Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Peter Rowan’s career spans more than five decades, and nearly as many genres. From his early years playing under the tutelage of bluegrass patriarch Bill Monroe, to his time in Old & In the Way with Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, to his breakout as a solo musician and bandleader, Rowan has built a devoted international fan base through a solid stream of recordings, collaborative projects, constant touring and omnivorous musical interests stretching from bluegrass and country to rock, reggae, Tex-Mex and Hawaiian music. Rowan, who leads several bands, will bring his rock outfit, the Free Mexican Airforce, to The Palms Playhouse on Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m. Grammy-winning quartet Los Texmaniacs will join Rowan. Tickets are $25 ($12 with student ID). Born in Wayland, Massachusetts, Rowan began his professional career in 1963 as lead singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter for the Bluegrass Boys, led by the founding father of bluegrass Bill Monroe. “One thing I started to like about the Monroe style was that there was a lot more blues in it than other styles of bluegrass,” reflected Rowan. “It was darker. It had more of an edge to it. And yet it still had the ballad tradition in it, and I loved that.” By Monroe’s own assessment, Rowan sounded a lot like him. When the two harmonized together, they were said to have reached “heavenly heights.” Monroe and Rowan co-wrote the bluegrass standard “Walls Of Time.” In the late 1960s and early ’70s, Rowan was in a number of rock, folk and bluegrass projects, including Earth Opera, Sea Train, Muleskinner and the Rowan Brothers. After the Rowans disbanded, Rowan, David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements and John Kahn formed a bluegrass band christened Old & In the Way. It was during this incarnation that Rowan penned the song “Panama Red,” which was a hit for the New Riders of the Purple Sage. Other classic Rowan songs include “Midnight Moonlight,” “Lonesome L.A. Cowboy,” “Land of the Navajo,” “Thirsty in the Rain” and “Free Mexican Airforce.” Rowan embarked on a solo career in the late 1970s. Since then, the prolific singer-songwriter has released albums under his own name, as part of collaborative projects, and with his bluegrass, country and rock bands. Rowan has recorded over 40 albums. Notable releases include “Dustbowl Children,” “Bluegrass Boy,” “You Were There for Me” (with Tony Rice), “Legacy” (with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band), “New Moon Rising” (with the Nashville Bluegrass Band), “High Lonesome Cowboy” (with Don Edwards) and “Dharma Blues.” Last year, Rebel Records released “Carter Stanley’s Eyes,” which honors Rowan’s bluegrass roots and includes songs by the Stanley Brothers, Bill Monroe, the Louvin Brothers, A.P. Carter, Lead Belly and Rowan himself. Grammy-winning quartet Los Texmaniacs will join Rowan. Founded by Max Baca in 1997, Los Texmaniacs play conjunto and tejano music, and incorporate elements of rock and jazz. In addition to Baca on the bajo sexto (a guitar-like instrument with 12 strings), Los Texmaniacs’ current line-up is Josh Baca on accordion, Noel Hernandez on electric bass and Lorenzo Martínez on the drums. Los Texmaniacs won a Grammy Award for Best Tejano Album for “Borders y Bailes” in 2010. Their most recent album is “Cruzando Borders” (2018). Tickets are available online via The Palms’ website and through Eventbrite, at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, and at the door if the show is not sold out. For more information, visit palmsplayhouse.com, peter-rowan.com and lostexmaniacs.com. ]]>
Peter Rowan's Free Mexican Airforce with Los Texmaniacs flies to The Palms on Friday, May 24
Rowan, who leads several bands, will bring his rock outfit, the Free Mexican Airforce, to The Palms Playhouse on Friday, May 24 at 8 p.m. Grammy-winning quartet Los Texmaniacs will join Rowan.