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Robert Bowlin
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Robert Bowlin's Friends

  • Barry McGuire
  • Andy B.
  • Marcy Marxer "Iona Martin"
  • Gary Foster
  • VUE Laurent
  • Robert Shafer
  • Yiannis Gougourelas
  • The Gigtwig
  • Howell Osborne
  • Chris Jones
  • T.Laws
  • Edward Zohn
  • Joe H.
  • Tim Maines
  • Tom

Music

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  • 1.
    Pokeberry Jam
  • 2.
    On the Border
  • 3.
    New Freedom
  • 4.
    Durango Tango

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Tell us more about yourself (place a Bio here if you wish)
Robert Bowlin started at age 1 and a half playing the ukelele, graduated to his dad's guitar at age 5, and has been creating unique and beautiful guitar music ever since. He won the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship in Winfield, KS in 1979 and got 2nd in the Flatpicking Guitar Contest in 1978. His professional career has included stints with artists such as Maura O' Connell, Kathy Mattea, Tom T. Hall, the Osborne Brothers, Bill Monroe, Ray Price, Bobby Bare, Faron Young, Ricky Van Shelton.

He was a session guitarist and fiddler in Nashville for countless recordings. He has played onstage with artists such as BB King and Ricky Scaggs, Tony Rice, Peter Rowan, and Vassar Clements. He has performed his original music on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

He has a new cd of solo guitar instrumentals entitled "Six String Soliloquy". Here is what experts have to say:

"This recording is wonderful! It's mostly original instrumentals, a few traditional tunes and a Stephen Foster medley.Robert has a real gift for melody. You hear the original tunes and you feel like you've heard them before (but you haven't). When he plays a standard, like "Whisky Before Breakfast," he really makes it his own. His solo style doesn't sound like anyone elses. Robert blends Bluegrass, Jazz and other influences in a way that sounds natural and unforced. I would describe his phrasing as vocal. Many guitarists sound mechanical. He's just the opposite, milking every phrase for maximum feeling. And the tone he gets out of his 1930 Larson is just beautiful. He's not afraid of space and never adds unecessary notes that get in the way of hearing the melody. There are lots of guitarists these days who have great technique and can generate excitement with hot picking. Robert can certainly do the same. But there are few who work with the full range of emotion that is possible in music. These are medium and slow paced solos intended to move the listener. Though they'll appeal to any guitar playing person with an ear, they'll also appeal to others who don't care what kind of guitar he plays or whether or not he uses a custom made bevelled pick. Do you have a spouse who's tired of hearing your flatpicking CDs? Get this one and you'll both enjoy it!This is really one of the finest guitar recordings I've heard in years. It's only fault is that it's too short. I could listen to Roberts picking all day." - Dan Mozell

"His playing is really incredible - tasteful,passionate, and unique. He is a virtuoso flatpicker who is well-versed inmany styles. It's incredible that he's known primarily as a fiddler, havingbeen Monroe's "last" fiddle player.I recently judged him in a contest (Uncle Dave Macon Days in Murfreesboro,TN - www.uncledavemacondays.com), and he played an absolutely jaw-dropping"Waltz for Django" on that old Larson. Tone from now on!" - Boge Quinn

Below, Robert performs "On The Border":

Do you have a website?
http://www.myspace.com/robertbowlin

Robert Bowlin's Videos

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Comment Wall (7 comments)

At 5:44pm on May 13, 2008, Marty Lanham said…
Hey Robert

Sorry we missed you last time - let us know when you are coming to town.

Marty
At 5:24pm on May 19, 2008, Bill Startz said…
Hi Robert,

I really enjoyed you playing.. Wils singing as well . Your show , indeed your presence, was a fine addition to the fest.
I will never forget the Breakfast Jam .. I think I will make it a permanent part of the weekend!
I guess I forgot to ask you to sign the poster .. maybe next year ....

Bill
At 11:08am on May 29, 2008, Marco Cavina said…
Ciao Robert,
your cd is just a GEM of acoustic guitar playing I just love it, the way you play solo it's unique, thanks also for the dedication on the cd,your italian it's very good.
At 10:07pm on July 3, 2008, Yiannis Gougourelas said…
Robert,
Hey there from Yiannis.I have to let you know that i'm a big fan of your playing style.Bought your new cd "Six String Soliloquy"(had to open my English dictionary to know what this word means!).
It's open of the best guitar cds out there.It keeps spinning in my cd player.
How could i find a tab book,is it available anywhere?
Great,soulful tunes!

Best,
Yiannis
At 5:49pm on August 3, 2008, Lincoln Meyers said…
Hey Robert, how are ya, i was hoping to get the chance to pick a few tunes with you while i was in Grubville, maybe next time... be well....
At 9:36am on May 18, 2009, Jim Williams said…
Great job at Peaceful Bend, I really love your music and your tone is the best I have ever heard!!!
At 8:24am on December 17, 2011, Frank Moran said…

Well, is there any tab available?

If not, then I think Robert is missing a huge opportunity to spread the appeal of his music.

First, the majority of people who seek out Robert's music are probably guitarists.

They hear the tunes and they want to play them.

No tab? Oh, well I won't bother buying the cd.

Yes there is tab! Great! I'll learn some of those tunes and play them around; hell, I might even post a video of me playing Robert's tunes on Youtube.

And, the word starts to spread.

Interestingly, compared to acoustic fingerpicking books/tab- there is so little flatpicking original solo pieces that there must be a big potential market for that type of stuff.

There must be thousands and thousands of flatpickers out there who don't play in bands but love playing for their own enjoyment, and would love to play full sounding pieces like those created by Robert - and Beppe Gambetta, for example.

Robert, get creating that tab. For one thing it would create a new interest in the album.

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