Kelly Bowlin Band
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Kelly Bowlin Band

Band Country Americana


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Kelly Bowlin Band @ Chico State

Chico, California, USA

Chico, California, USA

Kelly Bowlin Band @ California State Fair

Sacramento, California, USA

Sacramento, California, USA

Kelly Bowlin Band @ University of California Davis

Davis, California, USA

Davis, California, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



After its excellent 2002 debut disc "Williamsburg," the Kelly Bowlin Band has followed up with "Dancing in a Hurricane," released just as a series of destructive hurricanes began to hit Florida several months ago.

While the Fullerton-based quintet thankfully fails to pack the damaging winds of a Category 5 storm, the Kelly Bowlin Band does deliver a sonic punch with a winning combination of Americana-rooted music styles.

Bowlin fuses his Appalachian bluegrass Kentucky roots with classic rock and alternative country to create music that is authentic and intoxicating.

"I've always sort of been involved with the country-rock style that Steve Earle and Dwight Yoakam are noted for," said Bowlin, whose band opened for Yoakam at concert dates in Northern California and Oregon in summer 2003.

"I guess to some degree it was the same style that perhaps The Band or Neil Young used and they were some of my biggest influences as a young musician. I want to continue writing songs that have the texture and feel of country but that also talk a little bit about non-stereotypical country topics like drug abuse ('Dancing in a Hurricane'), spiritual uncertainty ('Choir of Angels') or just growing older ('Mathea')."

Opening for Yoakam in July 2003 was only the beginning of a strong run for Bowlin and company; the band has also opened for the likes of the Charlie Daniels Band, the Young Dubliners, Junior Brown, the Flatlanders, the Beat Farmers and Dave Alvin over the past 12 months.

And because Bowlin has strong skills in his electric guitar and eight-string mandolin, he is able to bridge styles as well as any of his musical heroes.

"Bluegrass is an important part of our sound, and certainly Bill Monroe and Del McCoury were big favorites," Bowlin said. "On the rock side, definitely the (Rolling) Stones, CCR and the Who - so go figure.

"I've jokingly referred to our sound as Bill Monroe meets the Who."

Bowlin has many colorful stories relating to performing on the bill with well-known artists.

"We did the Fashion Island Summer Concert in 2002 as (Dave Mason's) opening act in front of probably 10,000 people and we were told to be careful - that he was really mean - but as it usually is, he was very gracious and as kind as could be," Bowlin said.

Bowlin has a more specific memory about the first time he met Charlie Daniels.

"We were backstage at Sycuan Casino (in El Cajon) and as he walked by our dressing room, I said, 'Hey Charlie, I'm your new banjo player' and he just looked me up and down and with a growl said, 'Says who?'"

A sense of humor and strong work ethic come with the territory for Bowlin as well as his band mates, bassist Chris DeJesus, drummer Jim Moreland and keyboardist Russell Berkley.

"We continually look at ourselves and just laugh; we're in our late 30s and early 40s, proportionally weight challenged, and I guess in general have a lot more personal responsibilities than we had at 20, which make things like going out of town on shows a lot harder," Bowlin admitted.

"Our bass player commented at a recent rehearsal that we're a band where nobody does anything really good, and yet as a band, we're excellent.

"The nice thing about the style we play is that I can see us doing the same thing 20 years from now. Who knows, by then maybe we'll have a song on the radio," Bowlin said.

Freelancer Robert Kinsler has written about pop music for the Register since 1992.
- Orange County Register

Self-employed loan broker and family man by day, wonderfully noisy roots rocker when he clocks out, Kelly Bowlin—with his eponymous band, which presently featuring ex-Hunns guitarist Nate Shaw, keyboardist Russell Berkley, drummer Jim Moreland and bassist Christ De Jusus—plays a richly textured mix of rock, folk, country and bluegrass that sounds a little like the Band, Steve Earle, Ralph Stanley and even the Stones.

Released in 2002 on Coach House Records, the band’s debut, Williamsburg, offers a winning mix of acoustic Americana music (think mandolin, fiddle, accordion and lap steel) and hard-driving rock & roll (think Les Pauls and Marshall half-stacks), with songs tending toward street-wise tales of survival, with the darker, troubling "Falling" and "Paper Wings" lingering the longest. The Kelly Bowlin Band garnered much-deserved recognition when they were named Best Roots Rock Band at this year’s Orange County Music Awards, but the Fullerton-based Bowlin is more excited about the 10-track Dancing in a Hurricane, the band’s just-released new album.

"The fun thing about this journey we’re on is that we’re all in our early 40s with kids," he says. "But instead of our creative dreams going out the window, we’ve kept them alive while enjoying some relatively amazing success. We’re not rock stars, and we’re not quitting our day jobs . . . but we are recording and performing music we’re proud of that fans are responding to."

- OC Weekly

Kelly Bowlin has long been a favorite on the Orange County club and concert scene, and for good reason. This latest release showcases beautifully why he is so popular with fans who see him. His successful blend of Americana, roots and rock and roll, all performed with passion and a contemporary flavor, ensures a great listening experience for fans of all ages! Think Tom Petty, Steve Earle, even a touch of Bob Seger, for those of you with long memories.

From the opening track, "Thanksgiving Day" the musical scene is set with punchy hooks, driving backbeat and great melodies. I cannot recommend this release highly enough for music lovers anywhere.

Rated "A"
- Live Magazine

""Kelly Bowlin is one of my favorite Orange County
artists making music today""

– Orange County Register, 7-29-05

"Celebrates the Spirit of American Music. Gritty vocals
and blazing skills on Guitar and Mandolin."

– Robert Kinsler, Critic for OC Register Show Section

"Listening to this music takes you on a journey to every
emotion you've ever had. Power sound and lyrics."
– Eternity Rock
- various

Wednesday, April 5, 2006
Rock meets country at Coach House this weekend

For the Orange County Register

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Although the Ken Garcia Band and the Kelly Bowlin Band explore very different areas of the musical universe, both Orange County-based troupes deliver virtuoso-styled performances and feature a talented leader who commands skills as singer and fret master.

Kelly Bowlin and his band are performing in San Juan Capistrano at the same time his name might be called out at the 5th annual Orange County Music Awards, where more than 1,000 musicians and industry insiders are gathering the same night at The Grove of Anaheim. Bowlin is nominated in the Best Country category.

"I think the Orange County Music Awards have helped legitimize a lot of great acts that otherwise would ordinarily just fall through the cracks," Bowlin said. "It's hard to gain any kind of musical credibility in a market as big as Orange County where practically everyone you meet is an aspiring musician in one form or another but I think just receiving a nomination for the past few years has helped bands like mine stay on the map."

The recent Orange County Music Awards nomination followed up a win by the Kelly Bowlin Band at the Southern California Music Awards as Best Classic Rock Band on Feb. 11, 2006.

But formal honors alone will never sum up Bowlin's talents. The Kentucky native's sound is a true hybrid of rock 'n' roll, country-western and Appalachia bluegrass; indeed, Bowlin displays fiery skills whether playing his guitar or 8-string mandolin and his gritty vocals are never less than impressive. Fans of artists such as Steve Earle and John Hiatt will love his distinctive and artful Americana approach to music making.

The Kelly Bowlin Band (whose ranks include keyboardist-guitarist Russell Berkley, bassist Chris DeJesus and drummer Jim Moreland ) will be featuring songs from 2002's "Williamsburg" and 2004's "Dancing in a Hurricane" at the upcoming show.

The Ken Garcia Band and the Kelly Bowlin Band will perform at the Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, at 8 p.m. on April 8.
Tickets will be on sale the evening of the show for $12 at the venue's box office. Information: (949) 496-8930.

CONTACT US: or (949) 454-7353

- OC Register


2002 Williamsburg CD
Singles - Paper Wings & Kentucky Angel

2004 Dancing in a Hurricane CD
Singles - Thanksgiving Day, Mathea

2006 Live From The Front Porch CD



Winner of the 2006 Southern California Music Awards, the 2006 Inland Empire Music Awards, and the 2004 Orange County Music Awards for Best Roots Rock Band. Stellar reviews from The Orange County Register, The LA Times, OC Weekly, Live Magazine and many more. Featured artist on 95.5 KLOS Los Angeles. Record Sales in England, France, Italy, Russia, Japan and Sweden. Walk into any Best Buy, or Tower Records in the Country and buy our CD.
Call us a Ten Year Overnight Sensation!
Year after year playing small rooms, tiny stages, humping equipment, 3:00AM tear downs, shitty sound systems, poor equipment, no equipment, club owners with sound decibel gauges, rude drunks, power failures, tip jars, dive rehearsal studios, sweat, blown out ear drums, Mustang Sally, leaky roofs, 5 hour gigs, 100’s of we’re not interested, flakey musicians, squabbles, brawls, and lack of sleep.
And then……out of nowhere, in the blink of an eye, it’s a warm summer night, Portland, touring with Dwight Yoakam, the houselights go down, the room erupts, then goes quiet, 1500 people packed like cattle stare at the stage, Jim slides on to his thrown……Ladies and Gentlemen, from Southern California…….Give a warm welcome to THE KELLY BOWLIN BAND!!!!
That’s it in a nutshell. That’s where we are. That’s where we’ve come from.
We’re a Roots Rock Band. We play hard Americana. We use Mandolins, Fiddles, Acoustic Guitars, and an occasional Accordion right beside booming Drums, Fender Strats and Marshall Half Stacks. Polished but wonderfully noisy!
Somebody likes us. Without the support of substantial radio airplay, we’ve been selling CD’s all over the world……yea that’s world. Stick around long enough and you’ll be hearing from us one way or another. We’ve come this far. We’re in no hurry…And…. we do have a few things to say.