by Yvonne Troutman
Who is Jude Bowerman? This is the question asked in Seattle, Wash.,
and will soon be asked in Portland, Ore.
The Jude Bowerman Band is the hottest blues/funk band currently sizzling
up and down the I-5 corridor. Frontman, Bowerman attacks his Strat with
searing riffs and soulful blues. The most refreshing unique blues band
to hit the Northwest in a long time, Bowerman has a compelling stage
presence and commands his audience.
Everett James pounds the canvas like there's no tomorrow, while Dave
"Red Shoes" Smelcer keeps the low end groovin' and thumpin'.
"Red Shoes" is for the trademark red tennis shoes Smelcer
The band is infectious and there is a feeling that this group is different
and on its way to certain success. The unique blend of sounds must be
seen to be appreciated. As a three-piece, this band is one-of-a-kind
and refreshingly unique.
The band's influences come from Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy
Waters, Jimi Hendrix and James Brown. The first word that comes to mind
describing this unit is funky. This power trio can fire off a set of
originals that scream of funk and are known to play straight forward
Texas and Chicago-style blues.
A native of Olympia, Wash., Bowerman plays hot guitar and sings quality
vocals. He attended Western Washington State University then transferred
to the University of Washington. He is now working on a double major
in English and ethnic studies. It has been noted that one cannot know
Bowerman or listen to his music without learning of his interest in
ethnicity and social harmony.
Bassist Dave Smelcer is known for "playing in the pocket"
and providing the low-end constant that the band can play around. Now
45, Smelcer has a degree in accounting from the University of Illinois.
At the age of 24, he was bored, packed his stuff and moved to the west
coast and became a self-taught accomplished musician. In 1994, Smelcer
and Bowerman began playing together in The Pump House Blues Band. They
broke from this group and formed the Jude Bowerman Band.
Everett James, a native of New York City, picked up the drum sticks
at the age of eight. His brother-in-law gave him his first set of drums.
They were an old set of black Ludwigs purchased for 50 bucks. Everett
became quite the drummer playing and hanging out with artists such as
Miles Davis, Robert Erving III, George Clinton of P-Funk, "and
all those guys," Everett has played with the Bowerman group since
1997. He was the final piece of the puzzle to make this trio complete.
He provides the funky rhythms and solid backbone.
The Jude Bowerman Band's premier CD Can't Help Myself, has sold
over 2500 copies since June of 1998 and they've performed at over 300
venues in the last year. The band was awarded 1999 Bluesman of the Year
Award by Tacoma Blues Festival and 1999 Best New Band Nominee by Washington
Blues Society. This is an up-and-coming hot, new and unique trio. As
one critic put it, "Picture unlimited energy, infectious enthusiasm
and very hot music."
Check out their web page (www.judebowerman.com)
and read what the fans have to say and where you can hear this band.