Country artist Kevin Fowler to headline Cook-Off street dance

Kevin Fowler makes country music. That’s right, country music. Not that stuff Music City tries to pass off as country music, but rather the music that still keeps many thousands of Texans drinking and dancing in the honky-tonks, dancehalls, nightclubs, roadhouses and cantinas throughout the Lone Star State. And now, he’s bringing his act to the streets of Brady. Sponsored by the Brady/McCulloch County Chamber of Commerce, Fowler will provide the musical entertainment for the Labor Day street dance’a time-honored tradition that regularly accompanies the Annual World Championship Barbeque Goat Cook-Off. The event will get underway Saturday, Aug. 30 at 9 p.m. on the east side of the downtown square in Brady. Entertainment will continue until 1 a.m., and tickets are available for $10 each in advance or $12 at the gate. For more information or to purchase a ticket, contact the Chamber at 325-597-3491. By staying true to genuine country music, Fowler has become one of the fastest rising country acts in Texas. “Beer, Bait & Ammo,” Fowler’s self-released 2000 album, set off a frenzy across the Lone Star State with its hard-core honky-tonk sound and unapologetic embrace of a genuine country consciousness. The disc sold nearly 20,000 copies primarily in Texas, spent months on the Texas Music Chart and spawned four singles that garnered more than 15,000 spins on radio stations. It helped Fowler to premier status on the Texas country circuit, where he regularly packs the state’s largest and most popular clubs. And along the way, “Beer, Bait & Ammo” has become a populist anthem that has become a staple of Mark Chesnutt’s live shows and has been recorded by Sammy Kershaw. “High on the Hog,” Fowler’s new CD on his own Tin Roof Records, is a rowdy celebration of venerable country music styles and themes. The album is choc full of songs carved from the true cross of country and boasts a note-perfect stylistic transposition of Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls.” It also features such noted guests as Willie Nelson and Tejano music star David Lee Garza as well as players from George Strait’s Ace in the Hole Band, Asleep at the Wheel and The Derailers. Led by the debut single, “The Lord Loves the Drinkin Man,” High on the Hog is a virtual night on the town of drinking, romancing and having a good old time in the country tradition. “I make music for young working-class country fans: pick-up driving, Wrangler wearing, everyday working folks like me,” Fowler said. “We also get a lot of college students and families. I’ll take ’em all.” And among those many Fowler fans is Willie Nelson, who calls him “a great entertainer and a great songwriter who, in my opinion, should go a long way. Fowler is proof positive that you can take the boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy. He was raised in Amarillo in the heart of West Texas on a diet of hard country at home and on the radio. At 20, he headed to Los Angeles to study music at the Guitar Institute of Technology, where he started playing guitar thanks to an interest in writing songs and stepping to the front of the stage. He returned to Texas a year later, settling in Austin. He gained his initial major league musical experience playing guitar in Dangerous Toys, a Texas hard rock band that recorded two albums for Columbia Records (one of them certified gold) which was an MTV staple in the late ’80s and early ’90s. With a growing catalog of songs, Fowler started his own hard-edged Southern rock band Thunderfoot, after his stint with Dangerous Toys. But his West Texas musical roots wouldn’t let go of Fowler. “All I was writing was country songs,” he recalls with a laugh. So in 1998, he put together a country band and landed a weekly residency on Tuesday nights at Babe’s on Austin’s Sixth Street. Over the course of two years, Fowler went from a handful of fans to packing the house and released his first CD, “One For the Road.” “We’re just a bunch of everyday Joes making music for regular folks,” said Fowler who lives in the countryside outside of Austin on his “lil” three acres of Texas. He is unapologetic about his redneck music and ways, remaining true to the spirit of the country music he grew up on. “High on the Hog” is a lot closer to the albums Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings and Billy Joe Shaver used to make than what’s coming out of Nashville at the moment. “They wrote songs for the everyday working man, and that’s what you’ll find here,” he said. Fowler’s most recent release, “High on the Hog,” debuted at number 54 on Billboard chart and number three on Billboard’s New Artist Chart. To learn more about Fowler, visit www.kevin-fowler.com.

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