The Whiskey Bayou Session
Whiskey Bayou Records
Damon Fowler was born in Brandon, Fl. eleven miles east of Tampa. He first picked up the guitar at the age of twelve and has since also mastered lap steel and Dobro. His songwriting reflects influences from blues, gospel, soul, country music and swamp rock. His debut recording “Riverview Drive”, produced by Rick Derringer, was released in 1999. Two more independently released albums followed before he signed with Blind Pig Records in 2007. Fowler’s Blind Pig debut was 2008’s “Sugar Shack” and it was followed with “Devil Got His Way” in 2011. Later that year Fowler teamed up with JP Soars, Victor Wainwright, Chris Peet and Chuck Riley, to form the southern rock band “Southern Hospitality”. In 2013 Tab Benoit produced their debut “Easy Livin’”. The following year Benoit produced Fowler’s last album “Sounds of Home”, his third for the Blind Pig imprint. Fowler has since played with Butch Trucks and The Freight Train Band, and The Dickie Betts Band.
When Benoit decided to begin his own label “Whiskey Bayou Records” Fowler was the first signed to the label. This album recorded at Benoit’s Houma Louisiana studio has been named “The Whiskey Bayou Session”. The band includes Fowler, guitar, lap steel and vocals; Todd Edmunds whose credits include Jason Ricci and New Blood, bass; and Justin Headley from Bill Wharton (The Sauce Boss), drums. Producer Benoit plays guitar on three tracks.
Fowler has co-written two songs with his regular writing partner Ed Wright. The opener “It Came Out of Nowhere” is a soulful tune sung by Fowler and it includes a fabulous guitar solo, while Benoit plays rhythm. “Candy” a country styled tune features Benoit on acoustic guitar and the lyric “mama gets all the candy she wants”.
Fowler has also written six songs with Benoit. “Fairweather Friend” features Fowler on his telecaster. “Ain’t Gonna Rock With You No More” features Fowler on slide; on “Pour Me” Benoit plays rhythm again while Fowler solos. “Holiday” is another soulful vocal; “Running Out of Time” a great groove, while “Florida Baby” features Fowler on a lap steel guitar.
Fowler and Benoit have also chosen to cover three songs. “Hold Me Tight” was written by reggae superstar Johnny Nash and it’s a perfect vehicle for Fowler’s soulful voice; “Up The Line” is from Little Walter Jacobs; while “Just a Closer Walk with Thee” is a traditional gospel tune and another great vocal from Fowler as he again plays lap steel.
Fowler has chosen Benoit as his producer but Benoit has also chosen well. Benoit has taken his sparse production values and applied them to Fowler. The result is the best we have ever heard from Fowler. This is a fabulous album but I would like to hear them sing together.
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