Casbah + Soda Bar present
Grampadrew and the Gut Strings
3615 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA, 92104
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
“HOW TO BE OKAY ALONE.” That’s what Brent Cowles scribbled in a notebook one afternoon as he grappled with the complexities of his newfound independence. It was meant to be the start of a list, a survival guide for navigating the solitude and loneliness of our increasingly isolated world, but instead, it turned out to be a dead end recipe for writer’s block.
“I realized then that I actually didn’t know how to be okay alone,” reflects the Denver native. “But I also realized that it was okay not to know.”
A deeply honest, intensely personal portrait, the record channels loss and anxiety into acceptance and triumph as Cowles learns to make peace with his demons and redirect his search for satisfaction inwards. Blurring the lines between boisterous indie rock, groovy R&B, and contemplative folk, the music showcases both Cowles’ infectious sense of melody and his stunning vocals, which seem to swing effortlessly from quavering intimacy to a soulful roar as they soar atop his exuberant, explosive arrangements.
Growing up, Cowles first discovered the power of his voice singing hymns at his father’s church in Colorado Springs.Having a pastor for a parent meant heavy involvement in religious life, but Cowles never quite seemed to fit in. At 16 he fell in love with secular music; at 17 he recorded his first proper demos in a friend’s basement; at 18 he was married; at 19 he was divorced. Meanwhile, what began as a solo musical project blossomed into the critically acclaimed band You Me & Apollo, which quickly took over his life. The Denver Post raved that the group created “some of the most exciting original music in Colorado,” while Westword proclaimed that their live show was a “clinic in roots rock mixed with old-school swing and blues,” andSeattleNPR station KEXP hailed “Cowles’ Otis Redding and Sam Cooke inspired vocals.” The band released two albums and toured nationally before they called it quits and amicably went their separate ways.
The parting was a necessary but difficult one for Cowles. In the ensuing months and years, he would find himself alone more than ever before, at one point living out of his Chevy Tahoe just to make ends meet. But rather than break him, the experience only strengthened his resolve, and‘How To Be Okay Alone’ finds him thriving in the driver’s seat as a solo artist, making the most of solitude while still appreciating that it’s only human to need love and friendship.“Hell if I know how to be okay alone,” Cowles reflects on it all with a laugh. “All I know is that I’m grateful for the people that I have, because I don’t think that anyone can get through this life by themselves.”
Grampadrew and the Gut Strings
grampadrew is an acoustic troubador hailing from San Diego, California, who often performs as a duo with cellist, Erin Browder. With his heart rooted in the DIY spirit of his teenage post-punk years, grampadrew brings together a mash-up of the old and new. Diverse influences such as Joy Division, Wilco, John Prine, Crass and Hank Williams can be heard on his premier CD, Cut From The Cloth. Described as an artist who alternates between "the fire of a street-preacher and the quiet of a grave-digger", you'll find the one consistency is an honest lyrical sense that gets straight to the heart of the matter then rips it out for examination and puts it on display.
Throughout his career, grampadrew has shared the stage with artists like Camper Van Beethoven, Eddie Spaghetti, Cracker, Slim Cessna's Autoclub and old school punk acts like Kevin Seconds (7 Seconds) and TSOL. His new CD is a veritable who's who of San Diego talent, with musicians who've played in such bands as White Buffalo, Truckee Brothers, Nortec Collective, Transfer and Silent Comedy as well as guest appearances by international multi-platinum artists like Simon Jones of The Verve.