KETE BOWERS

W21 Music, London

Kete had the pleasure of opening up the Big Entrance stage for C2C at The O2 London 2017. With just his guitar and a handily placed ipad for company. Opening with “The Rain King”, a five minute epic initially painting him as a Liverpudlian Neil Young. 

In truth I suspect that the Club WM stage would have suited better for Kete to give us a chance to really concentrate on his storytelling, but he gave it a good shot in the cavernous, slightly chilly O2 foyer. 

The songs were mainly a preview of those due to be on his next album, the delicate “You Stole My Joy” for his Grandma stood out, while his hometown past was detailed on “North Side Of The River”, which had a touch of the style of Townes Van Zandt about it and was thoroughly engrossing. 

It was detailed with enough references to really allow you to build up an almost mental picture of the place, at all times your eyes were drawn to the stage waiting to hear the next line. 

There was a glimpse of humour at the end as he closed out on a Bob Dylan song, “Don’t know why - he never plays any of mine” quipped Kete. It was certainly enough to send me over to the merch stand to investigate further, and the singles for “The Rain King”, and the highly recommended “White River Road” are both definitely worth investigating if you like your singer songwriters.

Chris Farlie, W21 Music. London.

Bucket Full Of Brains

A new name to me but this Liverpool lad already has a debut album Road under his no doubtless big, shiny-buckled belt, a recording lauded by the Americana press, Maverick mag likening him to Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell and John Prine in the tunesmith stakes. Tough company but he has a suitably rich voice and some fine songs which often examine the earthy roots of his home town while managing to nod appreciation to both Townes and McTell. This was a single a while back but is on a batch of tracks likely to form the basis of a new album.

 

 

 

The Sunday Experence

soured in personalised reflection and haunted by past memories, there’s a poetic bleakness about Kete Bowers’ ‘north side of the river’ that’s painted in northern grit, it’s a place where the spectres of fallen industrial communities and local heroes disturb the waking hours paused in contemplative thought. Each of us are haunted similarly, travelling through life gathering along the way our own personal collection of spectres, yet where many strain and buckle to the drag of despair, Bowers tailors his bruising acoustic craft to serve a bitter sweet countrified spiritual that hangs and echo to the intimate tug of Mr Springsteen’s ‘the ghost of Tom Joad’. https://soundcloud.com/ketebowers/north-side-of-the-river?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook

 

The Rain King

Country music seems to embrace an ever revolving door of styles. Once hailed for its heartfelt stories of love, loss and tears in our beers, it has now leaned its favoritism in a country-pop direction. Pushing aside those aching slide guitar solos to make room for the perfect boot scootin’ boogie beat, we find ourselves at a cross-roads for the future of country music.

The continuously evolving Kete Bowers brings his perfectly, unpolished country sound to us from Liverpool. Described as the ‘Nashville of the North’ Liverpool has embraced its love for country western history and Bowers, aligns flawlessly with it’s lessons. His self produced record “Road” released in 2010, invited his listeners to a world of love and loss. With a sound compared to the late, great Johnny Cash, Bowers’ single, “Chained to You” paints the perfect picture for what happens when love meets that loss.

Close your eyes, and picture this. A lone cowboy on the prairie, astride his oldest friend, a horse of thirty-plus years. The only way he keeps awake under the burning sun is by listening to the constant cadence of his partner’s hooves.

With Bowers latest single produced by Fran Ashcroft, “The Rain King” he introduces us to his newest sound. Keeping with his honest country roots, his play with production, creates a kind of cross bred Zeppelin, Petty and Neil Young mix. He doubles the guitar melody throughout. A crisp acoustic line with a perfectly, not perfect electric sound. “The Rain King,” is sensational.

A story about Bowers’ youth, his simple lyrics, “kids dodging bullets on the high plain… with songs to sing and dreams to live” his newest song, leaves the listener wondering who the Rain King really is. Someone or something that may come save him from his past, present or future.

Kete Bowers continues to invent the “country wheel” for himself and his listeners. I trust “The Rain King” will find its way, to the soundtrack of some Quentin Tarantino flick. Maybe there we can find out who “The Rain King” really is.

Artist Kete Bowers
Song: “The Rain King”
Reviewed by Sara Routh: August 2015.
Rating 4 out of 5 stars

Chained To You

The country music world has seemingly lost its roots in recent years. While once known for heartfelt tales of family, faith, and the heartland, the country genre seems to have been hijacked by artists more intent on creating party jams rather than delivering the honest, hardworking tales of the everyman. Thankfully, there are some artists, like Kete Bowers, who haven’t given in to this onslaught of “bro country” and continue to toe the line, offering up thoughtful, artistic slices of classic country.

The Liverpool-based Bowers is no stranger to the genre, having dropped a number of tracks since beginning to craft his own material in 2008. 2010 saw the release of his debut record, Road, while subsequent years have seen him sparingly releasing singles to wide acclaim with Pure Country Music declaring, “A lot of international country artists are more authentic than the ones here at home. Kete Bowers is one of those artists.”

Bowers’ latest single is “Chained to You,” a heartfelt acoustic ballad the track is classic country, through and through. Bowers’ voice is warm and plaintive, the emotion simmering right beneath his authentic lyrics of honest heartbreak while the guitar chords pluck along faithfully, lending their own mournful energy to the proceedings. It’s simple but efficient and showcases the artist’s keen ear for creating a solid space for his storytelling.
That storytelling this time out deals with a weary lover addressing his spouse, wanting to believe the best but eventually coming around to the truth that their relationship is a place of pain. Dealing with the truth of the matter, Bowers sings, “I will pretend no more that your heart is good/You have worn me down and that's the truth/I should have walked away but like a fool/
Ten years on I'm still chained to you,” while ultimately coming to the painful conclusion, “Only now I realize/I built a house but not a home.”

With “Chained to You,” Kete Bowers continues in the long tradition of great country ballads that tug at the heartstrings and touch you with deep emotion. Reminiscent of great tracks by artists like Hank Williams and Johnny Cash, Bowers delivers a transparency through his music that reaches out and won’t let go.

Take a listen ! Click on link below !

https://soundcloud.com/ketebowers/kete-bowers-chained-to-you

Ghosts

A solitary acoustic guitar with mellow drums in the background isn’t bound to wow anyone with this much music history already recorded, but Liverpool artist Kete Bowers still manages to capture something grippingly plaintive in “Ghosts.” With a deep and somber voice, Bowers conveys an uncanny atmosphere of loss and regret in just 4 minutes and 14 seconds. The delicate acoustics and full chorus paint gray skies, streets choked with sleet, and leafless trees. The wail of the slide guitar avoids sounding hackneyed and instead evokes a distant howl in conjunction with a setting sun, Bowers crooning tastefully with a keen sense of control.

The well-treaded ground of country, folk, and blues is undeniable in “Ghosts,” but what separates it from contemporary country is a genuine callback to country’s foundation, and that soulful folk aura is admirably pretty in its execution.

“Ghosts” is from Bowers’ second album, White River Road, which has already received critical acclaim from critics for its genuine and melancholic approach to country. For all the bad press and embarrassing clichés that mark the country era in this post Dylan/Cash-world, it’s refreshing to see some dignity injected back into the genre.

 

MAVERICK MAGAZINE

Kete Bowers

ROAD ****

Sugar Line Records 201001C

 

A Liverpool born-and bred singer-songwriter, Kete Bowers’ debut album is one of the finest debuts I’ve heard in many a moon. Though there is a strong American country flavour throughout, Bowers doesn’t make the mistake of trying to sound American, but sings in a strong and compelling style all his very own. He is also a top-notch songwriter, up there with such other rootsy country tunesmiths as Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell and John Prine. His songs come from deep down in his soul and are coloured by his own experiences. As a child he listened to classic pop and country records at his grandmother’s house. He recalls those memories with Isobel, even name-checking Jim Reeves. This self-produced album features some outstanding musical arrangements with BJ Cole on pedal steel, Mark Flanagan (guitar), Roger Eno (piano, accordion, Hammond organ), Hannah Scott (cello) and the solid rhythm of George Double (drums) and Lincoln Anderson and Kevin Willoughby sharing the bass guitar honours. A mention also of Lily Gonzalez who provides exquisite backing and duet vocals throughout. An album that I cannot recommend too highly.

 

www.ketebowers.net

Record Producer

Kete Bowers.

Has a great voice that is reminiscent of great voices like Neil Diamond and Bob Dylan.

James Sanger: Record Producer.

Client list includes: ‘U2’, ‘Madonna,’ ‘Dido,’ ‘Phil Collins’, ‘Manic Street Preachers’, ‘Kylie Minogue,’ 'Mel C', ‘Brian Eno’, ‘Keane’, 'Sinead O'Connor', 'Bryan Ferry', 'Alex James from Blur',' Pet Shop Boys', 'Joe Satriani ', 'Annie Lennox', 'The Cure' ...and many more!

R2 Rock "n" Reel Magazine

KETE BOWERS

 

Road ****

www.ketebowers.net

 

This is the debut collection from Liverpool-born (now domiciled in the south-east) Kete Bowers. Having spent these past years performing other people’s songs he decided it was high time he recorded some self-penned material and Road is the result.

 

It’s a selection of country and Americana-flavoured, elegantly understated compositions that evoke memories of heartbreak, regret and lost love, delivered in a marvellously weatherworn voice. The songs luxuriate in deliciously warm arrangements with rich country atmosphere courtesy of B.J. Cole’s weeping pedal steel, Roger Eno’s accordion and some exquisite notes from Mark Flanagan’s guitar.

 

The Tex-Mex flavours of ‘Shine’, enhanced by the harmony vocals of Lily Gonzalez, the emotional intensity of ‘Rain’ and the delicately delivered beauty of the poignant ‘Isobel’ stand out. It’s left to the stripped-back vocals and acoustic guitar of ‘Stay’ to fully reveal what a powerful and compelling voice Bowers possesses.

Steve Caseman

FATEA MAGAZINE

Kete Bowers.

Album:Road.

FATEA MAGAZINE.

Alt.country singer Kete Bowers is a man of one word titles(when he's not just using symbols) and bucket loads of expression. "Road" is an album that could highlight the finest that the Austin scene has to offer. Kete is a self taught musicain who listened to the country greats at his grandmother's house, an event he acknowledges on "Isobel" the second cut on the album, named after said relative. Bowers is an artist raised on the greats, greats he's come to emulate and add his own style to. His sound and musical heritage are an American dream, lived in Liverpool.

The North East's Multimedia Showbiz and Entertainment Magazine

Showbiz and Entertainment Magazine.

Kete Bowers. "Road"

 

Liverpool born singer/songwriter makes a confident début with this joyous and well produced CD. 
Gifted in his use of words his lyrics sing of experience and love.

At the heart of this album, and I suspect of his artistic muse is the loving memory of his late grandmother Isobel.

Her name is the title of the second track on the album.

Her loss is deeply felt and incomprehensible, “And I don’t want the flowers to see you cry”.

Musically subtle the CD rewards repeat listenings.

Little moments stick in the memory.

Remembering time spent with a lover,“I still got the shoes that walked the streets of Le Havre I still got a picture of me and you in some bar…My summer has gone honey it’s bitter cold here”
.words taken from the song ‘Stay’.

Love braved is never wasted time. ‘Regret’.

“Baby on a night like this, when heaven opens its eyes baby you come to mind and our golden times”.

Bowers has a poet’s heart and a musician’s sensitivity.

Initially classed as a folk/country release his music will cross many more boundaries than just these.

Self produced this CD presents a new and interesting talent to keep an eye on and check out when he sets out on the ‘Road’ to play for a live audience.

I feel sure after listening to his album you will certainly not be disappointed.

WordPress

« Giant Sand at Celtic Connections Winter Warmings. January 20, 2011 by Paul Kerr Kete Bowers Road. Amazingly enough for someone who sounds like a Texan troubadour, Ketes Bowers is a Liverpool native who says he has his grandmother to thank for steeping him in the country tradition. Slow and deliberate with lashings of Dobro and pedal steel there are definite echoes here of Steve Young and Guy Clark. Bowers sings in an anguished, desperate way with no hint of a Liverpudlian accent. Rather he sounds as if he’s made some deal at a crossroads somewhere. With the great B. J. Cole on pedal steel there are no quibbles here about the music, some of the songs however are bordering on the maudlin, Regret being the main offender. However the sparkling quickstep of Gold and the heartfelt Isobel are hearty songs. The closing song which is untitled even has a hint of classic Randy Newman around it although without Newman’s acerbic wit. Overall a brave stab at achieving an authentic Americana sound that should open some doors for Mr. Bowers.

Pure Country Music.com

Obscure Country Artists. It is very refreshing to hear that country music is made all over the world. The most surprising aspect about this, is that a lot of international country artists are more authentic than the ones here at home. Kete Bowers is one of those artists. His background is shrouded in mystery, but he sounds like he might have been a rock singer before he went the country route. There isn’t any buzz about upcoming gigs, but check out his Myspace page.

ALT COUNTRY

REVIEW FROM ALT COUNTRY Kete Bowers - Road. His musical roots, he was largely due to his grandmother Isobel, who in an old record player had heard wonderful pictures of Hank Williams, Elvis Presley, Johnny Ray, Roy Orbison, Jim Reeves and Jerry Lewis. The English singer-songwriter Kete Bowers referereert here in the beautiful ode to his grandmother (Isobel): Jim Reeves on the record player. His affinity with the music he has not a stranger. Kete's great-grandfather Harry Pierce, a colorful multi-instrumentalist (banjo, piano, guitar and harmonica) who also earned his living as a professional boxer. His Scottish grandmother frequently performed as a singer in big concert halls. After years his passion for music to translate in singing other people's songs (Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash and Neil Young) Kete's friends encouraged him to write songs. This now results in the CD "Road".The album contains ten warm Americana and folk songs. No high speed, but exact. Music that is also distinguished by the particularly attractive guidance of Mark Flanagan (guitar, dobro), Lincoln Anderson (bass), George Double (drums) BJ Cole (guitar, pedal steel), Roger Eno (accordion, piano and Hammond organ) and Lily Gonzalez (vocals). The lyrics are personal stories, which he forces the listener to reflect on his or her own life. The CD "Road" offers solid songwriter music for the connoisseur. No volatile consumption or enjoyment trendy songs but extremely fragile and heartbreaking songs, sometimes worn by a beautiful acoustic guitar. It provides a pure and honest album with songs of high quality with impressive backing vocals from Lily Gonzalez. Written by John Shoemaker

College News USA

Kete Bowers is a country singer who plays with such heartfelt emotion that it’s hard not to relate to his poignant lyrics and melodies. Listening to artists such as Elvis Presley and Johnny Ray, Bowers has an older touch to his songs that seems to close the gap from generation to generation. Bowers has music in his blood, since his father played numerous instruments and helped Bowers on his journey to realize his true potential. College News music contest winner, Kete Bowers.