Born smack dab in the middle of the 60s under the Palmetto Flag in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Bowers recalls his earliest musical influences as “an interesting balance” – from his New York Aunt’s Jazz inclination to Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Marshall Tucker and the Allman Brothers…all smashed up against fond memories of sitting with his Grandfather, JC Bowers on his farm on Sunday afternoons…listening to Gospel and Bluegrass on WESC radio. He also notes that time spent with Grayson Dalton, a lively, local bluegrass musician and distant relative, gave him an early appreciation of Bluegrass music.”
Growing up among the natural beauty of the Carolinas with frequent spare-time destinations like Joccassee, Keowee and Chattooga, Bowers’ recalls, “… slipping out to catch a ride to the “Pickin’ at Pickens”…a local, deep woods bluegrass gathering popular in the mid-to-late 70s with pickers, music and shenanigans where once upon a time, Doyle Lawson stopped through to play a set in exchange for gas money to get home…”
As avid Bluegrass enthusiasts, Bowers says his family has always been big supporters of he and his brother’s musical aspirations, “After outgrowing the Tupperware drum sets, we were put in front of a piano…which was great until we realized it would be difficult to take along to jam sessions…that was about the time I picked up my first guitar…and it stuck…while my brother took to the Mandolin…”
Later, a chance meeting paired Banjoist Buckethead Jones with Bowers and the two began exploring the cross-pollination of their respective music influences…from the Grateful Dead to traditional Bluegrass to modern Jazz…leading to the original concept for the DejaBlue Grass Band. A second set of chance-meetings with Nelson Nolan and Rut Walker rounded out the harmonies and from that point forward, the guys were hooked on pursuing perfectly pitched and carefully twisted harmonies and creating an environment for fun music.
JB holds down the rhythm guitar, lead vocals and business management for the DejaBlue Grass Band.