January 2014, RockTheBlues Featured Artist: AL ROWE
By Gary Draper
Al Rowe grew up in Chicago, Illinois where as a youth, his musical influences began early in life. On many occasions, as a child he would watch his grandfather and Sunnyland Slim (as well as several other veteran blues greats) jam in the family’s living room. Al learned how to play the guitar at the age of 7 years old and continued to evolve as a guitar player resulting from the countless hours of playing and experimenting. After discovering the playing style & arrangements of one of his earlier influences, the late Jimi Hendrix, Al went on to become the winner of the “National Jimi Hendrix Guitar Competition” in Seattle, Washington in the late 90′s.
Al Rowe is an extraordinarily gifted guitarist, song writer, vocalist, composer & arranger … having played R&B, Blues, Jazz, Funk and Soul with some of the great musicians of our time, To his credit, Al has written songs for the late Miles Davis, and has worked with many of the great musical legends such as:
James “Curley” Cook (Founding Member of the Steve Miller Band); 2001 – present
Willie Dixon (The Father of the Blues); Chicago, IL – 1981/82
John Lee Hooker; La Conner, WA – 1999
Pops Staples of “The Staple Singers”; Chicago Blues Festival – 1993
Joanna Conner; Opening Act/European Tour (Germany & France) – 1995
Edwin Starr/Studio Sessions; London, England – 1983-84
Martin Turner (Wishbone Ash)/Studio Sessions; London, England – 1983/84
Jimi Mc Griff (Hammond B3 legend); Chicago, IL – 1979
Bill Dickens (Bass guitar legend); Chicago, IL – 1982
Al Rowe continues to define and expand his own unique sound. His original compositions fuse blues, jazz, funk and rock & roll to create a tasteful and fully satisfying groove. A versatile showman who fully engages his audience, Al’s performances have been described as electrifying, soulful and full of power.
When not touring the United States or Europe, Al continues to actively mentor and teach music to kids through the nation-wide “Blues in the Schools” Program (a program he has been involved with since 2001). Otherwise, Al spends his time writing, composing & arranging new songs that always seem to have that “new edge & style” that is the signature to the Al Rowe sound. Al is able to bridge the generation gap, as his musical style appeals to not only the seasoned music aficionado, but he is also able to deliver his musical message to an appreciative, younger “college crowd”, as well.
For more info about Al Rowe, visit his website online at: www.rowehousemusic.com