When it comes to John Bowman, he's a bluegrass virtuoso without peer. Plying through his resume, one is easily impressed that he has played guitar for both Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Alison Krauss & Union Station. Bowman can also be found playing the fiddle for J.D. Crowe & the New South, the banjo and the fiddle with The Isaacs, and currently he contributes the sounds of banjo, fiddle and guitar for The Boxcars. Since 1997, Bowman has been ordained as a pastor. And as he has developed a passion for preaching, his love for singing the Lord's praises has also accelerated. He has recently released his new worship album "Worship Him." We are honored to be able to catch up with John for this Hallels' exclusive interview:
Hallels: Congratulations on your forthcoming album 'Worship Him." What made you decide to record a worship album with just your voice and a guitar?
Last year I starting doing more preaching and singing on my own. I wanted to be "self contained," so I would just use my guitar and sing. Sometimes, I play a tune on the fiddle. So with the CD I was wanting to represent what I am doing in service.
Hallels: I must say I was very impressed by your song choices. The worship covers you have here are great; they are in fact quite obscure. What did you look out for in a song to include it on this record?
I appreciate that. I had a list of songs that I wanted to cut, about 16. I narrowed them down to what I thought would fit the theme, "Worship Him." I've always loved, "Have Your Way," and "Above All." Some of the other songs were songs I had kept back for this project for some time.
Hallels: How has your background in bluegrass added to your interpretation of these songs?
As a bluegrass musician, you have to be proficient on your instrument, as well as sing (most of the time). I also had to think about performing them live. I'm not a virtuoso. I tried to keep it as simple as I could.
Hallels: One of my absolute favorites from the album is Hillsong's Darlene Zschech-penned "Have Your Way." Your rendition is so heartfelt; what inspired you to record a Hillsong selection?
When I lived in La Follette, TN, we attended the Stanfield Church of God. They have a wonderful praise team there. I was fortunate to play with the band when I was home. I fell in love with that song the first time I heard it. I also wanted to introduce this worship music to bluegrass folks. I'm sure many of them have never heard it. They are very receptive.
Hallels: What's up now with the Boxcars? Are you guys planning a new album now? When can we see its release?
The Boxcars are right in the middle of "festival" season. We have a busy schedule this year. However, we have not planned a new recording as of yet.
Hallels: For our readers who would like to purchase "Worship Him" and learn more about you, where can they go?
They can buy direct from me at my website, johnrbowman.net. Of course, I have a facebook page and so do the Boxcars.