Peter Rowan, Award-Winning Folk-Bluegrass Icon at EOH

“One of the top bluegrass singer-songwriters of his generation.” – Terry Gross, NPR's Fresh Air.

“One of the top bluegrass singer-songwriters of his generation.” – Terry Gross, NPR’s Fresh Air.

Peter Rowan may have gotten his start as one of Bill Monroe‘s Bluegrass Boys, in 1965, but in the 50 years since, he’s gone on to forge his own sub-genre of the bluegrass discipline. At a recent show, in between wheeling out the well-known classics “Panama Red” and “Midnight, Moonlight,” he sang tunes from his recent album Dharma Blues. Says Rowan, of his latest project, “These songs…are a place on the spiritual journey where the commitment has been made, the intent established, and the journey begun. The doubts and resolutions of the spiritual journey are what drives Dharma Blues….”  All opines: “Dharma Blues, for all the wily chances it takes, is a jewel, finding the artist at another creative peak.

Probably best known for founding Old & In the Way alongside David Grisman and Jerry Garcia, Rowan was quick to leave traditional bluegrass subject matter behind (while keeping instrumentation and song structure intact) as he broke ground with the quintet during the 1970s, taking a looser, more jam-based approach to bluegrass.

You Tubes of Peter Rowan

Rowan’s unbound talent has allowed him a wide range of exploration in the folk-bluegrass genre.  “Since then he’s done reggae-billy, southwestern yodeling, traditional bluegrass, singer-songwriter material, “flexigrass,” country, Texas swing, a tribute to Gene Autry and extended jam sets with seemingly anyone who would have him,” writes Glen Herbert of radio station KDHX. And yet his picking, and his clear high, lonesome singing voice remains as unimpeachable as ever.

“…The doubts and resolutions of the spiritual journey are what drives Dharma Blues….” That’s dead on, but it doesn’t touch the musical reach on this fine album. Some of these tunes have been part of Rowan’s live repertoire for years. In his painting studio in 2006, he played them for producer John Chelew and the pair began to conceive a recording.”

Don’t miss an evening with a true legend on Saturday, September 19th, at 8pm. Admission is $35 for nonmembers, $33 for members, and students are discounted to $30. Premium pricing applies for the front-most four rows. The Earlville Opera House is wheelchair-accessible with a ramp and a lift.

Don’t forget to visit our three Earlville Galleries with three new exhibits opening at 6 pm by Andrea Porter, Vartan Poghosian and Rebecca Murtaugh. The Artisans’ Gift Shop features over 35 regional artists showcasing everything from jewelry to blown glass to pottery. The EOH Arts Café will open one hour before the performance, serving freshly baked desserts and hot coffee and tea.

For more information, or to reserve your seats, call 315-691-3550 or order online at The Opera House is located at 18 East Main Street, in Earlville, NY.

EOH events are made possible, in part, with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and through the generosity of EOH members.

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