21 November 2009 0 Comments

Erie Times-News: Bowman brings it home

Dave Richards

Imagine a performer who’s equally capable of opening for country singer Ashton Shepherd and hip-hop star Ludacris.

Right — the idea sounds more ludicrous than Ludacris himself. Except Erie native Tyson Bowman did it. He preceded Shepherd at the Wattsburg-Erie County Fair in September. The Ludacris show happened in 2006 at Tullio Arena when Bowman was part of a rap collective. “I found myself on one of the biggest stages I’ve ever performed on before more people than I ever performed in front of,” recalled Bowman, 23. “I’m really trying to reach that point again, to fulfill that dream of what I was born to do.” The dream involves country. Bowman moved to Nashville three years ago after earning a music degree at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in Arizona. He landed a plum job, working with Embassy Music’s Darwin Moody, a veteran writer and producer. “I was doing a lot of the business side, answering phones and doing some bookings,” Bowman said. “One day, I sat down and showed him some of my songs. And he said, ‘All right. You need to be writing songs, not doing this other stuff.'” Bowman dove in. He wrote with a fervor and played out, including regular gigs at the iconic club Tootsie’s. He hired his mom, Vicki Bowman Clauson, as manager. He landed a deal with Guitar Shark Music. His first full-length CD arrives next spring. In the meantime, he’s releasing a five-song EP with the soulful first single “Rain On My Soul,” which he wrote in Arizona. “It was my first time being away from home and, as you know, it’s the desert out there. So, I was kind of feeling dry, spiritually, mentally, physically,” Bowman said. “It’s just about basically finding in your life, whether it be love of family or God, something bigger than yourself.”

He’s influenced by traditional artists, especially Alan Jackson, the first country star he saw at Tullio Arena. But his musical past still influences him. “I do add some hip-hop drum fills and different things,” Bowman said. “I just try to intermingle my style with the pop world and the rap world.” Bowman plays acoustic shows with originals and covers (Skynyrd, Cash, Zac Brown Band) tonight at 9 at Conneaut Lake’s Beach Club. and Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Chautauqua Mall in Lakeside, N.Y. Both are free. He’s glad to come home. His dad and hunting buddy still lives in Findley Lake, N.Y. But Bowman won’t be 100 percent happy until he’s at Tullio Arena again — singing not rapping. My goal is to get on that stage again as the headliner or opener,” he said. “I want to be on that stage again, fulfilling the dream (of who) I’m really supposed to be.”

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