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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Roots guitar guru Damon Fowler finishes new CD with Tab Benoit
Roots guitar guru Damon Fowler has just finished recording his third solo project for Blind Pig Records, after spending much of the past year touring with the band Southern Hospitality.  Entitled Sounds of Home, the album is scheduled for a late January 2014 release.  It was produced by award-winning swamp blues master Tab Benoit at his Whiskey Bayou Studio in rural Houma, Louisiana. 

Damon decided to join forces again with Benoit, who produced the critically acclaimed Southern Hospitality album at the same location.   That CD, Easy Livin', was just named the winner of the 2013 Blues Blast Music Award for "Best New Artist Debut."  On Sounds of Home, Tab sings background vocals on several tracks and contributes pedal steel and acoustic guitar on others, while Big Chief Monk Boudreaux is a special guest on the title track.
Damon found working with Tab a "great experience."  They play lap steel and pedal steel guitar respectively, and they share a love and affinity for the marvelous mixture of down home sounds prevalent on the Gulf Coast.   "We speak the same language," as Damon put it.   Their collaboration has resulted in Damon's strongest effort to date.
Reflecting the laid back atmosphere of the setting and surrounding area, Damon felt very comfortable in the studio and "the creative process was cool," according to Damon.   Tab and Damon worked out the material together.  "We have the same tastes in songs so it was easy to communicate," said Fowler.  He also enjoyed the fact that they came into the studio with just "skeletons" of songs rather than fully finished pieces.   "We just wanted to see where the spirit of the moment took us," says Fowler. "The older I get, the more I would like to bring positivity into it, so I tried to write more positive songs for this record, and you can feel it in the spirit of the record.  I'm really proud of it." 
Damon says the title of the album sums up the spirit and approach of the project. While his music is deeply rooted in the blues, it's also strongly tinged with country, rock, and roots music. Growing up in Florida, Damon was exposed to, and influenced by, the variety of roots music styles popular in the Gulf Coast - country, swamp blues, rock, old-timey, sacred steel, soul, and Latin.
Guitar Player called Fowler, a master of slide guitar, lap steel, and dobro,  "one of the swampiest guitar pickers to emerge from the humid Southeast since Lightnin' Slim and Tony Joe White," while Hittin' the Note magazine said,  "Damon Fowler has become one soul-oozin', rock 'n' rollin', swamp stalkin' blue monster of a talent."   Sounds of Home takes the listener on a tour through the rich traditions of American roots music, presented by one of its foremost practitioners.

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