Reviews and Bio
Recent Reviews of Back On My Good Foot:
"Georgia resident Rick Fowler pulls no punches on this fine blues-rock album. It is aptly titled, suggesting some sort of recovery, or perhaps returning to something he does best. His best is very good: a superior riff-based collection of songs, which combine lyrical maturity and attitude in equal measure. This veteran of many local bands, and opening act for many a Stateside star, has accumulated a wealth of experience and know-how, and has produced an emotionally credible recording. There is a complete lack of pretension to his work, and though he is clearly influenced by English rock of the '60s and '70s, there is an originality and substance to his work. Mention must be made of his fine band, apart from his own excellent guitar playing and strong vocals, he is backed up by a sympathetic group of musicians, especially the brilliant Hammond organ virtuoso Tim “Drawbar” White. Fowler supported a local charity benefit to raise awareness of Tourette syndrome, and even enlisted the recently retired Bill Berry (REM) in that enterprise, and he drums on “Road to Nowhere.” I was struck by the clever paradox “She makes me feel so much better/I look forward to feeling bad” in the slow blues “Feel So Much Better.” Elsewhere, he covers Savoy Brown's “Hellbound Train,” which thematically fits the mood and is a worthy conclusion."...Blues Matters! Magazine, July 2009
“This is an incredible recording from this singer, songwriter, and guitar player from
Georgia. “Infected with the Blues” starts out with a strong bass line from Michael
C. Steele before Rick Fowler terrorizes you with phenomenal guitar licks. “Skeletons
in Your Closet” has a very cool with resonator guitar that moves into a toe-tappin’ blues song and Randall Bramblett lights it up with his Hammond organ. “Feels So Much Better,” a Jonathan Dorsey song, has Rick playing haunting guitar and merging powerfully with Tim “Drawbar” White on Hammond. “Back on My Good Foot” features more tasty licks and smokin’ organ. “Preacher” is a pedal-to-the-metal song with great lyrics (“Preacher, don’t try to save no souls when I die”). I think the guitar riffs in “Walk Softly” sound a lot like Mark Knopfler, which really works for this slow ballad. “Running from the Truth” has a country-western feel spruced up by a wah-wah pedal. “Road to Nowhere” starts out with a juicy rock riff, then plows into a heavy metal blues solo mixed with killer Hammond organ. Michael Steele’s
acoustic guitar permeates “Hitchhiking,” a Harl Baggett ballad. “Hellbound Train,” by Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown, is an excellent cover song. Every musician on this one does an impressive solo—it blew me away. Rick Fowler wrote or co-wrote all the songs except the ones stated. He is truly a talented musician, one I hope to hear from a lot more in the future.”...Holler Magazine, Colorado Blues Society, April, 2009
“It won’t take long for Fowler’s third solo release to move you. His songs are sharply written bursts of swampy blues that never overstay their welcomes while leaving space for sincere talk-sung vocals and liquid-metal guitar lines.
Fowler is a well-established figure in his hometown of Athens, Georgia, gigging with dozens of talented neighbors, including ex-R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry, who contributes to one track here, and members of Randall Bramblett’s band, who play on several cuts. There’s a sense of restraint, unusual for blues-rockers, that brings a noir-soaked atmosphere to songs such as the dark, brooding “Feel So Much Better” and, especially, a remarkable 10-minute cover of Savoy Brown’s “Hellbound Train” that rides an ominous groove.
Songwriting is generally where adherents to this cluttered genre fail. But with cutting-edge lyrics on songs such as “Infected With the Blues” and “Preacher” (the latter a scathing indictment of clergymen who use funerals to push their religious agendas), Fowler brings maturity and intelligence to his craft. “Running From the Truth” comments on the political climate but still finds room for a scorching guitar solo. The disc’s sound is defined, clean, and muscular without being simply loud; every instrument blends into the mix, resulting in an aggressive but never overwhelming vibe best illustrated by the walking bass line of “Road to Nowhere.”
It might have taken some time for Fowler to get back on his good foot, but judging by this release, it was worth the wait.” ...Blues Revue Magazine, Nov. 2008
“Power chords and blazing guitars blues from the speakers right from the opening track, the blues rocker "Infected With The Blues;" but there were some surprises in store with the subtle guitars on the slow organ driven of "Feel So Much Better" with the verse "she makes me feel so much better, I look forward to feeling down." The title track is a mid tempo shuffle, and "Walk Softly" is a slow blues with a veiled warning for his lover to not do him wrong that has some really nice lines on the guitar. Some tracks are straight up blues, and other have more of a rock edge to them; but instead of over-analyzing this CD, the proof is in the listening: the more times I listen to Back On My Good Foot, the more I like it.”...Washington Blues Society, Seattle, WA, Jan. 2009
“With Randall Bramblett and his whole band as his companions and on top of all Bill Berry, the R.E.M. drummer as a guest, off course there is a top band, and you can hear that.
It is played very well on this "Back On The Good Foot". At this moment Rick lives in Athens, Georgia, his musical basis is mainly built from British Blues and rock influences and you can hear that in the last song, a remake of the Savoy Brown classic.
Further on he calls Robin Trower and the young Johnny Winter as main inspiration for his music, although you don't hear any direct links to the music.
What you do hear with Rick, is that it's all about the music, not popularity.
Beautiful is also the acoustic and easy played "Hitchhiking", with the resonator of Micheal J. Steele, which sees to a nice contradiction of Rick's guitar playing.
Rick is a strong songwriter and above all a storyteller. His texts are as important as the excellent music that he plays, just listen to "Preacher" en "Running For The Truth", in which he slashes down the hypocrite religion and politics.
Rick Fowler proves with this "Back On The Good Foot" that not all blues rock comes from Stevie Ray's closet.” ...Rootstime, Belgium, Nov. 2008
"Athens, Georgia's Rick Fowler is a midnight stalker on guitar, steady when called for, but fearless when he rips into the moment. As a vocalist he's spooky-smooth. Randall Bramblett, along with a few others, mixes up tasty blues/rock cocktails behind Fowler on Back On My Good Foot. There's a distinct Brit-invasion vibe to several of the songs, but the production and the deft, exciting performances root the album firmly in the here and now. “You've got skeletons in your closet; well mine's out walkin' 'round; and when that jawbone starts to rattle; it spreads the news all over town.” That line alone, on top of a stomping beat, distinguishes Fowler as one hell of a writer. The timely political outrage in “Running from the Truth” and the chic blues in “Walk Softly” are two more cases in point. As a perfect conclusion to the album, the band all but one-ups Savoy Brown in ten agile minutes of sheer “Hellbound Train.” ...Hittin' the Note magazine, June 2008
"...actual soul makes this an incredibly solid blues record. Fowler, as anyone who listens to this can hear, is about music, not popularity, and plays his music that way." ...John Shelton Ivany's Top 21, June, 2008
"His lyrically and melodically sharp, swampy songs are sung with a dusky, husky edge and his guitar solos stay taut and sharp. He sounds infected with the blues, as one of his tunes is titled, and he's ready to spread the disease." ...Creative Loafing Magazine, June, 2008
“In 2008 Back On My Good Foot was released by Rick Fowler on Jammates Records. This is some of the best British blues rock you are going to hear without going back to the late sixties early seventies bands. Raw blues rock, strong guitar base, never boring, or over indulging solos. The music is always the focus, with good lyrics that tell easy to understand stories. Adding to that authentic sound is the Hammond Organ always giving the songs more depth. Back On My Good Foot starts off with "Infected with the Blues," a great song you should already know if your radio station is doing their job. "Skeletons in Your Closet" drops down from the past blues rock to a nice acoustic stomping introduction that kicks in about half way into the first verse. A good stomping beat with the Hammond fills in very nicely as it will continue to do on the very beautiful "Feel So Much Better." This is great slow blues song with feeling. Something you may think would fit into Eat A Peach by fellow Georgian band The Allman Brothers. This is not to say this CD sounds like the Allmans just that this one song has that very beautiful soft slow style that Eat A Peach possessed. Rick wrote "Back On My Good Foot" with Harold Baggett who happens to have just one leg from an old motorcycling accident. Harold had jammed with some of the old blues artist like Lightnin' Hopkins when he was young. Then pretty much introduced Rick to the blues and toughened him a lot when they were in a band together. "Preacher" is one of the songs that has been getting good radio play along with "Feel So Much Better," "Skeletons in Your Closet," and "Infected with the Blues." "Preacher" has a catchy riff that runs through out the song with nice brakes for guitar and organ. For me Rick Fowler's Back On My Good Foot is one of those rare finds of the type of music I love so much but so few people are doing now. Many people seem fine with the re-re-released versions of some old band but I prefer to find someone new who can play that style but with new songs. Not only will I be enjoying Back On My Good Foot for years to come I'll be keeping my eye on Rick Fowler for up coming records.”...A1 Blues.com, Dec. 2008
"As a writer, Rick Fowler pens songs that reach out and literally grab the listener by the lapels. Add to that his stinging guitar attack and a red-hot backing band, and Back On My Good Foot makes for a highly-recommended listen!!!" ...The Music City Blues Society
"With so many blues guitarists aping the Vaughns, it's refreshing to hear somebody wear his British blues influences on his sleeve. . . Fowler achieving a fat sound that would do Kim Simmonds proud. . . Road to Nowhere and the Strat-y Walk Softly are good, old-fashioned, unadorned blues." ...Vintage Guitar Magazine
“Fowler sings with an understated intensity and his playing isn't showy, but brims over with a dark soulful power. Fowler's also a superior songwriter, and while his scenarios are unremittingly bleak they're also imbued with a self-effacing humor that keeps things from getting too grim. The opener, "Infected With the Blues", likens the blues to a fatal disease. Fowler's observations on his condition here mirror the lives of many as he sings "I'm worried 'bout the future, I'm haunted by the past, ain't crazy 'bout the present, I pray that it can't last" His solo is full of fire and brimstone that belies his protestation of helplessness.” ...Billboard.com
"Classic white boy blues guitarist that's happy to be a well regarded journeyman in search of the ultimate riff. The kind of cat that knows his stuff, doesn't make a big deal out of it and lets the good times roll. Fun stuff for blues guitar fans ready to let it rock." ...Midwest Record
"The thing I loved the most about this record is the subtlety of the playing. Understated, but yet still able to deliver a king hit without you even realising you're being set up for a sucker punch! Though this is a guitar rocking album, take nothing away from the lovely hammond organ playing of Tim 'Drawbar' White (great nickname!) and Randall Bramlett. Sometimes to be effective, you don't have to display ample amounts of flash. It's the complete honesty and tradition of the style that is important, and without doubt, Rick Fowler has that covered easily." ...Glory Daze magazine, New Zealand
With a raw soul reminiscent of early Johnny Winter and an aural suspense akin to Robin Trower, Fowler and band deliver the energy, joy, anger, and often deep torment found in the very best of blues-rock.
Rick Fowler has been playing guitar and singing in bands since the age of twelve. He learned to play primarily by listening to early British blues/rock guitarists and American blues players. He has performed with some of the world's top musicians and toured much of Europe and The Mediterranean. Although he has played a number of musical styles with various artists, his deep blues roots can always be clearly heard.
Rick's earlier bands included Ziggurat, Deacon Little, and Fortnox. Fowler also recorded with pop singer Bertie Higgins, whose hit single Key Largo reached platinum sales in several countries. In 1982, the Fortnox song Storm Inside My Head went to number 44 in US Airplay and the band’s video reached the top 20 on MTV. The band toured non-stop for a year in support of the record, headlining medium venues and performing in stadiums as the supporting act for top rock acts such as Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, George Thorogood, Joan Jett, The Ramones, The Outlaws, Johnny Van Zant, April Wine, Pat Benetar, and dozens of others. In 1984, Rick’s band Bombay recorded an album with legendary British producer Eddie Offord (of John Lennon, Yes, and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer fame) supported by the MTV video Rumble Tonight.
Rick moved to Athens, Georgia in 1991 after months of touring overseas with the band Bad Fun. He began performing with a number of Athens-based artists, including Ralph Roddenberry, Redneck Greece, and The Lonely White Boys (a band he formed with Drivin' N' Cryin guitarist Buren Fowler, Dreams So Real drummer Drew Worsham, and Normaltown Flyers bassist Greg Veale). He also regularly played guitar in side band projects with Bill Berry (R.E.M.), Dave Schools (Widespread Panic, Government Mule), Randall Bramblett (Traffic), and a number of other top musicians from the area.
With a desire to create a musical endeavor to help support a good cause, Rick put together a band of well-known musicians to perform the first rock concert benefit for Tourette syndrome awareness. Bill Berry, who was at the time retiring from the mega-star band R.E.M., made the show his farewell performance, allowing his drums to be auctioned off for charity at the end of the night. The event received international coverage including MTV, CNN, VH-1, AOL, Rolling Stone, Spin Magazine, and a number of other music news outlets. Welcome Companions, a CD recorded by the benefit concert band, was released by Polyglot Records under the band name Rick Fowler and Friends.
In the past few years, Rick played guitar on dozens of CD projects, perfomed hundreds of shows spanning three countries, and produced and performed the music track for the Sundance Film Festival award-winning movie Dirty Work. In 2006, he got a chance to record with one of his earliest influences; Roland Janes (guitarist for Jerry Lee Lewis and other 50's hitmakers) in Memphis, TN at Sam Phillips Recording.
Fowler signed with Jammates Records in 2007 and recorded the CD Back On My Good Foot. With the CD's release in 2008, Fowler is touring in support of the record.