describe it as honky tonk country and roll blues. It’s a little bit of everything that I grew up on.
Where are you based out of?
Home plate is Beckville, Tx.
What are some of your favorite and/or most frequently played venues?
My favorite venue would be anywhere that Radio Free Texas people gather. They are the most supportive bunch of fans a guy could have. They are very hardcore and get beyond the catchiness of a tune and understand it.
Name a couple of career highlights, so far.
Third show I ever played was opening for Brandon Rhyder. That was pretty cool, since he was also a Panola County boy. I think the biggest highlight for me personally would be one night in Longview, Tx when I sang my song “Daddy’s Words” and after the show, this older guy came up to me and was hit very hard by the lyrics. He told me that his father had once told him the same thing.
What music do you have out already, and what’s coming in the near future?
I have two acoustic albums out, Nothing Fancy and Second Time Around. The new album, HickadelicSwampyTonk, will be out sometime this summer.
If someone’s only gonna buy one song of yours … where to start?
My suggestion would be “Another Song.” it’s a fun little tune that I know a lot of people will be able to relate to.
Name some of your main influences as a songwriter/musician.
Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, and Doug Moreland. I draw a little something from every song I hear, but those would be some of the top guys.
Who have you played more song swaps or co-bill with that anyone else?
I haven’t had the chance to play as many shows with the same guys that I would like to, but i think I’ve shared the stage the most with Steve Judice. He’s a great singer/songwriter/lawyer from Louisiana. He’s also been a big influence/supporter of mine since I started.
If a fan’s buying you a drink … what’ll it be?
I prefer tequila, or Shiner Bock. Please, no more Jaeger bombs!
Name a couple of people you’d like to publicly thank for helping you in your career.
First and foremost, my wife for putting up with everything you go thru as a musician or a musician’s wife. Daniel and Cara Miller, without Radiofreetexas.org and their fans, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing! They are the reason I’m playing music. And everyone who made my latest album possible – you’ll be listed in the album cover! haha
What’s one of the strangest gigs you’ve ever played?
The Radiofreetexas.org Float Trip. I had a naked man hump my leg. Strangest event by far. And I have to say, it was also the most awesome weekend, aside from the random humping, that the Texas music scene has. If a person hasn’t been, you’re really missing out
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