Interview: Damon Fowler

A few days before Damon Fowler's new, nationally released CD, Sugar Shack, came out on Jan. 27, I sat with him in the CL studio for a lengthy conversation. The 29-year-old Tampa native was enthusiastic, but realistic, about the CD, released on the San Francisco blues label Blind Pig. He also knows he has some stereotypes to overcome. Here's a portion of the feature story that will run in next week's issue and be up online soon:

Damon Fowler knows what you’re thinking, some of you at least:

Here comes another fresh-faced, guitar-slingin’ white boy with a new album out on a national blues label, further populating the already crowded ranks of guitar-slingin’ white boys who play real fast and real long and can’t sing worth a damn but think of themselves as real bluesmen.

Damon Fowler doesn’t blame you for thinking this, but he wants you to know: It’s not true.

“It is a trap — a white boy with a guitar,” Fowler says. “It’s terrible for me. I mean, I like some of those blues hotshot guys like Stevie Ray Vaughan, but there was only one Stevie Ray Vaughan, and now you got all these guys in ponchos boot-scootin’ and playing [Stratoscasters] and it’s all so contrived. It’s what’s wrong with the blues — that and harmonica players in purple suits who try to sing like something they’re not.”

No, really, Damon, don’t hold back.

“A lot of times that shit’s just an excuse for playing guitar. Put together a little song like “I’m lonely for my baby, I’m lonely for my baby, oh yeah. She don’t come to see me” — and then you wail [on guitar] for 10 minutes.”

“It’s not a blues record.”

That’s how Fowler, 29, succinctly describes Sugar Shack.

Click here for the full story, along with video and audio.

Damon Fowler's CD Release show is tonight at Skipper's Smokehouse, 8 p.m., presented by WMNF. $10 advance, $15 at the door.

Check out audio and video of Damon talking and performing on CL Sessions.

About The Author

Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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