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John Cowan, Joan Osborne added to MerleFest

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 – John Cowan & Friends and Joan Osborne were added to the line-up at MerleFest 2011, slated for April 28-May 1.

In addition to his performance as part of The Doobie Brothers Friday, Cowan will be fronting John Cowan & Friends - comprised of Cowan, Jeff Autry (guitar), Tom Britt (bass) and Billy Thomas (drums). Cowan is a founding member of the seminal New Grass Revival and a frequent performer at MerleFest over the festival's 24-year history.

Osborne will be a guest vocalist with The Waybacks during the "Hillside Album Hour" on Saturday. Osborne first burst onto the music scene with "Relish," a commercial and critical success that earned seven Grammy nominations. Osborne has played in many styles: soul and R&B classics, a Nashville-recorded country album and as a touring vocalist for the Grateful Dead.

CD reviews for John Cowan Band

Comfort & Joy CD review - Comfort & Joy
Let's Make A Baby King, the funky Jesse Winchester song that comes along toward the end of John Cowan's Christmas CD may be the most joyous holiday recording so far this year. With its soulful backing vocals, the track comes off like James Brown unplugged in Nashville. And while Cowan and his band are best known for their bluegrass instrumental chops, this CD is most certainly a singer's album. For instance, Cowan's faux operatic take on Ave Maria follows directly after »»»
New Tattoo CD review - New Tattoo
John Cowan's label debut features soulful vocals and world class musicianship from both his regular band mates and a number of guests. The cuts are varied in style, ranging from the NewGrass sounding "Six Red Birds (In a Joshua Tree)" to the more pop, but still very cool "Back To Your Arms." As always, Cowan is a unique, instantly recognizable stylist who meshes rhythm and blues, rock 'n' roll, reggae and soul. The sound that emerges would be considered most »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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