For Kevin McGowan, music follows the natural flow of his life. This longtime commitment is revealed in his first full-length CD release, When I Was a Young Man. From the crisp downbeat that introduces the bubbly lead-off track "Neurotic" to the last lingering strains of "Meaning to my Life," McGowan's clarion tenor voice, surrounded by crystalline guitars, violin, pedal steel and choruses of shimmering harmonies (performed by McGowan), eloquently renders evocative, captivating narratives of heart, soul and sound.
As a songwriter, Kevin breathes life into his characters. "The title cut, 'When I was a Young Man,' he explains, "is an observation on families and how hard it is to break the chain of dysfunction through the generations." Similarly, "Wanna Be a Good Man" depicts the rigors of a single-parent truck driver, but Kevin doesn't drive a big rig. "My wife does all the heavy lifting," he laughs.
A song of note is "You Won't Be Forgotten," a haunting and determined tribute to the events of 9/11/01.
The Bronx-born McGowan's first foray into music was in his teens with a band called Liquid Motion, a group of some repute in the New York area. Later on, the part of Pharaoh in a college production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" followed. "Playing in the orchestra and then dressing and performing as an Elvis impersonator was more fun than I ever imagined it could be," recalls Kevin. Then, as it is said, life happened, but the music was never far away. Throughout the years he played in local bands in Central Jersey where he moved after getting married.
In 1993 Kevin began performing at open mics and renewed his musical endeavors that are delivered now in his first CD. Influenced early on by Merseyside pop, McGowan similarly appreciates the newer song styles of Dave Matthews, Sheryl Crow and Stone Temple Pilots. He keeps both his live chops and his audience connection up via a regular gig at a local club, performing solo.
States McGowan, "Every time in my life when I found time to restart the music, life reared its ugly head. At this stage of my life, with the help and support of family and friends, I have been able to maintain a certain level and at times kick it up a notch." Most significantly, for a songwriter with a durable history, he is much more in tune with the future; new paths, new music, new songs. "Music is about chemistry and how it connects with people," concludes Kevin, " and that's what takes it to the next level."
Kevin McGowan can be reached through his website at www.kevinmcgowan.net.