For Kevin McGowan, music follows the natural flow of his life. This longtime commitment is revealed in his two full-length CD releases, When I was a Young Man and Our Life. From the crisp downbeat that introduces the bubbly lead-off track "Neurotic," from "When I Was a Young Man," to the last lingering strains of "The Love That I Live," from "Our 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,' is not my story," he explains. "It's an observation on families -- not my family -- 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 truck driver's life, but Kevin doesn't drive a big rig. "My wife does all the heavy lifting," he laughs, "but it's a story that took a life of its own." The title cut from "Our Life," is autobiographical. It is a reflective look at the journey through life so far and a hopeful positive look towards the future. It is dedicated to the "sandwich generation,” the people who have raised children and taken care of aging parents at the same time.
A song of note from "When I Was a Young Man" 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.
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.