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DOUG COWEN & THE BASICS

Sometimes the road to success in music keeps bringing an artist around to familiar territory--Just ask Doug Cowen. When he convenes his current line-up of The Basics. (Ben Hahaj on drums and Charley Neises on bass) Doug can't help but feel he's been here before. Doug Cowen started out wanting to write and sing his own songs. And that's what he did, first as a teenager in an acoustic duo called JRDC in 1980 and later with a band called The Basics, which he formed in 1982 to record a single, titled "Girls Come Out/I wanna Love You.” The Basics played so many of Cowen's original songs at live gigs that they occasionally passed off some of the tunes as obscure tracks by well-known bands. A break with The Basics in 1983 allowed Cowen to pursue solo recording projects releasing his local hit "Easy Love" in 1987 and follow up CDs titled "This Is My Life, This Is My Home,” released in 1993 and "Edge of Reality," released in 1994. Cowen also wrote and performed radio jingles in the mid 1990’s for a local radio station called WHLY Radio Hollywood. In the summer of 1996 Doug joined up with his good friend Singer/Songwriter Tommy Thompson. Thompson was the lead singer and founder of the popular northern Indiana rock group know as the “Kinetics.” Cowen and Thompson along with guitarist Lee Madison found themselves in Cowen's garage kicking around some country-flavored covers and originals. The resulting band was dubbed The Benders and they very quickly became a local favorite. A series of protracted recording sessions for a proposed Benders CD evolved into Doug's highly acclaimed 1999 solo release of "Valentine." That year also saw a surprise reunion of the original 1982 line-up of The Basics. History repeated itself again when Doug Cowen & The Basics found themselves the opening act for Thompson and Madison of The Benders. The Basics took a break from the gigging grind in 2002 to record two long-overdue CDs: "Bitter/Sweet" (2003) and "Private Drive" (2006). When original bassist Charley Neises wasn't available to play live engagements due to a shoulder injury in 2007, Doug turned to his old friend and partner Tommy Thompson. "If you look at the career arc of Doug and Tommy, it looks like the twisting double strands of DNA," observes Neises. "It was only a matter of time before they worked together again." Anchored by Ben Hahaj on drums, the new foursome was filled out when Madison joined on lead guitar. Cowen looked forward to fronting this impressive group of all-stars until tragedy struck on January 30th 2008. Tommy had suddenly and unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack. He was 49 years old. Devastated by the sudden loss of his friend, Doug thought of quitting music all together but instead found himself with guitar in hand writing a tribute song for Tommy. “It was like therapy for me ” Cowen said. “I felt like Tom was in the room with me while I wrote it.” The finished song was titled “Gonna Miss You.” Not long afterwards Doug received a phone call from bassist and good friend Charley Neises. Charley said that he was ready to play again. “Fate brought us back together and we’re going to keep the music alive as long as we can” Cowen says. I use to be so serious about my music but now I realize that this is what I love to do and the friends and memories I’ve made along the way are irreplaceable to me. I enjoy playing music and hanging out with the boys in the band more than ever before. “You’re never too old to rock ‘n’ roll.” The road to success in the music business for the lucky few can be a superhighway to stardom, but for most artists it's just a dead end going nowhere. For Doug Cowen it's more like a smooth road that winds around a bustling neighborhood -- full of old friends, great memories, and a still-unlimited future.