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With his hybrid of roots rock, blues, and sacred steel, Florida native Damon Fowler started wowing audiences with his musical exploits as a teenager, building a reputation as one of the hottest young players on the scene. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with critics extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise. In last year's "Best of Tampa" poll, Creative Loafing magazine named him "Best Guitarist... And Slide Guitarist... and Lap Steel Player... And Dobro Player."
Sugar Shack, Damon Fowler's Blind Pig Records debut showcases a fresh and exciting rising star at the height of his powers as a performer and writer. Damon's sparkling original compositions pair perfectly with well-chosen cover tunes from Billy Joe Shaver, Merle Haggard, and the Amazing Rhythm Aces. And Damon's soulful vocal delivery and instrumental prowess continually excite and delight. He said he was honored and excited about working with Blind Pig, noting that he's looking forward to furthering the blues tradition by "making roots music for my generation as well as for generations to come." Scott Cable, renowned for his work on Blind Pig's acclaimed comeback album by Nappy Brown, served as producer.
Fowler's guitar work has been compared to Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck, while his slide guitar has a hint of the late Duane Allman. He can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, but it's his lyrical work on lap steel and Dobro that makes him stand out among the legions of guitar heroes.
Reviewing a recent performance in Illinois, Juke Joint Soul said, "Fowler's heavy helping of swamp rock and slide guitar blues conjured up a huge lightning storm. Having full command of his voice as an equal instrument to his guitar, Fowler can easily croon you to sleep as he could belt out a jump blues or a Credence-like swamper. This kid has got the tools to take on the big stage."
Born and raised in Brandon, Florida, just outside of Tampa, Damon Fowler first picked up the guitar at the age of twelve. After being shown a few chords, it was apparent that he was a natural. While his friends were listening to the musical flavor of the month, Damon was digging into the Blues, and was soon playing small clubs in and around the Tampa Bay area. Years later, with thousands of shows behind him, he is one of the most unique and seasoned artists on the national circuit.
Damon, already a master of the six string, developed a powerful command of the lap-steel, dobro, and slide guitars, and continues to astound audiences at every performance. Because of his versatility, he has been called upon to work with such acts as Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Robin Trower, Gregg Allman, Jimmy Vaughn, Junior Brown, Rick Derringer, Little Feat, The Radiators, Chris Duarte, Delbert McClinton, and numerous others.
Damon's first CD, released in 1999 and titled Riverview Drive, is a solid recording of all original material. After hearing Damon, Rick Derringer was sufficiently impressed to produce and perform on the project. Electric Blues called it "an all-around solid effort," with "plenty of strong guitar jams." In a review of Damon's second self-released CD, 2000's Roots And Branches, Robert Murphy wrote, "He doesn't just play the blues, he feels it and it shows in most everything he does. He has the style and guitar chops to please the guitar freaks and the singing ability and personality to please the women in the audience." In 2003, Damon released a sizzling live album called Live At Skipper's Smoke House. It garnered quite a bit of attention. As Gary Weeks wrote in Southwest Blues CD Review, "When one hears Fowler's shit kickin' slide on "Sweet Marmalade" and his ultimate Warren Haynes' slide impersonations on Johnny Winter's "TV Mama", you wonder how such a good thing can stay buried. Take a listen to the CD of The Damon Fowler Group Live and you won't need too much convincing... If you're not feeling a groove, then check your pulse."
Local, state and national audiences are flocking to Damon's sizzling stage shows. Described as having a 'take-no-prisoners' attitude, his trio generates powerful energy and presents a dynamic and dramatic delivery. Fans in the audience get swept up in the moment, and there's no doubt the guys on stage are having a ball performing.
Sugar Shack's producer Scott Cable remarked at the end of the sessions, "Working with Damon, I really understood why so many people are in his corner. He is talented, bright and just a very gifted artist without all of the usual ego and weirdness that sometimes accompany someone so talented. Catching someone like Damon on their way up is a refreshing experience."