John Cowan to share a life of music

He’ll play Saturday in Hamilton.

When musician John Cowan comes to town he’ll have wind in his sails, with the release of a new album, “Sixty.”

John Cowan, John McFee and Friends “Sixty” Tour will kick off the 2014-15 Miami University Regionals Artist Series on Saturday at Miami Hamilton’s Parrish Auditorium.

“We’re starting off the series with John Cowan, who used to be in New Grass Revival (during much of the 1970s and ’80s), and now he’s the bass player for The Doobie Brothers, and he’ll be bringing John McFee, who is one of the Doobie Brothers, as well,” said Howard Epstein, director, Miami University Regionals Artist Series.

Cowan will be returning to Miami University, after first playing on their stage more than 25 years ago.

Cowan is known to many as the voice of “newgrass,” the nickname of a musical subgenre that put a forward-thinking spin on bluegrass.

We caught up with John Cowan, by telephone over the Labor Day weekend to talk about the tour and his latest solo album, which was released on Aug. 26 on Compass Records.

“I’ve played at Miami over the years, and this show will be a little different, musically speaking, and also in terms of the musicians that are involved,” Cowan said.

“This (new) record I’ve made is kind of a snapshot of my 40-plus years in the music business, and everything I’ve ever done and been involved with. It was produced by John McFee. As you know, it’s got special guests on every song. We’re going to be performing quite a bit of the songs from the record,” Cowan said.

Recorded at McFee’s West Coast studio and in Nashville over a three-year span, the 12 tracks from “Sixty” showcase Cowan’s voice along with a stellar lineup of guests including Leon Russell, Jim Messina, Alison Krauss, Rodney Crowell, Bernie Leadon, Sam Bush, Chris Hillman, Huey Lewis, Bonnie Bramlett and Ray Benson, among others.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

Contact this contributing writer at