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Local singer Bowen signs recording contract

Everyone who has ever dabbled in the music business remembers when they caught their first big break and for Russellville native and former Golden Tiger football standout Cody Bowen, that break has lifted his music to the radio airways.

The 2004 RHS graduate said the only musical dealings he had during his days in the  Russellville City Schools system happened in third grade.

Bowen said once he graduated from Russellville though, he worked in the political scene for a bit before moving to Tuscaloosa to attend college.

There, Bowen met some guys who played music and began to “piddle around” with them, opening for local headliners such as ‘Rollin in the Hay’ at several locations.

After a few years of learning some musical basics, Bowen met some guys from Muscle Shoals with the same musical hunger as he had in Tuscaloosa and from there the ‘Sleepy Jackson Band’ was born.

As the days carried on, Bowen said he began “learning a lot” from other band members and eventually became comfortable with playing the guitar.

“Terrance Williams, who is a phenomenal guitar player, taught me so much about the instrument and I really appreciated him for teaching me all the right stuff,” Bowen said.

In 2008, he was able to get his foot in the door at the legendary Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals and began learning from “some of the best musicians on the planet,” including local favorites like Gary Nichols and James LeBlanc.

Bowen said he just kept working and even began writing his own music by this time, then one day his big break hit home.

“My dad was actually working at his landscaping business and was having an off the subject conversation with one of his clients,” Bowen said. “That client just so happened to be Al Cartee, a person who has been in the business since the golden age of Muscle Shoals music working with people ranging from Willie Nelson to Toby Keith. My dad had a couple of my demo CD’s on him and the rest is history.” 

Bowen said Cartee presented him with a contract to sign as a recording artist with his label company and Bowen signed the dotted line to jumpstart his new-age country music career.

Bowen’s new single “North Alabama Line” has softly hit radio stations early without a formal release.

“We have mixed and mastered the album and have done what you call a ‘soft release’ of my new single to the surrounding states,” Bowen said. “We just finished up shooting part of a music video that is directed by the same person who has worked on videos with the Zac Brown Band, Sugarland and Toby Keith. The plan is to release the video and single in the next couple of weeks then hit the road and find headlining acts to open for. I would like to begin in the south and then gradually head west, but you never know how things are going to turn out.”

Bowen’s voice and song style is described as the “new country style with a Southern Rocker attitude, that returns the lost guitar solos and story-teller lyrics, that pop and punk took away, and blends it all together with screaming guitars and soul-filled vocals to give a sound that will make you think your hearing The Allman Brothers and Waylon Jennings coming from one artist.”

Bowen said he has written eight of the tracks that will appear on his debut album and worked with Grammy award winning sound engineer and producer Billy Sherrill to make the album as perfect as possible.

“What I wanted to set out and do is to make my first album to be like a book, with each track acting as a chapter, telling a little more of the story as you go through it.”

Bowen’s single, “North Alabama Line” can be heard on local country stations WLAY, WFMH and WJBB.

The track may also be heard on Bowen’s Facebook, MySpace and Twitter pages.

“I am proud to say I am a Muscle Shoals musician and even though the music business is viewed as a cut-throat business, over here we don’t see it that way and I greatly appreciate everyone who has helped me on my musical journey so far. It’s been a long time coming and I am definitely excited and ready to take that next step towards my dream.”